218 in the House

This is interesting. The Republican strategy right now seems to be a game of chicken run against their own members.

The idea is that there are not 24 House members who fear a general election more than their primary or 3 Senators who have either principles or a legitimate fear of a general election to vote against the leadership. They would try to rush through a reconciliation bill that takes out most of the funding of the ACA, the individual mandate, the employer mandate and perhaps add some type of age adjusted subsidies to replace income related subsidies. The idea is that this bill can pass with 50 Republican Senators and the Vice President voting for it in the Senate.

There is a problem:

Now via CNN:

Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told CNN on Monday that he will vote against a draft of the GOP Obamacare repeal bill that was leaked last week….
Meadows said what is unacceptable to him are the refundable tax credits included in the draft of the bill. Those tax credits, the North Carolina congressman said, are nothing short of an “entitlement program.”

The House Freedom Caucus thinks that the 2009 individual market and Medicaid levels are too generous and too nice. A bill without any age adjusted subsidies of any sort is guaranteed to death spiral the individual market instead of only possibly death spiral the market. The House Freedom Caucus is also sufficiently large to deny a majority to the bill. The challenge is that anything that makes the bill more tenable to the House Freedom Caucus makes it much harder for the twenty three Republicans who are in districts that Hillary Clinton won last year and the dozen or so that are in competitive districts to hide the fact that they are killing the individual market.

Getting to 218 could be much harder than I thought as I always placed my hope on assembling a 51 vote blocking coalition in the Senate.

The following map is where rates for a 40 year old non-smoker would be for the cheapest Bronze plan on the market if there is age adjusted subsidies only. These are plans with $7,000 out of pocket limits. The red zones are very expensive plans for very high deductibles and are the points of local constituent pain that can be used to hammer representatives to look out for their own districts.

Let’s tell local stories with good data of the pain that the House Freedom Caucus wants to inflict on us.

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58 replies
  1. 1
    PaulW says:

    I wanna see if the House fails to get enough votes for this.

    I HOPE the House fails to get enough votes for this.

    I LOVE to see the House GOP split for good over this with both the “Freedom” Caucus and whatever’s left of the Moderate factions break off into their own little groups to where the plurality of votes resides with the Democrats.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    I wouldn’t trust the Freedom Caucus. But we’ll see.

  3. 3
    David Anderson says:

    @Baud: o trust them to get what they want while they wedgie the GOPers who have to get re-elected in blue or purple districts

  4. 4
    Tokyokie says:

    I would think “Rep. X voted to kill you” would be a powerful general-election argument.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    You fixed the map… Tee hee hee
    Force the GOP to own this. Give them no Democratic Party assistance.

  6. 6
    p.a. says:

    @Tokyokie: but he way more killered the blah people with this vote so REELECT!

    (Sadly this will work in a non-neglible number of districts. With Luntz-approved dog whistle and weasel words of course.)

  7. 7
    Jinchi says:

    I’m always shocked that Republicans hate the poor so much that they are willing to risk political suicide to make people’s lives miserable.

  8. 8
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Nice to see that Republicans are so invested in taking away health insurance from their fellow Americans that it is causing them distress. It’s not as if they couldn’t put that energy into fixing the ACA to make it even better and thus useful to their constituents.

  9. 9
    Hal says:

    This may have been posted already, but John Oliver has a very good piece on the ACA.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YEGpriv2TAc

  10. 10
    satby says:

    Any thought that they committed to killing it but know they can’t really, so this way they know it will fail, and then they can quietly let the matter fade into the background? Where they can kill it by tweaking until it falls apart but no one will be able to point to one single vote to blame?

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @satby: Then the blame will fall on Trump, and he wouldn’t like that.

  12. 12
    sigaba says:

    Ryan is no Tom DeLay.

  13. 13
    Buskertype says:

    @Baud: most of them privately despise trump, I’d wager.

  14. 14
    germy says:

    Source said Rs will hold hands and jump off the cliff, someone called it the Thelma and Louise plan

    I thought the Thelma & Louise plan was to drive quickly off a cliff. Didn’t Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid jump?

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    @satby:
    I think that they believed that they would shake away some Democratic support. Giving them bipartisan cover.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    NorthLeft12 says:

    I mentioned this in another thread, but counting on elected Republicans to be craven cowards who lack all vestiges of decency and empathy is a pretty safe bet.
    The GOP leadership know their minions better than anyone. SAD!

  18. 18

    Meanwhile, the odious Marsha Blackburn of TN is trying to claim that the 2 parts of Obamacare people actually LIKE are “Republican provisions.” Four Pinocchios, bitch!

  19. 19
    ET says:

    Republicans do like to get in line so am I wrong to think that this might actually work?

  20. 20
    gene108 says:

    Where are the insurance companies, healthcare providers and even the AMA on this Republican insanity?

    They bitched and complained, when Obamacare was in the works and successfully undermined past efforts to expand healthcare, because of the potential downside risk to their business.

    But Republicans are now poised to do more damage to the healthcare market place, than Democrats ever could by expanding access, and these titans of industry are sitting on their hands and not doing a damned thing in opposition.

  21. 21
    amk says:

    @gene108: the insurance honchos are busy with photo ops with the twitler with his creepy smile. Isn’t ama full of rich asshole docs?

  22. 22
    Jinchi says:

    @rikyrah:

    I think that they believed that they would shake away some Democratic support. Giving them bipartisan cover.

    It sounds like their plan is to kill Obamacare unilaterally, forcing Democrats to join them in voting for a bare-bones replacement. They’re counting on Democrats believing that even a Republican plan is better than nothing, even if it’s far worse than Obamacare.

  23. 23
    Taylor says:

    Are they trying to get this done before the election in Georgia’s 6th district?

    At this point, my expectation is that disaffected Republican voters will come home like they always do. But if there was an upset victory here for Democrats, there would be widespread panic on Capitol Hill.

  24. 24
    debit says:

    @Jinchi:

    It sounds like their plan is to kill Obamacare unilaterally, forcing Democrats to join them in voting for a bare-bones replacement. They’re counting on Democrats believing that even a Republican plan is better than nothing, even if it’s far worse than Obamacare.

    My instructions to my reps were, “If they burn it down, let them choke on the ashes. Make them own it and do not help them clean it up.”

  25. 25
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Southern Beale: So what if the parts of the ACA people like are Republican ideas? The question now is what are Republicans going to do to fix the ACA so it serves people better? Why are they trying to destroy it?

  26. 26
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Jinchi: And I hope that Democrats don’t take the bait. Democrats should be insisting that the ACA remain as is with some adjustments to fix its problems. Destroying it and replacing it with nonsense is of benefit to no one.

  27. 27
    Jeffro says:

    @Jinchi:

    It sounds like their plan is to kill Obamacare unilaterally, forcing Democrats to join them in voting for a bare-bones replacement. They’re counting on Democrats believing that even a Republican plan is better than nothing, even if it’s far worse than Obamacare.

    Maybe…but it seems like Dem MoCs are catching on that the people and momentum are with us/Dems/Obamacare on this one. Even poor white folks are realizing this Ay-Cee-Ay thing (NOT OBAMACARE, of course, but the Ay-Cee-Ay) is one of the best things that’s happened to them in decades.

  28. 28
    Jeffro says:

    Also…when we talk about Republicans holding hands with Trump and jumping off the cliff…that’s about far more than Obamacare repeal. It’s everything. They’ve voted for these horrendous cabinet secretaries, they’ve already voted for additional pollution in waterways, and most of all, they’ve already clearly indicated they’re going to cover for Trump and Russia – no special prosecutor, no need to subpoena those blessed tax returns.

    They’ve let the toddler keep the car keys (and whiskey) – and they are going to pay for it.

  29. 29
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So the Freedom Cacus doesn’t like repealing Obama Care, because the bill is not nearly viscous enough for their tastes?

  30. 30
    MomSense says:

    I looked at the subsidy proposals and they are insulting. Honestly I don’t know what to do at this point. Right now I have good insurance that I can afford. It makes it possible for me to work, to support my family, to make sure my kids are educated and productive members of the community. And hey I even get takeout sometimes, buy things that help the economy. I own a home,maintain it, add value to the houses in my neighborhood, and all this is possible because I have been able to count on having insurance when something happens. My medical costs including insurance premiums have been stable the last three years. That is a huge benefit to me. When I had my complications from routine screening last year and ended up in the hospital needing expensive treatment, I didn’t lose my house because of the high cost. I didn’t stiff the hospital. I didn’t orphan my kids. An HSA wouldn’t have covered the cost. The subsidies for a bronze plan with high deductible/out of pocket/co insurance would still have left me in a financial mess.

    The Republican plan is a nightmare. It’s bad for the economy. It’s bad for ordinary people including a helluva lot of Republican voters. It’s bad for rural hospitals and rural providers. Are they just motivated by hatred? Are they just the kind of people that like to set things on fire to watch them burn? There is something deeply wrong with the people who support this plan. It is morally indefensible.

  31. 31
    Woodrowfan says:

    @germy:

    Butch Cassidy: Alright. I’ll jump first.

    Sundance Kid: No.

    Butch Cassidy: Then you jump first.

    Sundance Kid: No, I said.

    Butch Cassidy: What’s the matter with you?

    Sundance Kid: I can’t swim.

    Butch Cassidy: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.

  32. 32
    me says:

    @ET: Nope, not wrong. Rolling over is a Republican specialty. Hope people keep the pressure on so it fails.

  33. 33
    satby says:

    There is something deeply wrong with the people who support this plan. It is morally indefensible.

    Yep.

  34. 34
    me says:

    Although, the funniest result would be for them to pass it and Trump then vetos it. He shits on Paul Ryan for sending him such an awful bill. Sad!

  35. 35
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    Question about the map: are the greyed out US states those with no data, successful state exchanges, or…..? I notice it’s mostly blue states that are in the grey, but Idaho throws me off.

  36. 36
    msdc says:

    The new map is much more readable, thanks.

    If I could suggest a couple of minor revisions, it could use a better title (what’s a “bin” and why should I care?) and the last spot on the policy rate color key needs to get moved up to its proper numerical position. With a few tweaks, I think this could go viral and illustrate the costs of ACA repeal.

    (Also, why do we not have data for certain states? Is it because they set up their own state exchanges–which I kind of doubt in Idaho’s case–or something else?)

  37. 37
    msdc says:

    @Tokyokie:

    I would think “Rep. X voted to kill you” would be a powerful general-election argument.

    Except the fact-checkers would call it the Lie of the Year (because it’s too honest) and the pundits would cluck about incivility, and the voters wouldn’t even mind necessarily as long as Rep. X killed the other guy first, you know, the guy next to them in the underpass without a cardboard box to sleep in or a rat to roast over the burning trash bin.

  38. 38
    rikyrah says:

    @MomSense:

    The Republican plan is a nightmare. It’s bad for the economy. It’s bad for ordinary people including a helluva lot of Republican voters. It’s bad for rural hospitals and rural providers. Are they just motivated by hatred? Are they just the kind of people that like to set things on fire to watch them burn? There is something deeply wrong with the people who support this plan. It is morally indefensible.

    sociopaths.the entire lot of them

  39. 39
    lapassionara says:

    @rikyrah: This. Even if a person does not care about other people, most people care about the economy. Some rural areas have hospitals that are economic drivers for their communities. Take away the ACA, and these hospitals will be negatively affected. Why don’t the R’s care about rural communities?

  40. 40
    Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire says:

    @me: you know what? That actually might be a smart move on Dolt 45’s part. He gets to make himself look like a populist hero with his base and a lot of voters that held their nose and voted for him.

    He has no plan or the intelligence to come up with one if he vetoes, though. Still, dumb folks will give him credit for “caring about rill ‘Muricans.”

  41. 41
    Tripod says:

    This isn’t about healthcare or health insurance. They are attacking a specter, which has dissipated like dust in the wind.

    Meep meep motherfuckers.

  42. 42
    Tripod says:

    @gene108:

    They’re all chomping at the bit to (re)spend billions on this dumb fuckery.

    NOT

  43. 43
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Supposedly Paul Ryan has shut off all phones and fax machines in his offices and he’s not accepting signed petitions from individuals either. An alternative is to flood him with postcards – IOW use the Hogwarts tactic of escalation when the Dursleys wouldn’t accept Harry’s mail. Here’s ZEGS’ address:
    PAUL RYAN
    700 ST. LAWRENCE AVE.
    JANESVILLE, WI 53545

  44. 44
    Mike in DC says:

    The Freedom Caucus version would lead to thousands of preventable deaths, and tens of millions losing health insurance, and 100 seats in the House plus a narrow Senate majority. On balance, I hope it fails.

  45. 45
    Jeffro says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    Supposedly Paul Ryan has shut off all phones and fax machines in his offices and he’s not accepting signed petitions from individuals either.

    I can’t think of a better description of pure, distilled, modern GOP (and Ryan most especially) than to shut off the input of voters while working frantically in the service of the Hard Randian .01%.

  46. 46
    ThresherK says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: He’s one step ahead of you: A ZEGS staffer filled out a mail-forwarding card, to 123 Main St, Anytown, USA.

  47. 47
    hovercraft says:

    They also have a time bomb that is set off to go off next year.
    Here’s How Republicans Plan To Purge More Voters In 2018 And 2020

    After 9/11, the Bush administration began working on the implementation of a national ID. Its stated purpose was to assist national security agencies in better enabling them to identify terrorists. Though I fail to see how an ID will help them identify terrorists when many attacks in the U.S. are committed by Americans. Nonetheless, the result was a project supported by the conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, called the REAL ID Act.

    Though the deadline for states to comply has been extended in the past, there is no reason to believe that it will be extended again. About half of the states are already in compliance, and they just happen to be red states. As of January 22, 2018, you will have to have one of these IDs. To obtain this new federal ID, you will need:

    – a valid photo ID or non-photo ID that shows your full legal name and birth date
    – your social security card
    – your birth certificate
    – proof of citizenship (it does not say what this means or why it is needed)
    – two forms of proof of residence such as a utility bill and phone bill

    Your state is then required by law to digitally photocopy all of the above documents and attach them to your file. This file is then legally required to be shared with all other states and the federal government to include all government agencies.

    Anything that requires a photo ID will require this federal ID. That means you will need one to drive, to fly, obtain a marriage license, to fish, hunt, buy a gun, to rent a car, a hotel room, to buy a cell phone, open a bank account, to apply for a job, buy cold medicine and other prescriptions, go to the hospital, adopt, enroll your kid in school, visit a military base and to visit your representative’s office in D.C. You will also be unable to apply for welfare, food stamps, unemployment, medicaid, medicare or social security without obtaining this new ID.

    The REAL ID Act is an unfunded law. This means that states will be required to foot the bill for changing all IDs to federal IDs. And since states are funded by taxpayers, you will have to pay higher fees for those new licenses and ID cards. If you are like me, you will also have to pay for this new ID even though your current one is not expired.

    For the most part, the new IDs will look similar to your old one and contain the same information. The difference is in the bar code. All your information will be stored in this bar code to include every time it was swiped and where. The federal government will know every time you rent a hotel room, where and for how long. They will know if you own guns, how many and of what type. The federal government will know what type of meds you take and why. They will be able to track your purchases and movements each and every day.

    The real purpose of the REAL ID Act:

    At the moment, feds are claiming they won’t be used for voting, but then why collect information on your citizenship if it’s not going to be used for voting purposes? And like I said, most terrorist attacks in the U.S. have been committed by U.S. citizens. Make no mistake, this is one of the main purposes of this federal ID. It was put forth by the party that claims to want less government, less regulations and red tape. But that is only for their businesses and not for citizens. When it comes to voters, the Republican Party and The Heritage Foundation have long touted that less voters means more republicans win.

    Mark my words, this is how they will purge voter rolls in 2018 and 2020. The 2018 midterms are in November so this ID could be required for that election. The poor, elderly, and minority voters will not be allowed to vote because they could not obtain these new federal IDs. All this time, we thought the closing of DMV centers in black and poor districts was to make it hard to register to vote. That may have been a side benefit, but the actual purpose was to make it as difficult as possible to obtain these new IDs that will be required to vote.

    Welcome to the United States of Not So Free After All.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    I think that this will be a train wreck if is allowed to go fully into effect, think ACA roll out times eleventy. Given it is supposed to affect everything from hunting licenses to DL’s I suspect even the yahoo’s will have a problem with this when the time comes. I know they are okay with Big Brother when one of theirs is in charge, but there are enough libertarians over there to join us in kicking up a ruckus. At least I hope so.

  48. 48
    cmorenc says:

    @p.a.:

    (Sadly this will work in a non-neglible number of districts. With Luntz-approved dog whistle and weasel words of course.)

    We love to hate the sociopathic Frank Luntz, but if we had a sociopath nearly that good working for our side, we would have won more elections and had a majority in at least one house of Congress, if not the Presidency as well. True, Luntz-for-hire will sometimes run “focus groups” in a manner pre-loaded to give the desired result for his GOP paymasters, but that not the sort of enterprise that really works or distinguishes his skill-set above that of a couple dozen other GOP political consultants. Luntz’s special skill is working a focus group to closely study the key motivations of participants and what sorts of appeals trigger those motivations toward or against particular outcomes. He’s a true curious student of other people and what makes them tick insofar as their voting behavior – which is the key thing that enables the wordsmithing side of his talents to often be so effective. Unfortunately, he has chosen to put to use his talents toward evil ends, in part because that pays lots better than being a good psychology or communications professor at some college somewhere, and in part because he’s an IGMFY asshole when he isn’t being a student of other people.

    True, Luntz makes me sick with his mendacious word manipulations – but at the same time, I wish we had someone that effective at voter motivation working for our side.

  49. 49
    Ruckus says:

    @ThresherK:
    Send the cards to every TV station, newspaper in or that covers the district. If you can’t get to him directly, get to him through back channels. And how does he shut off the mail service to his office in DC?
    Make him a public pariah, he wasn’t going to listen to the cards sent directly to him anyway.

  50. 50
    Barbara says:

    @germy: The Toy Story 3 plan? Which, I think was somehow derived from a scene in a Lord of the Rings movie, except I didn’t see it. That’s where the escaping toys all hold hands as they begin descending into a garbage incinerator. It somehow seems more fitting for the House Republicans to meet their end in a garbage incinerator.

  51. 51
    hovercraft says:

    @cmorenc:

    We love to hate the sociopathic Frank Luntz, but if we had a sociopath nearly that good working for our side, we would have won more elections and had a majority in at least one house of Congress, if not the Presidency as well.

    One tidbit that people rarely mention is that Spokes Cobra KAC, got her start in the polling/ strategist world working for Luntz, we may all hate her and point and lie at her blatant lies, but she does actually know what she’s doing. A disturbing number in the I think it was the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll was the percentage of people who believe that the press is being unfair to the shitgibbon and nitpicking everything he does.

    The poll asked 1,000 people if “the news media and other elites” are exaggerating the problems with the Trump administration.” Fifty-three percent of respondents agreed with that statement, while 45 percent disagreed. The poll also found that a majority of respondents, 51 percent, think the media has been too critical of Trump. Forty-one percent said the press has been fair to the president.

    We may laugh at alternative facts and all the turmoil, but for far too many people the push back is working. Apparently we are supposed to grade the new president on a curve. Unfortunately for us, the rest of the world probably won’t.

  52. 52

    @Adria McDowell (formerly Lurker Extraordinaire: The gray states are the states that are not using Healthcare.gov

  53. 53
    Barbara says:

    @gene108: I assure you they are trying to work every angle they can, probably including getting changes they think would make the whole thing more workable. I don’t know how much unity there is, although I think around the edges most agree that certain provisions need to be tightened to make the risk pools more predictable and better functioning. These are sometimes perceived as penalizing consumers.

  54. 54
    randy khan says:

    @hovercraft:

    Here’s a link to a DHS page that shows what states have compliant IDs:

    ID please?

    About half the states are compliant now; only a handful don’t have extensions. You can look at the map to decide whether it’s mostly red states in compliance, but there certainly are blue and purple states that have complied.

  55. 55
    ruckus says:

    To be honest I fail to see the major problem here with a national ID. Other than there are still many people who don’t have the necessary paperwork available. I think that the concept of a national ID takes it out of control of the states. I can see national automatic voter registration as a real possibility from this. And I fail to see a problem from a freedom standpoint, the government already knows you, has your information, etc. You have a passport? You already have a national ID.

  56. 56
    The Moar You Know says:

    You have a passport? You already have a national ID.

    @ruckus: I was stunned to find out when I went to renew in 2011 that less than 5% of Americans have passports. I just assumed it was something you’d do.

  57. 57
    Cain says:

    What a bunch of pricks. Democrats should put in a bill that ends Congressional health plan under the same idea that it is an entitlement program. I don’t understand why these assholes get govt healthcare?

  58. 58
    Nat says:

    @rikyrah:

    The suffering of others is important to Republicans. A true Republican cannot sleep at night unless they know that others are suffering due to Republican policies. It feels morally just to them. And they believe that it is pragmatic, that it will compel people behave in a manner that is appropriate to their economic status. If you are poor you should be servile and ashamed. It is the old, core belief that if you were worthy you would be rich. And if you are not rich you should not expect health care. There was a Republican debate in 2011 where an exchange between Wolf Blitzer and Ron Paul made this very clear. If Democrats had any stones not a day would pass without attacking Republicans on this. Without bona fide healthcare equality the whole notion of equal opportunity in America is a sham, and that is how our Republican pseudo-aristocrats want our society to work.

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