Well, I’m On My Way I Don’t Know Where I’m Going

Let me say up front that I like Junius Rodriguez. He is the only viable Democrat running against unrepentant ZEGS fellator Darin LaHood, our current rep. And Junius works hard. Since last summer, he’s been going to every rubber-chicken dinner that can draw five cranky county Democrats between here and the Mississippi. He just posted that he’ll be attending fifty events in the next thirty days. He’s run before, knows how to do it, and has a relationship with all the local Dems. Since he’s a history prof at Reagan’s alma mater, Eureka College, it would be sweet if he could oust our local political princeling. (Darin is the son of beloved bipartisanship bemoaner, former representative, and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood).

But when I read stuff like this:

and this…

… my enthusiasm deflates.

IL-18 is very red. It is a weird-looking district that includes about half of my town and some, but not all, of Peoria and Springfield. Republican candidates carried the district by around fifty points in the last three elections. I’m no gerrymanderologist, but it’s always seemed to me that the district was designed to keep it Republican, in spite of the fact that Democrats drew it up in 2010.

I’m not saying that Junius should go all Dennis Kucinich. That would be absurd and, I’m pretty sure, not his style anyway. Still, I feel like he is trying to peel off a few Republican votes with the kind of posturing above. Rather than make Sensible Centrist his brand, I would prefer he run as an out-and-proud Democrat. Tell us why Democrats are great, Junius! Not how you can feel like a conservative, but not vote for the Republican. All that being said, I will give him as much money and time as my resources allow.

In the marketplace of elections, however, there are more inspiring candidates running for local and–should Daniel Biss beat billionaire chickenheart J.B. Pritzker in the upcoming gubernatorial primary–even statewide office. And I think it’s natural for people, even if they are pragmatically inclined, to give just a little bit more to campaigns that dare to articulate something more ambitious.

But hey! At least we’re fielding someone here. We need to field someone everywhere.  So let’s heap more onto the fund that’s split between all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.

Goal Thermometer



Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Lyin’ Paul Ryan, Continuing to Debase Himself

(Jeff Danziger‘s website)
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You know what to do

And that is call the Senate.

I don’t know if it will help beyond not not doing nothing.



An important thing this evening

Get mad, stay mad and then be effective in doing something. Balloon Juice is adopting at least one district and perhaps more. We will be effectively active and angry.

UPDATE I will set up a CA-49 Nominee fund tonight for Act Blue



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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Whats going to happen today?

The short answer is mass chaos.

The longer answer is we will seeing some non-controversial bills come up under suspension rules this morning.  Around 10:00 AM, the Rules Committee will vote on the most recent set of changes that were placed in the bill overnight.     Those changes (stripping or punting EHB mainly) are probably going to cost a quarter of a trillion dollars and could lead to millions more not getting coverage but they are not waiting for a CBO score.  Once a special accelerated rule is voted on, the actual voting starts.

My opinion is that we are in good shape if there is an immediate blocking coalition of 23 Republican No votes in the first six or seven minutes.  At that point, the internal logic of the Republican caucus makes voting Yes and seeing the bill Fail become a no reward position so we could see a cascade towards No.  If we don’t see that, I would not be optimistic.

My gut feeling is that AHCA either passes by less than three votes or fails by more than fifteen. I can’t see the incentive structure for a narrow failure as the House leadership will hold the vote open for hours to arm twist a couple of hold-outs.

So call the House one last time.

Update 1:

 

He is from New Jersey, part of leadership and as of this morning he was in the New York Times Undecided/Unclear column. So him moving to a clear No is intriguing.



Bronze is a great age

I want to look at one element of the CBO score. It is the offered actuarial value of plans. Under the House Bill, out of pocket maximums would be fixed but there would be no age banding. The CBO sees this having an interestingly low effect.

Beginning in 2020, the legislation would repeal those requirements, potentially allowing plans to have an actuarial value below 60 percent. However, plans would still be required to cover 10 categories of health benefits that are defined as “essential” under current law, and the total annual out-of-pocket costs for an enrollee would remain capped. In CBO and JCT’s estimation, complying with those two requirements would significantly limit the ability of insurers to design plans with an actuarial value much below 60 percent.

Mechanically, under the House bill without a follow-on phase 2 or phase 3 bill, insurers can probably design plans that have at least 55% actuarial value (AV) coverage as the minimum level of coverage. Bronze right now is 60% +/-2 points of AV.

It will be very hard for people to buy a non-Bronze plan because insurers won’t offer them except at exorbirant prices. Let’s work through my logic.

Insurers are currently required to offer at least one Silver and one Gold plan if they want to sell on Exchange. Those plans are age rated at 3:1 with subsidies absorbing almost all of the local price increase risk for the Silver plan. Under the AHCA, those requirements are not in place and the subsidy is not tied to local pricing. Young buyers who are healthy will either opt out or buy the lowest actuarial value coverage possible because it will cost them very little.

Insurers then have to look at the people who actually need coverage and cost money to cover. They’ll offer a Bronze plan to get the young people in. But if they see a 58 year old asking for a Silver or Gold plan, they know that this person is going to be hyper expensive to cover as they have just self-identified as being high risk and high expense. Insurers won’t offer actuarial value levels above the minimum requirements because they will lose money on those policies.

So we will quickly see a proliferation of $6,000 to $9,000 deductible plans and very little else. That means the 64 year old who is seeing a $10,000 a year premium increase will also see their deductibles increase by $4,000 to $7,000 a year.