Late Night Open Thread: Trumpcare, Not Dead Yet! (*Thunk*)

The NYTimes:

House Republican leaders and the White House, under extreme pressure from conservative activists, have restarted negotiations on legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with House leaders declaring that Democrats were celebrating the law’s survival prematurely.

Just days after President Trump said he was moving on to other issues, senior White House officials are now saying they have hope that they can still score the kind of big legislative victory that has so far eluded Mr. Trump. Vice President Mike Pence was dispatched to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for lunchtime talks.

“We’re not going to retrench into our corners or put up dividing lines,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said after a meeting of House Republicans that was dominated by a discussion of how to restart the health negotiations. “There’s too much at stake to get bogged down in all of that.”…

Mr. Ryan declined to say what might be in the next version of the Republicans’ repeal bill, nor would he sketch any schedule for action. But he said Congress needed to act because insurers were developing the premiums and benefit packages for health plans they would offer in 2018, with review by federal and state officials beginning soon.

The new talks, which have been going on quietly this week, involve Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, and members of the two Republican factions that helped sink the bill last week, the hard-right Freedom Caucus and the more centrist Tuesday Group.

Any deal would require overcoming significant differences about how to rework a law that covers about one-fifth of the American economy, differences that were so sharp they led Mr. Trump and Mr. Ryan to pull the bill from consideration just as the House was scheduled to vote on Friday…

Meanwhile, per Politico:

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to her caucus Tuesday, requesting members send their ideas to strengthen the law as soon as possible. Pelosi and ranking members of the committees with health care jurisdiction will discuss the proposals in a meeting Wednesday morning.

“After the collapse of TrumpCare, we must ensure that the Trump Administration does not sabotage the ACA out of spite,” Pelosi wrote. “Then, we can work to improve and update the Affordable Care Act and the health security it provides tens of millions of Americans.”

Pelosi ended the letter by calling last week’s repeal collapse, which stemmed from dwindling Republican support and unified Democratic opposition, a “thrilling success.” Democrats aren’t planning to introduce a full-scale alternative or even a comprehensive overhaul but are looking at specific areas within the 2010 health care law to target for improvement…

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Late Night Open Thread: Pauli Boy (Weak & Nasty, But So Cleverly Marketed)

What I wanna know — when did “wonk” become a synonym for “soulless ideologue”? Or is that just one of those IOKIYAR exemptions?

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Friday Morning Open Thread: Some Well-Earned Schadenfreude

Anything is possible in this fallen world, so there’s still a chance that Ryan and Trump between them can bribe, charm, or bully enough Repub holdouts into voting for their “health care” “plan” (Trump air quotes). But the betting odds are against it, at least for today… and it’s always sweet to see such a bunch of grifters and cravens suffer.

Apart from cheering for more GOP defectors, what’s on the agenda as we wrap up another long week?

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: “Just Not FUN Anymore, Paulie Boy!”

Okay, I’m a little obsessed right now. Because I’m hoping for the political equivalent of a Trump-Ryan murder-suicide pact, and I don’t even care which partner goes first.

Apart from keeping one eye on the perpetrators at all times, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Friday Evening Open Thread: Ryancare — It’s Terrible for Everybody


Even — it is devoutly to be hoped — the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver’s reputation?

That would be a lovely coda to trashing the GOP’s whole misbegotten “AHCA” (Always Helping Cronies Accumulate) no-health, no-hope plan.

What else is on the agenda as we start the weekend?

Horrorshow Open Thread: Repub Healthcare Prop Comedy

Remember the tube sock full of dog turds I mentioned earlier? I think someone hit Sean Spicer across the back of the head with it.

And he may not have been the only victim…

Open Thread: The GOP Manufacturing Its Healthcare Sausage

… if by ‘sausage’, you mean ‘used tube sock full of dog turds and broken glass.’

The Washington Post Wonkblog rebuts (in case you need a link for your low-info social media contacts):

Chaffetz’s remarks comport with messaging from Republican leadership that frames their health-care proposal as a victory for consumer choice… But framing the consumer “choice” as one between an iPhone and health coverage ignores the massive gap between the price of an iPhone and what Americans spend on health care…

…[A]cross the typical life span of an iPhone, we’re spending 12 times as much on health insurance as we are on the phone.

But this, too, is an overly rosy scenario for many of us. Those individual market plans don’t just involve monthly premium payments, they also have high deductibles, too — $4,328 in a year, per eHealth. That represents out-of-pocket spending you need to cover before your plan even starts kicking in.

So let’s say we get sick. We break a leg. We have to get lab work done. Our health isn’t great, so we need a lot of medical care and max out on our deductible each year. Under the standard individual plan referenced above, that works out to about $18,000 in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses over two years. Or, for that span, the price of 23 iPhones.

This all involves a lot of speculation because we don’t really know yet how the GOP plan would reshape the out-of-pocket expenses landscape. But it seems pretty clear that, by virtue of the huge disparity in pricing, smartphones and health care don’t really fall within the same decision-making framework for most of us.