Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Hearts & Flowers Brickbats

Potentially good news:

Ever-enjoyable jeering from the peanut gallery:



Friday Night Open Thread: One Small Win

Not so much he said, we said as we said, they lied, IMO — but a win is a win:

The Trump administration has reversed plans to scrap all Obamacare outreach in the finals days of the law’s enrollment period, a day after the move sparked outcry from the law’s supporters and health insurers.

HHS officials on Friday said automatic phone calls and other online and digital outreach — including Twitter messages and emails — would continue through the Jan. 31 deadline for obtaining coverage…

The Trump administration’s decision on Thursday to halt all HealthCare.gov advertising and outreach enraged the law’s supporters, who say ads and other tools — such as reminder emails — have been crucial in motivating younger, healthier people who frequently wait until the last minute to enroll in coverage.

“Let’s be clear: President Trump and Republicans are creating Trumpcare by sabotage — and they are going to have to answer to every family who loses coverage, faces more uncertainty, or has to pay more in health care costs as a result,” Democratic Sen. Patty Murray said in a statement earlier on Friday.

Obamacare supporters have taken to Twitter and other social media platforms to encourage enrollment,and insurers also expressed alarm that the Thursday decision could result in higher prices and more unstable markets…

The Obama administration’s HHS had estimated that 13.8 million people nationwide would sign up for Obamacare plans during the three-month open enrollment window. As of Dec. 24, national enrollment figures stood at 11.5 million people.

If we beat the 13.8 million figure, maybe the publicity helped. If we don’t, let’s pin this around Paul Ryan’s neck tighter than his Good GOper tie.

In other news, the NPS tweeters remain defiant members of the Resistance…



Trump’s EO on the ACA

The Trump administration issued its first executive order. The subject is the ACA. The order seeks to destabilize the non-subsidized and off-Exchange portions of the risk pool by minimizing enforcement of the individual mandate.  Dan Diamond at Politico had the first link to the actual order that I saw:

Section 2 is the critical component for the individual market. Section 3 has significant impact for both Exchanges and Medicaid.

Analysis below the fold:
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Thursday Morning Open Thread: Keep Going After the Bastids

Per Crooks & Liars:

A frustrated Senator Warren asked Rep. Price direct questions about his own policy prescriptions, but he refused to give a definitive answer, even about the cuts he has repeatedly called for.

Sen. Warren discussed his calls to cut funding and asked, “You recently authored as chair of the House Budget Committee would have cut spending on Medicare by $449 billion dollars over the next decade, is that right?

Rep. Price replied, “I don’t have the numbers in front of me.”

She replied, “I have the numbers.”

He said, “I assume you’re correct.”…

Sen. Warren then brought up Trump’s positions on both health care plans, in which he states there will be no cuts to the programs, funding-wise. She asked if Trump was telling the truth and he replied, “yes.”…

Warren said, “Can you guarantee to this committee that you will safeguard president-elect Trump’s promise and while you are HHS secretary, you will not use your authority to carry out a single dollar of cuts to Medicare or Medicaid eligibility or benefits?”

Price said, “What the question presumes is that money is the metric. In my belief from a scientific standpoint, if patients aren’t receiving care even though we’re providing the resources, it doesn’t work for patients.”

Warren said, “We’re very limited on time. The metric IS money. The President-elect…said he would not cut dollars from this program. So that’s the question I’m asking you. Can you assure this committee you will not cut one dollar from Medicare or Medicaid should you be confirmed to this position?

Price replied, “I believe that the metric ought to be the care that the patients are receiving.”

Warren said, “I’ll take that as a no.”…

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Apart from applauding Women Who Take No Shit, what’s on the agenda for the day?
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Open Thread: Repeal and…. Uhhh…

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
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It’s all fun and games, until your constituents realize they’ll be losing their insurance…

Of course, the GOP’s own President-Asterisk has been running his mouth without bothering to check on the Party Line — it’s HIS party now…


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Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Encourage Dissent


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A note from commentor Lizzy L:

For those worried about ACA coverage for themselves and their families…. After hearing about the midnight repeal of the pre-existing conditions clause, a friend of mine called Senator Warren’s office. The woman she spoke to said they are being flooded with calls, as are the offices of Speakers Ryan and McConnell.

Senator Warren’s staff member told her that what would help the most would be to call the five Republican senators who have broken away from the GOP to demand a slow down of the repeal. Tell them how much you appreciate their efforts to stop this train wreck! If this issue affects you or someone you love, share your story with the staffer who answers the phone. (Remember the time difference when you call.)

The senators are:
Senator Bob Corker – (202) 224-3344
Senator Lisa Murkowski – (202) 224-6665
Senator Rob Portman – (202) 224-3353
Senator Susan Collins – (202) 224-2523
Senator Bill Cassidy – (202) 224-5824

if you call the number and get VM, one approach would be to leave an appreciative and encouraging message. I know people who prefer to do that, since calling a Representative’s office often means waiting on hold for a loooong time.

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Apart from encouragement — and resistance — what’s on the agenda for the day?
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Is the ACA (But Not ‘Obamacare’) Achieving Third-Rail Status?

Meanwhile, far from the Village of Media Idiots…

Republicans are debating how long to delay implementing the repeal. Aides involved in the deliberations said some parts of the law may be ended quickly, such as its regulations affecting insurer health plans and businesses. Other pieces may be maintained for up to three or four years, such as insurance subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. Some parts of the law may never be repealed, such as the provision letting people under age 26 remain on a parent’s plan…

To cushion the political blow of upending the system, party leaders are putting out a stream of statements portraying Obamacare as collapsing on its own.

But the Department of Health and Human Services reported that signups reached 6.4 million by the Dec. 19 deadline, an increase of 400,000 over the previous year’s number at this time. Earlier, President Barack Obama said that more than 670,000 Americans signed up for coverage on Dec. 15, “the biggest day ever for Healthcare.gov.”

“The overarching challenge is that the Affordable Care Act is the status quo, and disrupting the status quo in health care is always controversial,” said Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation and former adviser to President Bill Clinton’s health-care efforts. “There are so many moving pieces to this effort involving lots of money and lots of interest groups. So piecing together the votes is daunting.”…

Some Republican aides say they may pursue a replacement through a series of small bills as opposed to one big measure. Leading Republicans such as Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas have said they want Democratic buy-in on a replacement plan. Breaking a filibuster would require the support of at least eight Democrats.

Obamacare continues to be viewed unfavorably by Americans, but the politics of undoing the law are complicated. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll after the election showed 26 percent want to repeal it, while 17 percent want to scale it back. Nineteen percent want to move forward with implementation and 30 percent want to expand it…
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