Home / General / Millions to Be Liberated From Neoliberal Bailout of the Health Insurance Industry

Millions to Be Liberated From Neoliberal Bailout of the Health Insurance Industry

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Much more about RyanCare this week, but here’s the bottom line:

The proposal defunds Planned Parenthood. No federal funding can be made, either directly or indirectly, by Medicaid to a healthcare organization that “provides for abortions,” other than those done in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.

[…]

Essential health benefit rules are repealed. As of Dec. 31, 2019, ACA rules that required qualified health plans to provide hospitalization, maternity care, mental health services and other benefits would be sunsetted. That’s likely to make maternity coverage, among other services, immensely expensive, if available at all. State could maintain the standards if they wish, but the federal standards would be eviscerated.

[…]

Income-based premium subsidies would be replaced by age-based subsidies, which will hurt working-class families in many states. Under the ACA, subsidies to help individual buyers afford premiums and (for poorer households) deductibles and co-pays were based on household income. The GOP measure will base them on the buyer’s age, instead, with older buyers receiving more help than younger. The GOP plan limits subsidies to $4,000 per individual; under the ACA, which also keys subsidies to the cost of benchmark insurance plans in the buyer’s home market, the subsidies theoretically could be several times higher.

As we reported last week, this scheme would reduce subsidies to many of the people who need them the most, while awarding them to recipients who don’t need them.

[…]

The Medicaid expansion is killed. As of Dec. 31, 2019, the Medicaid expansion is repealed. Traditional Medicaid will be block-granted, a system almost certain to result in less federal funding for the joint state-federal program than it would have received, over time. The neediest and sickest Americans will increasingly be on their own, as states get less federal help to provide them with medical services.

All of Obamacare’s taxes are repealed, another boon for the rich. Everything from the tax on tanning salons and medical devices to the surcharge on high-income taxpayers will be gone. As we explained earlier, this amounts to an enormous tax cut for the wealthy — at least $346 billion over 10 years, every cent going to taxpayers earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for couples). The proposal would sharply raise the limits on contributions to tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts — another gimme for the rich.

To summarize, RyanCare will take away health insurance from millions of non-affluent people, make the insurance people do have much worse, and open a major front in the War on Women in order to pay for a massive upper-class tax cut. In conclusion, Both Sides Do It but Hillary Clinton is worse.

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  • EliHawk

    But Scott, this just means that Single Payer and Medicare-for-All is just around the corner!

  • Hercules Mulligan

    I know it’s tempting to say “if we can call what Trump says a lie, why can’t we call Paul Ryan a liar, too,” but as we found out today, the Washington Post is still Very Upset when people call Trump a liar, so clearly we have some ways to go.

    • Marlowe

      I could hear Amber Phillips clutching her pearls all the way to my apartment in NJ. I do hope Aunt Pittypat made room for her on the fainting couch. My God, the Onion couldn’t have written a better parody of both-sides-do-it-ism no matter how hard they tried. Maybe the spirit of David Broder wandering the WP halls literally possessed her. I think even Ron Fournier would have been embarrassed to pen that piece at this point. Hard to choose a favorite part of this screed, but noting that the Democrats are blocking Der Drumpfenfuhrer in such historically unprecedented ways as threatening to filibuster his SC nomination (without a mention that the GOP declined to even hold hearings on Obama’s pick for nearly a year) is certainly a candidate.

    • I just looked it up. That piece is incredible. First, she ignores the lies Sanders mentions (size of the inauguration crowd, margin of victory, birther claims) in favor of discussing a more recent, controversial claim (Obama wiretapping Trump). Second, there’s the link to a “why the media doesn’t call Trump a liar” article from November 2015. Well, yes, when Trump was running you didn’t call him a liar when he lied, and now he’s president, and the president is a liar. Great job!

      Trump repeatedly makes statements that are verifiably false, about information he has access to, and which he has been publicly informed are false. (For example, his claim about his margin of victory.) That is lying, or nothing is.

  • ArchTeryx

    What it means is that, if this crap actually goes though, my death clock begins counting down in earnest. Obamacare saved my life…but apparently, only long enough for the Republicans to repeal it.

    Both Obamacare and my life.

    (And, as I often say, I’m a white guy with a STEM Ph.D. who happened to end up on Medicaid, thanks to the worst scientific job market since the Depression, and a chronic illness that roared in when I was in grad school. Pre-Obamacare, I had junk insurance and the only way I survived was surgery that my friends paid the co-insurance on. Best health care in the world if you can afford it, baby! Only problem is, it requires lifetime maintenance. Stop the treatment, I go within about a year afterward. That’s why I have a stacked disaster flowchart if repeal actually goes through…and the bottom rung is self-euthanasia).

    • Cheap Wino

      I remember you posting earlier about your situation. It must be terrifying to watch this happen in slow motion. Is it possible for you to do something drastic like move to England?

      • e.a.foster

        G.B.., yikes they’ve got that May woman and Boris, better he just drive to the border and jump a small ditch and welcome to Canada and refugee status. Yes, you get medical coverage. With a PhD you’d most likely be able to get a job at a university and/or college and with that comes not only your provincial health care but a union contract which gives you an extended health care plan for dental and prescription and massage therapy oh and don’t forget your shrink. No guns though. We
        re kind of strict about that, but we do have a decent medical system and everyone can get anything from abortions to heart transplants and most provinces have some sort of prescription coverage. Oh and the best part, we have the best looking political leader in the world not some fat nasty over the hill white guy. the Prime Minister isn’t bad at yoga either. I know the U.S.A. has some problems last week with people who didn’t like people of south Asian descent, (from India) and last week managed to shoot 3, but our minister of defense is a practising Sikh.

        We’re good at re-settling refugees. while the U.S.A. took in approx. 18K we took in 40K Syrians and they’re all doing fine, with health care.

      • guthrie

        I’m afraid not, unless they can get a job, ideally one which pays quite well if they have a dependent too. Also our jobs market isn’t very good too, after 40 years of mostly neoliberal policies.

    • Marlowe

      Well, luckily my health is good, but I’m a Jewish guy with a Colgate BA and Cornell JD who ended up on Medicaid after losing my job in my late 50s during the financial meltdown. After taking early Social Security at 62 plus a private pension, my income increased dramatically and I bought insurance through the ACA marketplace–which the Ryan bill would almost certainly make unaffordable. Luckily for me at least (but not for millions of others), I go on Medicaid in just under 18 months. Though if that still exists through my lifetime, it won’t be for lack of trying by Ryan, Price and hundreds of other Rethugs.

    • JR in WV

      What a surprise (not) to find you at the only other blog I bother with on a regular basis. Glad to see you, sorry you are on such a knife-edge with regard to your health care. I really do think seeking asylum in Canada would be your best bet, or even just looking for work there. As I recall you already live in a northern chilly climate, what’s to loose?

      Take care, keep us all posted on your progress.

      There are lots of B-Jers here, they help keep the place classy.

    • [delurking because…awful]
      I’m so sorry for your situation. It’s just enraging and saddening to an extreme.

      On the “plus” side, the current monstrosity delays repeal of the medicaid expansion until 2020 (and may phase it out than abruptly killing it). So, there’s a reasonable chance that the Republicans won’t kill you <– but, fuck, they sure are trying :(

      Wishing you the best.
      [relurking]

      • Why are you lurking?

        • efgoldman

          Why are you lurking?

          Bijan is one of several regulars here and at BJ who stopped commenting after the election.

          • This is true. My proximate cause (in addition to the election) was being tired about Dilan’s campaign of lies and gaslighting, esp how the fact that he carried on that campaign did’t affect his status with a significant fraction of the commenters (there were loads of lovely people who were supportive but this wasn’t sufficient to eliminate the lying). Trump gives me all the lying/gaslighting I care to experience, and more!

            So I choose to spend my time in the more gentil fora that are Twitter et al ;)

            I still delurk occasionally esp when something bad is affecting someone. I still care, after all!

            • The Lorax

              Come back! We need all the philosophers here we can get!

            • Abbey Bartlet

              Come back, please. As a longtime lurker (like, years), you were always one of the commenters who stuck out as good people.

              Dilan stuck out, also, for different reasons.

              • Thanks all! I didn’t mean to decenter this thread from the people with horrendous, unnecessary problems coming down the pike.

                But since I’m here (and waiting for someone), here’s a data treat for you derived from the Wikipedia pages for Bush and Clinton:

                Bush:
                House 67-71 (4 years)
                UN Ambassador 71-73 (2 years)
                RNC Chair 73-74 (1 year)
                Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office to the People’s Republic of China 74-75 (1 year)
                Director of Central Intelligence 76-77 (1 year)
                VP 81-89 (8 years)

                16 or 17 years (note 1 year posts were generally rounded up)

                Clinton:
                FLOA 79-81, 83-92 (12 years)
                FLOTUS 93-02 (8 years)
                Senator 01-09 (8 years)
                SoS 09-13 (4 years)

                12, or 20 (including FLOTUS), or 32 years (including FLOA)

                If you compare HRC’s activity as FLOTUS to GHWB’s as VP, I think they are comparable. (Really, she crushes him.) A lot of GHWB’s positions were clearly mere seat warming.

                So anyone appealing to GHWB as obviously more qualified because he held every position in government doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

                (Non governmental service is a bit harder to guage. He has military service and a business career. She has law school and a successful law practice. He benefited from his father’s connections; she from Bill.)

    • Slothrop2

      Hang in there. I’m in the same boat. I’m amazed that many fellow Americans want to kill people in wheelchairs.

      • I’m very sorry to hear that. Here’s to hoping that horror doesn’t come to pass.

  • DamnYankees

    A point that’s been going around Twitter that I think hits the exact mark is this:

    What policy question is this bill intended to provide an answer to?

    That’s the fundamental problem that Republicans have on Obamacare. All of them want to repeal it for political reasons. But only some of them want to repeal it for policy reasons, and even then, the policy complaints you often here, even from Ryan and Trump, are liberal policy criticisms (e.g. premiums too high, deductibles too higher, etc).

    There is simply no coherent health care policy problem that this bill is trying to fix. Doesn’t exist. It’s a fiction, a kludging together of two things Republicans want – they want the political satisfaction of repealing this talisman they have trained themselves to hate, and they want to give rich people more money. I suppose this bill does do those two things (although if you consider this the starting point of a “repeal” bill, it’s amazing to see how much the GOP has already conceded).

    This bill is an answer to a question no one is asking, namely “how can redistribute money more to richer people while also claiming victory Barack Obama”?

    It’s a disaster. Not just in details, but in its most basic conception. This party is an utter joke.

    • Dennis Orphen

      Criminal organizations are no joke.

      • ArchTeryx

        And you don’t get much more criminal then mass murder by fountain pen. Unfortunately, that sort of thing has a long history in this country already, particularly where health care is concerned. We still mourn those we lost in 9/11, but looked the other way when ten times that many people died every year because of lack of health insurance.

        • e.a.foster

          and lest we forget how difficult it was for some of those first responders to get health care.

          I’d have to agree, those Republicans who oppose health care for all Americans are simply supporting a form of mass murder. thousands die each year due to a lack of health care. If nothing else they ought to be charged with criminal negligence resulting in death.

          it is beyond me how people would want others to die due to a lack of health care not to mention the number of bullets flying around the U.S.A. You’d think everyone would want good health care.

          • CP

            The worst crimes in any society are invariably those that aren’t legally crimes and for which no one will ever be prosecuted. Even though they kill people on a scale that serial killers, terrorists, and violent gangs can only dream of, and exploit them on a scale that the mob and the Nigerian email scammers wish they could come close to.

            • Dennis Orphen

              All for a buck so it’s okay. The sadism is gravy, for those who enjoy that kind of thing.

    • Davis X. Machina

      What policy question is this bill intended to provide an answer to?

      The GOP doesn’t do health care policy. They do the theater of moral deserts. They’re impresarios, not bureaucrats.

      Same thing with the travel ban. Theater of Cruelty, not policy.

      • Socrets

        The GOP doesn’t do health care policy.

        Actually, the GOP doesn’t do governing period. All they do is try to kill as many people that aren’t old, rich, white, and male and send the money to those that are. They’re a death cult of cannibalistic geezers masquerading as a political party.

        • Dennis Orphen

          They don’t govern, they rule.

          • Close. They ruin.

            • Dennis Orphen

              Ruin by incompetent kleptocratic rule.

    • JKTH

      “How do I not get primaried?” is a kind of policy question.

    • John Revolta

      a question no one very few people but all the ones that count is asking,

      Fixxed

    • Chetsky

      This bill is an answer to a question no one is asking, namely “how can redistribute money more to richer people while also claiming victory Barack Obama”?

      In fairness, there *are* rich people (and their fluffers) asking this question. And they have megaphones, yes?

      To echo others: the modern R party has only one policy — to further enrich the already-rich. Immiserating the already miserable is a freebie.

      • DamnYankees

        To echo others: the modern R party has only one policy — to further enrich the already-rich. Immiserating the already miserable is a freebie.

        Then why don’t they just pass a massive tax cut, leave Obamacare alone and let the deficit explode?

        • Scott Mc

          This is where I hope they eventually land. And they can call it a repeal of Obamacare even if it repeals nothing.

          • Pat

            Actually, immiserating the poor is an important policy goal of Republicans. First, when angry and desperate, many will buy guns. Second, anger and fear drive a desire for greater authoritarianism, which means more Republican votes.

            Essentially, Republicans torture the poor, and are rewarded with positions.

        • Chetsky

          Crap. You’re right. Let me come in again ….

          *grin*

          Yeah, immiserating the poor is part of the plan too. I forgot about the whole status-goods part of the thing. Every iota worse for the poor, makes what the rich get just -that- much more delicious.

          Truly, they feast on the tears of newborn children and aging grandmothers.

          • Donna Gratehouse

            Yes, a feature not a bug.

          • CP

            Yep. It’s not about money and hasn’t been for years now. Making the poor suffer is an ends in itself to these people. At best, it’s an abuser “for your own good” mentality, but it frequently isn’t even that.

    • Uneekness

      I think what gets missed when we guffaw over the ridiculousness of these GOP ‘plans’ for healthcare is the lived in reality of Obamacare itself as policy. And as policy, it didn’t exactly win people over. I certainly expected people to quietly, gradually quit complaining about it as came on line and they began to experience the benefits IRL.

      And yet they didn’t. Why?

      Because it was still complex, shitty American insurance. For a very small amount of people, it gave them access to lifesaving treatment at an expensive but not outlandish price. But for a lot of people, it was just a new expense they had, when before they didn’t.

      Most people without insurance for long periods prior to the ACA still ended up having to pay a not insubstantial amount for coverage with it, and then still not insubstantial amounts to actually use it. And there were still insurance shenanigans – like skinny networks – that could leave you holding the whole bag if you didn’t read the fine print correctly. Thanks, Obama!

      Maybe they just got by without insurance before, and even had massive setbacks due to medical bills before. Or maybe those medical bills are just one of many creditors harassing them, so what’s the difference? Perhaps a final version of Ryancare will allow insurance across state lines, so now a lot of people will get plans that are in fact cheaper. They will be shitty worthless plans but by the time they try to use them and find this out Trump will have been reelected. (And note that the Medicare expansion ends only AFTER Trump wins in 2020.) You can bet your ass that Faux News and Braitbart will be digging up 2 or 3 Ryancare “winners” for every sniffling, sobbing “loser ” they interview over on CNN…

      So: a tiny amount of people will actually and truly get a better healthcare deal with Ryancare (and will be fawned over by the conservative media so much we will all know exactly who those handful are); a large amount will get cheaper but worse coverage, a very large number will just forgo coverage they were never terribly happy to have, and a small number who liked or truly needed Obamacare will be screwed. Everybody on the Medicaid expansion isn’t affected for two election cycles. The ultimate key is the number of people who liked/truly needed Obamacare. If it is really small, than the GOP will get through this scot-free. If that group is large enough to tilt enough GOP races in 2018, then maybe, just maybe, we have found rock bottom and can know there is finally a hard limit to GOP mendacity.

      • Scott Mc

        Um, the Medicaid expansion expires 12/31/19 by this bill. tRump would get a whole year of people who can’t get insurance any more on his TeeVee.

        • Uneekness

          I see that now. An earlier summation I read said 2020.

          • Domino

            No way it would ever stick, though. This reads as designed to be theoretically repealed, but in reality no way would the Republican Party be comfortable overseeing that fiasco.

    • LeeEsq

      There are too potential policy questions this bill is intended to solve. One is sincere and the other cynical. The sincere policy question is that can the magic market (TM) be used to provide health care to the masses. The idea is if you kill government involvement with healthcare and the insurance industry, healthcare will magically and mystically begin behaving like every other consumer good. There are people who will go through all sorts of mental gymnastics to believe that the magic market (TM) is always the solution and nothing will persuade them otherwise. America has a high percentage of these people. The more cynical policy issue the bill is intended to solve is can the Republicans pass a bill that favors the wealthy, calms the social conservatives, and convinces Americans that they can still govern.

      • JohnT

        I’m normally a Moderate (TM) – in Europe I’m not even a Social Democrat – and willing to look for sincere areas of legitimate disagreement. However, in an American context the first point is not a legitimate point of disagreement because unlike the rest of the civilised world they actually tried the Magic Market for decades and it didn’t work. It just didn’t. The only way in which one can think you did is if one genuinely ranks the right of rich people to have more money over the right of poor people to have reasonable healthcare (and over the ability of the country to have manageable growth in healthcare costs).

        • CP

          This is, honestly, the entire policy debate nowadays. From creationism to unregulated market based health insurance, over and over and over you find that the position conservatives are defending is one that would’ve been understandable between one and two centuries ago, but the debate was finished and solved long ago, and continuing to pretend otherwise makes you obtuse at best and a liar at worst.

        • NewishLawyer

          I think Lee was being sarcastic.

    • (((Malaclypse)))

      What policy question is this bill intended to provide an answer to?

      The ACA makes people less subject to the discipline of the market scared, and we can’t have that.

    • Rob in CT

      The ACA is redistributive. It taxes affluent people and uses that money to subsidize poor people’s insurance.

      Republicans see this as a moral abomination. Their issue with the ACA is not that it doesn’t work, but that it does.

      • Pat

        +20 million (with insurance)

  • vic rattlehead

    All those times I grumbled “Kill me” in the shower after having to roll my lazy ass out of bed at the crack of dawn must’ve been taken literally by our trickster deity.

    And my god, the mental health benefits thing has helped so many people I know. Good lord. Paul Ryan is a sociopath. I don’t know that I can ever look a Republican in the eye again. Truly the scum of the earth. No respect for those soulless fuckers. And fuck me, at least the Richard Spencers of this world have a sick belief system, I’m starting to hate the incurious, apathetic pricks who shriek about their tax bill even more. Everything bad in America coming wrapped in the promise of lower taxes, and millions of Good Germans plugging their ears and tuning out everything else.

    • Davis X. Machina

      I’m starting to hate the incurious, apathetic pricks who shriek about their tax bill even more. Everything bad in America coming wrapped in the promise of lower taxes

      Sacrificing everything on the altar of a lower tax bill is an ideologically driven act. I’d go so far to say that the impulse it’s essentially religious in nature.

      • I think John Cole put up a little thing about how the crummy roads in West Virginia were literally costing every driving West Virginian a few thousand in damage to cars every year, when paying taxes to fix the crumbling infrastructure would be a couple of hundred per tax payer. You are damned right it is essentially religious in nature.

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          I know more than a few people who would gladly pay thousands in order to cut their tax bill by hundreds.

          As far as I can tell it’s an irrational hatred of government, because the math certainly doesn’t make sense. (To those who argue it’s just stupidity, I note that these people have a strong emotional attachment to their positions. In my experience, stupid people are more passive in their beliefs.)

          • Hogan

            The government will just waste it. Every time I see a road crew there’s this one guy just standing there holding a stop sign. THAT I PAID FOR. AND SOMETIMES HE MAKES ME STOP. Is this what the Founding Fathers fought for in 1066?

      • rm

        This up there that DXM said exactly — an essentially religious theater of moral deserts. That’s what the middle class blue collar Rs that I know are motivated by — POOR and/or BLACK PEOPLE ARE GETTING SOMETHING THEY DON’T DESERVE, WHILE I PAY FOR IT.

        It isn’t true, but that’s the religious part. They don’t know they worship Satan, because they call him “Jesus,” but they GODDAM FUCKING WORSHIP SATAN. HAIL SATAN, KILL OTHERS but not me.

        • cpinva

          “This up there that DXM said exactly — an essentially religious theater of moral deserts.”

          yes, it is, and I’ve raised that issue before. it’s called Calvinism. it includes:

          a. Predestination: it’s already determined which way you’re headed in the afterlife, from before the moment you’re born. saves St. Peter the hassle of making that decision on the spot, and gets that line moving again.

          b. Identifying those going on the “Up” elevator, prior to them dying: Provides a method for determining who’s destined for heaven, before they actually die. Astonishingly enough, Calvin took the New Testament, with its primary focus on loving your neighbor as yourself, caring for the poor, living and praying humbly, and, by careful calculation, determined that those who are materially successful on Earth, are the ones predestined for Heaven.

          Calvin’s patrons, it turns out, were wealthy people. That Calvin determined these were the ones predestined for Heaven was, I’m certain of it, a complete coincidence.

          • farin

            And as Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D., so shrewdly informs us, a belief in predestination makes one unsuitable for life in a liberal democracy and deserving of liquidation.

          • Manny Kant

            Astonishingly enough, Calvin took the New Testament, with its primary focus on loving your neighbor as yourself, caring for the poor, living and praying humbly, and, by careful calculation, determined that those who are materially successful on Earth, are the ones predestined for Heaven.

            I’m not super familiar with Calvin’s work, but I think this is unfair to him. Calvinist attitudes towards election were more complicated than this. Full on prosperity gospel is an American thing that developed in the nineteenth century (and, really, in its most developed form, after World War II) and is most associated not with Calvinist denominations (Presbyterian, Congregational, German Reformed, Dutch Reformed) but with Pentecostals and Charistmatics

      • tsam

        that the impulse it’s essentially religious in nature.

        I think this one crosses over into cultish territory.

    • los

      vic rattlehead says:

      Good Germans

      Now, the “Good Cucks”

    • I don’t know that I can ever look a Republican in the eye again.

      But, Gridley, how else will you be able to tell when to pull the trigger?

    • Slothrop2

      This is the most beautiful poetry I’ve ever read.

      • tsam

        Yeah–we can tell.

  • Abbey Bartlet

    Anyone who didn’t support Hillary Clinton is garbage and should be treated as such.

    • vic rattlehead

      Pretty much.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Anti-Christian attitide. Luke 15:7 should guide our steps here.

      • Chetsky

        when I see a truly repentant R, I’ll of course accept them. True repentance isn’t “oh, they’re takin’ my mom’s healthcare, so now I support the ACA”. I expect them to do for the least of their brothers and sisters.

        Yeah, like that’s ever gonna happen.

      • Abbey Bartlet

        Anti-Christian attitide. Luke 15:7 should guide our steps here.

        I’m not a Christian.

        A fact that has been clearer to me since November 9th than ever before in my life.

        • rm

          American (white) Christianity is so ass-backwards, often saying (like Huck) “all right, then, I’ll go to Hell” and doing the right thing is the most Christian possible response.

          I think the Biblical language for “ass-backwards Christianity” is “Antichrist.”

          • Quaino

            Why do you feel the need to identify it as white Christianity? It’s not as if black Christianity is any more respectable. They all worship in Churches lead by the same mix of honest, good people and grifters and monsters.

            • sibusisodan

              Black US Christianity, whatsoever its faults, has not had to rationalise the abuse of power to the degree White Christianity has.

              Going all in on a theological defence of slavery can do strange things to a religious movement.

              • rm

                That’s it. There may be many fucked-up iterations of Christianity around the world, and the ones I do admire are imperfect because humans are imperfect. But our problem is the fucked-up church we have at home. It was the white American church that mostly sat out (and some opposed) the Civil Rights Movement, and the black Protestant church that led it. It’s white American evangelicals voting 80-per-goddam-fucking-cent for the Shitgibbon.

                The white American church (a very few traditions excepted), mostly Protestant but including some factions of conservative Catholics, have a legacy derived from justifying slavery, which began traditions of interpretation and priorities that mean today that their preference is for whatever is false, whatever is unprincipled, whatever is wrong, whatever is foul, whatever is ugly, whatever is deplorable — if anything is a clusterfuck or shameful — that’s their thing.

                • sibusisodan

                  Many years ago, before I developed early onset middle age, I heard the New Testament scholar Gordon Fee speak about his role in producing one of the modern new testament translations.

                  He emphasised that the Greek word doulos found in the manuscripts is properly translated slave. But this result (slave of God, etc) was uncomfortable to major US contributors, and so the word servant was used instead.

                  No translation escapes from politics of course, but I thought this particular issue was a little too revealing.

              • Pat

                Do you know that my evangelical family members now claim they didn’t vote for Trump?

                It’s all down the memory hole as far as they’re concerned. They have no idea how he got elected president.

                • rm

                  I don’t know your relatives, but I bet they are sincere churchgoers who do good things or give money to do good things. Shame is a healthy response when one has a conscience and realizes one has done wrong.

                  My “Christian” relatives identify tribally as white evangelicals, but they only see the inside of a church for weddings and funerals, and what they’ve done for other people through volunteerism or giving is bupkis.

                  They are still giddy about Trump. They are big into hating Muslims and poor people.

    • Yup. It gets more horrifying and enraging every day. The massive, destructive, axe they are taking to every single organization, law, principle, legislation, humanitarian intervention, or even kind thought is just staggering to me. And all of this could have been avoided if 100,000 more *&^%$ lazy ass leftist voters, or lazy democratic voters, had gone out to vote in three states on election day. I will never forgive anyone who voted for Trump, or who voted third party, or who voted for HRC but bitched and moaned about it beforehand because she wasn’t good enough for them.

      • Abbey Bartlet

        And all of this could have been avoided if 100,000 more *&^%$ lazy ass leftist voters, or lazy democratic voters, had gone out to vote in three states on election day. I will never forgive anyone who voted for Trump, or who voted third party, or who voted for HRC but bitched and moaned about it beforehand because she wasn’t good enough for them.

        Fire emoji, hands up emoji.

      • DamnYankees

        If it makes you feel any better, this bill will never pass.

        • It would make me feel a lot better. From your mouth to the flying spaghetti monster’s orecchiette.

          • DamnYankees

            I’ve been pretty consistent in my view that they won’t repeal Obamacare. They just don’t have the votes for it.

            They won’t do anything other than minor tinkering around the edges plus tax cuts.

            • Chetsky

              My understanding is, even if nothing changes statutorily, the individual market will die. B/c no enforcement of the mandate (ISTR an executive order to that effect).

              • Nick056

                Unclear that the EO will actually result in the effective death of the mandate.

                • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

                  The impact of most of Trump’s EOs is unclear, because they’re written so vaguely since their major purpose is to appeal to his ignorant base.

                • Cheap Wino

                  The impact of most of Trump’s EOs is unclear, because they’re written so vaguely since their major purpose is to appeal to his ignorant base.

                  By this point the line between ignorant base and DJT’s clown car is so blurred as to be a distinction without a difference. The reason the orders are written so vaguely is because they’re incompetent. It’s the rubes running the show. Of course the orders will be vague and inadequate.

                  The idea of Bannon as Rovian evil genius is way overstated. He’s smarter than Trump but not only has no experience in governing but isn’t interested in doing it right. Bigoted ideologue through and through.

        • Morse Code for J

          I was under the impression that most of this could be done as a bill under budget reconciliation. Are you saying that this bill won’t pass because of the filibuster, or because it won’t even command enough Republican votes for a simple majority?

          • Pat

            There aren’t enough votes in the Senate for this bill to get a majority. And it’s not even cruel enough for the House to get a majority.

        • efgoldman

          If it makes you feel any better, this bill will never pass.

          Some form of something they will call repeal and replace will get out of the house. It may or may not look anything like what they released yesterday.
          But whatever it is will be stalled in the senate.
          There probably aren’t 51 votes to pass it thru by reconciliation. If they don’t do that by a certain date, it becomes regular business and will killed by filibuster.

      • cpinva

        “I will never forgive anyone who voted for Trump, or who voted third party, *or who voted for HRC but bitched and moaned about it beforehand because she wasn’t good enough for them.

        *My Bold.

        this I just don’t get. HRC is probably the single most qualified person to ever run for the job. Obviously not perfect, but who is? And yet, there were people, saying with a straight face, that they just weren’t certain she could handle it. Hell, someone with Trump’s almost complete lack of qualifying bona fides for the job, for him to be a legitimate candidate, for other than some whacko third-party, was an embarrassment to the country. that he somehow got elected, while losing the popular vote by millions, tells you just how fucked we are, as a country and society.

        • Dilan Esper

          I don’t know where “most qualified” came from but it’s utter bullshit. More qualified than HW Bush, who held just about every position in government before 1988?

          She was a Senator for 8 years and a Secretary of State for 4. That’s it. No military experience either. She was amply qualified, no more and no less.

          And I am sorry, a lot of us who voted for her didn’t like her, and we didn’t cause her defeat. We just hurt the feelings of the people who loved her.

          • Murc

            More qualified than HW Bush, who held just about every position in government before 1988?

            Yes. Absolutely. Ideology is part of a persons qualification for governing.

            That said, the statement is still wrong, because it’s an absolute statement covering all past presidential candidates and I can think of a bunch of the top of my head who were definitively, in terms of demonstrated competence, experience, and ideology, more qualified for the job than Clinton.

            But she is competitive. Top fifteen or twenty probably, which puts her in the upper tenth percentile given just how many people have run for President.

            And I am sorry, a lot of us who voted for her didn’t like her, and we didn’t cause her defeat. We just hurt the feelings of the people who loved her.

            This I kind of agree with tho. “You voted for the Democrat, but you didn’t do it in precisely the way that pleases me so fuck you, you fucking traitor” is 100% bullshit.

            • sibusisodan

              “You voted for the Democrat, but you didn’t do it in precisely the way that pleases me so fuck you, you fucking traitor” is 100% bullshit.

              But that’s not the argument. It’s not about hurting feelings.

              It’s about the degree to which tepid or grudging support, with the tepidity or grudgingness often and loudly expressed, affects the voting intentions of others.

              That degree is very small, but non zero. In an election where flipping 40k votes in the appropriate locations changes the result, it’s in the mix of things to try to work on.

              The idea that the constant refrain of ‘Clinton, but…’ had no effect in aggregate on vote or turnout is a thin reed to cling to. It matters at the margins, and here the margins mattered very much indeed.

              • Right. This. Also I am responding to a torrent of still existent leftist, misogynistic, perfectionist, abuse leveled at Clinton and her voters by assholes who still refuse to accept that we had, as a country, a chance to avert the trumpocalypse and get someone pretty good (if not, as I think, great) into the top slot. These people still blame everyone else for their own failures to vote, to campaign, to support, the democrats who were actually at least fighting to win the election. And I’m not ready to make nice or forgive–not when I am personally working with refugee and immigrant families whose lives are upended at this moment. Working in a school system which is under threat. Working in a profession where we don’t know from one minute to the next what will happen to our vulnerable clients.

                And all this talk about our feelings? Jesus christ I never hear the end of the caterwauling from leftist men about how upset they are that their standard bearer didn’t get universal love from the ladies and the minorities. I’m sick to death of the monty pythonesque “lets not argue about who killed who.” Leftist/progressive apathy and hostility towards democrats, hillary, and other voters killed our chances at sane government and may cost us millions of lives. And it shows no sign of going away. We will have to fight the same purity battles all over again next time even though the stakes will be just as high–look at the stupid DNC battle?

                • Karen24

                  I approve this statement.

                  I hope to have the chance to spit in the face of every alleged liberal or leftist who accused Clinton of being a corporate sellout because she worked within the system. Working within the system is the only way any woman ever did or will accomplish anything. We don’t ever get to the Bernie ‘grumpy prophet with terrible hair’ thing. If that’s your standard of purity, then you’re a sexist and a racist and I have no bloody use for you.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  And all this talk about our feelings? Jesus christ I never hear the end of the caterwauling from leftist men about how upset they are that their standard bearer didn’t get universal love from the ladies and the minorities. I’m sick to death of the monty pythonesque “lets not argue about who killed who.” Leftist/progressive apathy and hostility towards democrats, hillary, and other voters killed our chances at sane government and may cost us millions of lives. And it shows no sign of going away. We will have to fight the same purity battles all over again next time even though the stakes will be just as high–look at the stupid DNC battle?

                  Speaking of feelings, I’d argue that one reason Clinton voters–or, enthusiasts, perhaps–are still so fucking angry is we were never allowed to grieve. We weren’t allowed to grieve the loss of the first woman. For many people, this means they will never see a female president. Some of us have been working for this for years and years. And since November fucking ninth, all we’ve heard is how this is our fault, Bernie would have won, we’re the worst.

                  We lost an election, and we also lost history. We lost our dream. And we’re not allowed to grieve that.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  We don’t ever get to the Bernie ‘grumpy prophet with terrible hair’ thing.

                  And you damn sure don’t get to yell and spit.

              • Dilan Esper

                Anyone who thinks I moved 40,000 specific votes in seing states is an idiot.

                Also, it isn’t “just” 40,000 votes. That argument is pure statistical ignorance. You have to move the RIGHT 40k votes. To do that actually requires i move a lot more total votes. If I move 40k votes evenly distributed, HRC still loses.

                • sibusisodan

                  Anyone who thinks I moved 40,000 specific votes in seing states is an idiot.

                  I agree. Although, that would be an awesome superpower to have.

                • Pat

                  No Dilan, you’re a major whiner.

              • Murc

                But that’s not the argument. It’s not about hurting feelings.

                Eh? My feelings aren’t hurt.

                The argument is as I’ve stated: that voting for Clinton wasn’t sufficient, you had to also do it without kvetching or complaint or fuck you. That’s… pretty explicit.

                It’s about the degree to which tepid or grudging support, with the tepidity or grudgingness often and loudly expressed, affects the voting intentions of others.

                I’m responsible for my own vote, not the votes of others. I’m also responsibility for conveying my opinion honestly when asked, and for honestly describing my level of support and reasoning thereof for political candidates.

                And you know what, I’m fuckin’ consistent about this. When Obama was running in 2008 I was the one telling the legions of people who were wildly in love with him (many of whom would later gripe about he “didn’t even try” to pass universal health care and how he was a corporate sellout) that Barack Obama was a reliably centrist Democratic politician who was going to govern well, damn sure better than Johnny Bombsalot, but had no interest in a fundamental re-ordering of the American state or the holding accountable of its worst bad actors. And man, did I catch a ton of fucking flak for that; a guy almost hit me once when I said the words “telecom immunity.”

                I don’t owe any politican my full-throated, shout-till-I’m-hoarse support, nor do I owe them the setting aside of my own opinions to lie about my level of enthusiasm and wonder for them pour encourager les autres.

                • sibusisodan

                  My feelings aren’t hurt.

                  Dilan suggested that the problem is hurting the feelings of Clinton supporters. That’s what I was trying to say was not relevant.

                  I don’t owe any politican my full-throated, shout-till-I’m-hoarse support, nor do I owe them the setting aside of my own opinions to lie about my level of enthusiasm and wonder for them pour encourager les autres.

                  I’m not saying it’s owed to the politicians. Rather it is owed to our fellow citizens.

                  So, yes, you are responsible for your own vote, and not responsible for my vote. But in the gap between your vote and mine is a lot of political discussion, the tenor, content and tone of which we are each partly responsible for.

                  We are jointly responsible for the shaping of our political community. And honesty in opinion is not a sufficient determinative of the proper shaping of that community.

                  Giving your straight opinion of a candidate is honest. And refreshing. And insufficient. Since your opinion isn’t occurring in a vacuum. It influences others.

                  Jill Stein gave her honest opinion (being charitable) over and over. Without considering the background, the stakes, or the consequences.

                  Honesty isn’t enough. Honesty mixed with wisdom is the ticket. It’s that which allows us to use our words truthfully while not working against the overall shared political goal.

                  (to add: I’m teaching you to suck eggs here, I know. But thinking out loud is the best way I have of figuring out why I hold the opinions I do.)

                • Murc

                  I’m not saying it’s owed to the politicians. Rather it is owed to our fellow citizens.

                  I owe my fellow citizens the work of trying to think things through the best I can and then articulating my conclusions in as honest a manner as possible.

                  Giving your straight opinion of a candidate is honest. And refreshing. And insufficient. Since your opinion isn’t occurring in a vacuum. It influences others.

                  This seems like you’re saying I have a responsibility to lie. And that’s bullshit.

                  Jill Stein gave her honest opinion (being charitable) over and over.

                  Yeah, and the problem with her is that her opinions were wrong when they weren’t risible.

                  I’ve no objection to being told I’m wrong. I’m wrong a lot. I object strongly to “shut the fuck up” especially when the rationale isn’t even “you’re wrong” but rather “we’re trying to work the rubes and you ain’t helping.”

                  Honesty isn’t enough. Honesty mixed with wisdom is the ticket. It’s that which allows us to use our words truthfully while not working against the overall shared political goal.

                  I have no particular disagreement with this.

                  (to add: I’m teaching you to suck eggs here, I know. But thinking out loud is the best way I have of figuring out why I hold the opinions I do.)

                  Same. It’s why my comments are usually so long.

                • sibusisodan

                  This seems like you’re saying I have a responsibility to lie. And that’s bullshit.

                  Hmmm. I could have have phrased that better then. Let’s try:

                  I have a responsibility to do a bit of work as to how my comments will be perceived in the wider audience. And to choose appropriate language and representation to ensure that I assist my fellow citizens in making wise electoral decisions.

                  That doesn’t mean lying. But it may mean any of: tempering extreme language, not lazily using inaccurate shorthand, holding my tongue.

                  If I spend the whole of 2014-15 making clear in public fora that Ed Miliband is a neoliberal sellout who I’ll grudgingly vote for, and then Labour lose in a squeaker and we get a Tory govt…

                  …I’ve been honest, but have I been wise?

                • Murc

                  I have a responsibility to do a bit of work as to how my comments will be perceived in the wider audience. And to choose appropriate language and representation to ensure that I assist my fellow citizens in making wise electoral decisions.

                  I would agree with this, with the caveat that at a certain point it is incumbent on said audience to engage their own brains.

                  If I spend the whole of 2014-15 making clear in public fora that Ed Miliband is a neoliberal sellout who I’ll grudgingly vote for, and then Labour lose in a squeaker and we get a Tory govt…

                  …I’ve been honest, but have I been wise?

                  Depends. Were you simultaneously also making the entirely honest case that David Cameron and the Tories are a horror show, that their balls are firmly in the grip of the UKIP, and that the only conscionable choice is voting Labour?

                  Because you can walk and chew gum at the same time.

            • Nick056

              These are the same people who said, for example, wanting Biden to run was evidence of sexism.

              There’s no mystery about what’s going on here. There’s nothing not to get. A lot of people waited 30 years to elect Hillary Clinton, and anyone who expressed concerns about her during this campaign is the scum of the earth to them. People who did so are placed in the same category as Trump voters. It’s exactly the same anger from her 2008 loss amplified by a thousand times, because now, there’s no posting to Secretary of State as a consolation prize and unity gesture, no hope for next time.

              • Dilan Esper

                Yep, that’s it.

              • Pat

                Nick, I see an awful lot that you don’t get.

              • Domino

                Notice how so many of Hillary’s most enthusiastic supporters are completely willing to forgive her for peddling racial conspiracy theories about Obama during the 07 primary. Meanwhile Bernie Sanders waiting a month before officially conceding and supporting Bernie was proof that he was both racist and a misogynist.

                ThrottleJockey said a lot that was wrong, especially regarding Hillary. But he was right that her campaign acted in terrible ways in 07 – Remember the only time Obama accused someone of opposing him due to his skin tone was against the Clinton campaign.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  Meanwhile Bernie Sanders waiting a month before officially conceding and supporting Bernie

                  Agreed.

                • Nick056

                  It’s more than that. Certain people like to occasionally describe her as having won more votes in the 2008 primaries — clearly true only if you count the Michigan primary, which was unsanctioned and in which Obama was not on the ballot. In fact, one theme in the latter stages of the 2008 primary was “counting every vote,” a code for seating those delegates and retroactively sanctioning that primary. And yet! These very same supporters are aghast when Bernie folks claim that the DNC thwarted their candidate.

                  This whole thing reminds me a little of, say, the white South denigrating Longstreet for his reluctance to order Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg or his delay attacking on the previous day. If only he had fought, damnit, if only he had had absolute faith in Lee, the Rebs could have won!

                • Domino

                  Damnit – I need to stop posting about this issue. It’s over, it ended 6 months ago. The primary race ended 10 months ago. A lot of shit if fucked up and Republicans are trying to dismantle everything good about the country in the name of tax cuts for billionaires, and we still are picking fights about the primary.

                  Fortunately the party is unified in opposition, but I just audibly sighed thinking that we’ll get into this again in 2 years when it’s Corey Booker vs either Al Franken or Kirsten Gillibrand.

          • JR in WV

            Dilan,

            You ignorant slut!

            H W Bush held many government positions, and didn’t do that well at any of them. Plus the man shut his eyes to real, constant evil, the ruling philosophy of the Republican Party.

            Between his nearly competent work in government and his tolerance of, if not embrace of Republican evil, how can you compare him to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who spent her entire working life trying to better the lives of those without power in this nation?

            Oh, right, because you are an ignorant slut!

            Please go away and never come back! Calling you a troll is too positive a discussion about trolls.

            • Dilan Esper

              You are using a definition of “qualified” that renders the term meaningless.

              When normal, non Hillarybot types talk of “qualifications”, we are referring to the resume, not ideology.

              If you insist on discussing ideology, though, her centrism, hawkishness, and closeness to high finance has to count too.

          • Abbey Bartlet

            And I am sorry, a lot of us who voted for her didn’t like her, and we didn’t cause her defeat. We just hurt the feelings of the people who loved her.

            If you ran around trashing her, yes, you did help her “defeat,” are you serious with this shit?

            • Yes, he’s serious.

            • Dilan Esper

              Abbey, I can say with confidence that nobody bases their vote on what I say. Seriously. You are making a stupid argument to cover for butthurt.

              • Pat

                I wonder if it’s just a coincidence that when you describe what has been done to supporters of Hillary Clinton, you use the language of anal rape.

                Nope, not at all. You’re a poor excuse for a human, Dilan.

                • Abbey Bartlet

                  ISTR Dilan not having much of a problem with anal rape.

          • Thom

            “She was a Senator for 8 years and a Secretary of State for 4. That’s it. ”

            Yes, that’s it–that’s your sexism right there. You have read out the eight years she was deeply involved in policy in the White House, while Bill Clinton was president. It is the combination of that time with her time as Senator and as Secretary of State that gave her a wide experience of the workings of the government in domestic and foreign issues.

            I still think it is questionable to state that she was the “most qualified ever,” but I think we need to include all her relevant experience. And for that, i would add working for the Children’s Defense Fund, and for the Watergate panel. Experience is not the only thing–Obama came to the White House with no administrative experience and did very well–but it is certainly one important thing to look at.

          • Manny Kant

            More qualified than HW Bush, who held just about every position in government before 1988?

            That is an exaggeration. Bush served in the House for four years. Bush then served in a variety of national security capacities – UN ambassador for two years, de facto ambassador to China for a year, DCI for a year. He then served 8 years as VP, where, as far as I’m aware, he was mostly kept at arm’s length and not with any particular access to power for eight years. He was also RNC chair for a few years.

            Clinton served in the Senate for eight years, served as Secretary of State for four years (more or less exactly the combined length of Bush’s three foreign policy/national security postings), and was a first lady who was one of her husband’s closest political advisors for eight years. I’m not sure there’s any reason to view her experience as substantially inferior to Bush’s.

            I do think that James Monroe (Senator and Governor of Virginia, Minister to France and Britain, Secretary of State for six years, briefly Secretary of War) probably had the best formal qualifications. John Quincy Adams isn’t bad either.

            • veleda_k

              I’m not sure there’s any reason to view her experience as substantially inferior to Bush’s.

              Oh, I can think of a reason. It rhymes with “texism.”

              • PohranicniStraze

                Mexism?

    • Nick056

      Yes.

    • witlesschum

      Anyone continuing to fight this battle from either side in the face of Trumpism isn’t looking real great, either.

    • Slothrop2

      Anyone who didn’t vote for Bernie Sanders during the primaries is garbage and should be treated as such.

      • Abbey Bartlet

        We don’t know what would have happened if Bernie Sanders had not gotten his ass kicked during the primaries.

        We do know what would have happened if all of his voters had voted for Hillary in the general.

  • randy khan

    The part of the bill that confuses me is the lottery winner provision. The rest is kind of standard horrible Republican stuff (although apparently not horrible enough for the Freedom Caucus), but that just sort of seems plopped in because someone got annoyed by somebody else who won a lottery.

    • Its all about being pissy about poor people, or formerly poor people, gaining access to health care. Lottery winners matter because they cross boundaries. They used to be poor, so they are hated by the Republicans. They now are rich, so they can be scapegoated for the moron voters who think that the ACA is being improved on populist grounds. Saying that lottery winners can’t get some benefit is a cheap and easy way to grandstand about how “evenhanded” the repeal is. Its like cutting social security to give the Koch Brothers a tax cut but bragging about how you are preventing Warren Buffet from cashing a social security check. It has the same logic as when the GOP makes special rules preventing people on welfare from purchasing crab legs, or seafood, or whatever else they deem a luxury that people like that are not entitled to. Lottery winners are just another form of welfare queen, in the popular imagination.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        And since the chances of winning the lottery are so tiny, this feature is almost all sizzle and no steak.

        • Dilan Esper

          If you like your lottery winnings, you can keep them.

        • efgoldman

          this feature is almost all sizzle and no steak.

          It might be there as something to be negotiated away, to show how “flexible” they are.

    • DamnYankees

      Conservatives are obsessed with the idea that people get public benefits they don’t deserve. It just connects to the lizard brain. The idea that someone, somewhere might be getting some of my tax money and isn’t a 100% virtuous, victimized martyr is too much for them to handle.

      • Abbey Bartlet

        Conservatives are obsessed with the idea that people the blacks get public benefits they don’t deserve.

        FTFY.

        • DamnYankees

          Well, that’s part of it. But only part.

          • rm

            Yeah, my in-laws are just as upset about white trash getting any kind of benefit. Or Hispanics. And they are very certain that all illegal immigrants are on the secret Obama gravy train all up in your country gettin your benefits.

            • There was a very perceptive article about this during the campaign showing that poor whites had a very negative view of their own relatives and social circle and considered that they were scamming welfare, disability, and health care and wanted to punish them as much, or more, than they imagined they were punishing non whites. I have had this very discussion on an online advice board for women with people insisting that they know people cheat on their taxes, scam welfare, lie about rape because “my cousin did it and has three kids by three different fathers.” And these are identified white, often republican, voters from the heartland.

              • Cheap Wino

                I’ve witnessed this exact phenomenon. I’d be interested to read the article. Do you remember any detail so I can use my weak google-fu and try and find it?

              • mds

                poor whites had a very negative view of their own relatives and social circle and considered that they were scamming welfare, disability, and health care

                Paging J.D. Vance. J.D. Vance to the white courtesy phone, please.

        • Brett

          They get the worst of it, but they’re not the only recipients of that obsession that conservative voters have. Of course, naturally it’s about who supposedly “earned it” rather than a total objection – certainly you don’t see a lot of Republican farmers like noted congress asshole Steve King of Iowa offering to give up their farm aid. The fact that they don’t live up to those beliefs doesn’t affect the fervency with which they are held.

          And it’s been like that for a long-ass time, too. I was reading a book talking about food and aid in the Great Depression, and it talked about how this was at work – “Oh my God, someone might be spending all day going to four breadlines to get the same bread and coffee! Cancel them!”

        • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

          And by definition, these people don’t deserve any public benefits since they’re all lazy, according to RWNJs, which is basically identical to Republican now.

      • FlipYrWhig

        Conservatives are obsessed with the idea that people get public benefits they don’t deserve. It just connects to the lizard brain.

        IMHO it’s virtually 100% of the reason why anyone who isn’t obscenely wealthy is a Republican in the first place. This is why I tend to think that cleverer and cleverer attempts to woo the people who are currently voting for Republicans, e.g. hardworking white Midwesterners, is a futile endeavor. They will never get over feeling this way. It’s how they feel _all the time_. It’s what the Republican Party stands for.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      Kevin Drum notes that a full 10% of the entire proposed bill is devoted to preventing lottery winners from getting coverage.

      Perfect example of using an elephant gun on a mosquito.

      • JKTH

        To be fair, a lot of the other sections that are a much bigger deal are just “This shit is repealed.”

    • nixnutz

      Well Andrew Cuomo already proposed a rule like that for New York so I suspect they don’t want to get out-flanked on their right by him.

    • CP

      Keeping the poor In Their Proper Place. That’s it.

      I half believe that the reason for this is that some Republican congressman stayed up late one night watching Slumdog Millionaire and went to bed horrified, thinking “oh my God, I never thought of that! What can we do about it?”

  • wengler

    Am I to assume this can pass through reconciliation? And if it can, are there three Republican Senators willing to defect on it?

    Also remember the Freedumb caucus in the House might not want to vote for this because it is not a full repeal of Obamacare.

    • randy khan

      4 R senator have issued a letter strongly implying that they can’t vote for it if there are Medicaid cuts. And of course the Freedom Caucus is going to have trouble if there aren’t *more* Medicaid cuts. So we can root for injuries.

      • N__B

        implying that they can’t vote for it if there are Medicaid cuts

        I’ll believe those “no” votes when they’ve been counted.

        • Michael Cain

          I think Sen. Gardner from CO will vote no on the Medicaid cuts. He won his seat in 2014 on a Republican wave and a terrible campaign by then-Sen. Mark Udall, a combination that got him enough votes in the Denver suburbs. This bill would cost him his seat in 2020 and he knows it.

    • I know they plan to push it through reconciliation, but I have a hard time seeing how it qualifies – it would cause huge deficit increases, no? Especially with the taxes being ended immediately but 4 more years before the Medicaid sunset.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        I’m sure they can pass a law to allow it, or maybe Trump simply tells the CBO what numbers to use.

        • I looked more closely – looks like they split the tax cut provisions into a separate bill, so they can claim the main repeal bill doesn’t impact the deficit by pretending all the taxes are still in place.

  • LosGatosCA

    Ezra Klein’s post at Vox is mystifying – he states:

    “The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve”

    Well, yes it does – it’s trying to screw poor people, middle class people to the greatest extent possible under current conditions and funnel as much money to upper income people as is possible under current conditions.

    Later, assuming conditions change favorably after the Democrats don’t show up in 2018, they will complete the demolition task.

    Not getting what’s so hard to figure out.

    • LeeEsq

      Ezra Klein knows this most likely. His style of journalism prevents him from staying it directly. Instead he has to say it indirectly and hint around the edges in hopes that people get it.

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        His style of journalism prevents him from staying it directly. Instead he has to say it indirectly and hint around the edges in hopes that people get it.

        Sort of a version of “useful idiot”, then.

      • Taylor

        Reminds me of the 9/11 Report, that “hinted around the edges” that Condaleeza Rice (whose job was coordinating intelligence) was responsible for 9/11.

        That criticism was so witheringly effective, she was promoted from NSA to SoS.

    • I continue to be baffled by why Klein in particular continues to try to rationalize GOP policymaking when he himself has written at length about how fundamentally deranged Trump and the congressional GOP have become. It’s not like he has to obey some sort of editorial dictate on the matter, and Yglesias isn’t pulling any punches on the topic (and Klein frequently cites those pieces!).

      My best guess is that he thinks this kind of “look, I’m trying to take the GOP at face value, and it just doesn’t make sense” routine will have an impact on the bloodless moderate David Brooks set.

      • Christ I have to sit through lectures like this in my Social Work Welfare Policy class. The professor keeps talking about “framing” and had us read Lakoff on the topic and insists on presenting us with Republican arguments–Ryans arguments–so we can discuss the frames. For christ sake we get it already! They have a way of making their arguments which frame the debate in certain terms. But once you’ve said that you still have to deal with the fact that the arguments are disingenuous, outright lies, based on falsehoods, and not aimed at solving the problem that we are trying to solve. You also should not assume that the ostensible frame or organizing principle is the actual organizing principle because then you will assume that certain decisons/policies/laws don’t make sense when they are exactly what will be advanced.

        This should be obvious (but somehow isn’t to my professor) when you look at abortion and health care policy. IF you wanted to reduce abortions you would try to increase contraceptive use, but they don’t because they don’t care about abortions, they care about controlling female sexuality. Or if you wanted to cover lots of people with medical care and save money, you would do X, Y, and Z. But if when you say “taxpayers” you really mean “koch brothers” then the entire argument skews a different way.

        • FlipYrWhig

          FWIW I would like to see the liberal-to-left spectrum stop using the word “taxpayer” at all. It encodes in one word a whole objectionable politics of amorphous, all-encompassing grievance.

    • Rob in CT

      He’s pitching that at people whose minds will simply shut off if he calls it exactly what it is.

      Whether that works for him is questionable. But Klein knows full well what the GOP is and does.

    • kped

      I really think you (and those who responded) totally whiffed on reading what Ezra wrote.

      His thesis “The GOP health bill doesn’t know what problem it’s trying to solve” is explained in the piece. It’s in point 7.

      This is a profound point. It is difficult to say what question, or set of questions, would lead to this bill as an answer. Were voters clamoring for a bill that cut taxes on the rich, raised premiums on the old, and cut subsidies for the poor? Will Americans be happy when 15 million people lose their health insurance and many of those remaining face higher deductibles?

      Then again, in point 12:

      This bill has a lot of problems, and more will come clear as experts study its language, the Congressional Budget Office release its estimates, and industry players make themselves heard. But the biggest problem this bill has is that it’s not clear why it exists. What does it make better? What is it even trying to achieve? Democrats wanted to cover more people and reduce long-term costs, and they had an argument for how their bill did both. As far as I can tell, Republicans have neither. At best, you can say this bill makes every obvious health care metric a bit worse, but at least it cuts taxes on rich people? Is that really a winning argument in American politics?

      I think he is quite clear in what he is saying, and people here are being a bit unfair (note, I despised his fluff pieces on Ryan, i’m not Klein apologist, but this piece is pretty clear and doesn’t let Republicans off the hook at all).

      • Rob in CT

        I think Ezra learned his lesson wrt Ryan. I mean, I hear some people actually get wiser with experience.

      • Aaron Morrow

        Did Klein fluffing Ryan when he was at the Post? I don’t remember that.

        I personally liked it better when he was getting into the weeds on various issues. These Big Think articles he posts at Vox are just a little too Editor’s Letter for my taste; I think Rob in CT is right when he suspects that Klein’s audience are Very Serious People.

  • furikawari

    The abortion stuff is way worse than just defunding PP. If your healthcare plan covers abortion, you cannot use the premium for that plan to get the tax credit. Of course, everyone is free to choose to buy a separate “abortion plan” if they desire such coverage…

    • Davis X. Machina

      I’m sure insurance companies can’t wait to be associated with such a product, and have the offerings ready to roll…

      • Plans with abortion coverage are generally cheaper than plans without, because maternity coverage is super expensive. The Republicans are “solving” that by dropping the maternity coverage requirement, of course.

        • Chetsky

          The Republicans are “solving” that by dropping the maternity coverage requirement, of course.

          Words fail.

        • Darkrose

          In case there was any lingering doubt about the true goals of the forced-birthers. “Save the babies” = Making maternity care, prenatal care and pediatric care no longer required in a health plan.

        • N__B

          The Republicans are “solving” that by dropping the maternity coverage requirement, of course.

          They are going to be logically consistent own this topic. Since they believe that fetuses are independent of the their mothers, their mandate incentive will apply separately to fetuses. Since the fetuses, having no bank accounts, will not be able to pay insurance premiums, they will go more than 63 days (between conception and birth) without insurance and therefore will be born in debt peonage subject to the 30% penalty on future insurance.

    • NeonTrotsky

      Making Women pay more for healthcare is probably a feature not a bug

    • los

      All of these things are strongly associated with religious bigotry.
      Someday, the whole batch should fall “like dominoes” to 1a challenge.
      (Though as i’ve read, a 1a challenge didn’t work with “hyde amendment” unfortunately.)

  • Davebo

    Pretty much what we all expected.

    In other not surprising news.

    To summarize, RyanCare is a will take away health insurance

    I Can Haz Cheezburger!

  • alexceres
  • Dr. Acula

    Is that guy in the photo trying to look like Brent Spiner’s character from the Independence Day movies?

    • Stag Party Palin

      That guy is the president*’s doctor. Whether he is dead and being manipulated by an alien being is the question.

    • Darkrose

      I don’t know, but pre-emotion chip Data displayed more empathy than the modern GOP.

    • Q.E.Dumbass

      Brent Spiner sure thought so.

  • ForkyMcSpoon

    Even if they can’t pass this, I do worry about the scenario where the GOP allows the Democrats to block this bill but administratively they sabotage the ACA. And with the still lingering uncertainty over the fate of healthcare, you get insurers leaving the individual markets. And death spirals that the GOP would be fine with encouraging as long as they can convince people it’s Obamacare’s fault.

    Maybe they lose this year… but they might get another shot after intentionally fucking things up for a year or so.

    • mds

      And death spirals that the GOP would be fine with encouraging as long as they can convince people it’s Obamacare’s fault.

      Well, I painted a picture elsewhere about my parents’ strong likelihood of falling for this sort of thing, but even so, there are a number of other low-information voters who are going to look at who’s President, maybe who runs Congress, and are going to be unimpressed with their apparent helplessness. The question is the ratio of the size of those two groups.

  • e.a.foster

    it would make more sense to subsidize the young than the old. if you keep younger children/people healthy, they won’t be as sick when they get old. On the other hand, if they get sick while young and die you as a government don’t have to worry at all.

    Not providing adequate health care during the major portion of a person’s life just makes it really expensive when they get old.

    In Canada where we have the dreaded government free health care, except for B.C. where we pay $150 per month for a couple, we spend approx. half of what the U.S.A. does as a country on health care and Canada’s citizens live approx. 2 years longer than Americans.

    It is really beyond me how these nut bar politicians who all have great health care plans refuse to provide adequate health care for at least children in their country. Oh, right must be something in their bibles which forbids it.

    well they could claim refugee status in Canada and at least get health care, no guns though.

    • farin

      Young people don’t vote reliably Republican, so fuck ’em.

  • Dr. Acula

    I just was served the weirdest ad on the front page, saying “Should Hillary Still Be Indicted? Vote Now!” from something called the “Sound Money Defense League”, which appears to be some sort of bizarre goldbug organization.

    • Redwood Rhiadra

      Yes, the Sound Money Defense League is a goldbug organization. Their co-founder, Judy Shelton, is Trump’s chief economics advisor and the person most likely to replace Janet Yellen when her term is up.

      Yes, we are fucked beyond belief.

  • Fake Irishman

    Scott According to a correction on Sarah Kliff’s piece, the essential benefits remains intact. That’s important. The plan is still awful, but actually less worse than I feared. We might be able to get enough leverage over the reproductive stuff and Medicaid to kill it entirely. We’ll see. Until then, I’ll be sending out lots of talking points to my friends relatives and organizations to focus opposition on the plan’s Medicaid cuts and move forward from there. Strap in everyone.

    • Fake Irishman

      Let’s fight this people. We may go down, but do not go quietly into the good night.

    • I’ve seen conflicting reports on this. Roy Edroso has text from the bill that seems to refer to sunsetting the benefits requirement.

  • sibusisodan

    One small piece of potential hope: GOP legislators do not believe jn the necessity of this bill such that they will kill their careers for it.

    If passing it will result in worse short term consequences for them than not passing it, they will walk away.

  • AMK

    The reason the GOP could not just flat-out repeal Obamacare at 12:01 on Jan 20th was political vulnerability—-it hits millions of GOP and marginal GOP voters who might actually blame Trump/Ryan/Mitch for fucking them over. The reason they could not flat-out repeal/delay it is that the insurance markets would not dutifully “delay” collapsing–creating the same situation. Thus, “repeal and replace.”

    So the real question is how does this bill address the problem of giving the GOP enough political cover to avoid enough people blaming them for terrible policy? Yes, pre-existing conditions and some benefits are still covered, but millions of people will still notice that their subsidy/credit is much less, no? (and that’s putting aside the whole repeal/delay of the medicaid expansion). And the real problems with the ACA—like a lack of choice/higher premiums in rural areas–are not going to be solved at all.

    The only demographic group I see this helping is mine–relatively affluent, healthy yuppies whose premium costs will mostly or entirely be covered by the credits, and might well get cheaper insurance by being able to choose plans that don’t have to cover benefits I don’t need, like maternity. But we’re not the people the GOP needs to fool to make this work.

    • Pat

      I have relatives in red states, who are ~60 years old and in poor health, who are receiving over $15,000 in subsidy benefits through ObamaCare. Getting the subsidies meant they could retire from outside work and live off the farm.

      Insurance in poor rural areas is brutally high. At least one of them would probably die if this goes through.

  • Sly

    What’s particularly galling is that they took the one thing that an overwhelming majority reflexively oppose – the mandate – and made it worse.

    A) It’s a 30% surcharge that goes directly into the coffers of insurance companies, and not used as a transfer payment to subsidize people purchasing insurance.

    B) That 30% surcharge is actually regressive compared to the existing 2.5% tax, because it becomes easier to pay the more money you have. A person who makes $50K a year and who buys a policy after a two month gap would have to have monthly premiums below about $350/mo in order for the new penalty to be cheaper than the existing one. A person who makes $100K a year would have to have monthly premiums below about $700/mo to produce the same advantage.

    C) There are no hardship exemptions. House burned down? Fuck you.

    D) And this is perhaps the most important point: if you fall into a two month coverage gap, HOLY SHIT YOU SAVE MONEY THE LONGER THAT GAP PERSISTS AND JUST GET INSURANCE WHEN YOU GET SICK WHO WROTE THIS GARBAGE AN ASSHOLE THATS WHO.

    • rea

      That it does not work is a feature, not a bug, from their point of view.

    • imwithher

      The point is that young, child-free healthies can now just forego the insurance, and pay nothing in the here and now. “Trump just got rid of the Obamacare penalty, hooray for him!” they will say. That they will get hit with the 30 per cent surcharge when and if they ever do buy insurance is a down the road thing, for them personally, and in terms of political consequences.

      I think folks like us underestimate how much young, working, healthy, single, no kids workers resent having to pay the mandate and get no insurance, or pay even more and get not so great insurance that they don’t feel they need and can’t afford.

      This was always the problem with the mandate approach. It is just a little bit too much like saying…we are going to solve the problem of homelessness by requiring homeless folks to buy a home.

      A single person making 36k a year is not rich, by any stretch of the imagination. And yet that person gets no subsidy, and is forced to either buy insurance (which, again, is expensive, and also has a pretty high deductible) that she probably won’t really use, or pay the penalty and get nothing at all.

      The opposition to the mandate is not entirely “reflexive.” The mandate is actually a pretty regressive policy, given that the subsidies don’t kick in until you are at a fairly low income level, and don’t take account of total wealth at all. And the GOP is now going to get rid of it. That’s the selling point.

      That it will make things worse for the entire system, and probably crash it, is another story. But the politics of it are pretty obvious.

      • JKTH

        we are going to solve the problem of homelessness by requiring homeless folks to buy a home.

        That doesn’t make sense. In that analogy, the “homeless” are young, healthy people, but the better analogy is that they’re the people who were having trouble buying insurance were generally older, sick people with pre-existing conditions. The ACA makes it much easier for those people to buy insurance with regulations and subsidies and nudges the young, healthy people into the risk pool to lower costs.

        I’m not sure what the correct analogy is, probably because there’s no easy way to compare housing to health insurance.

        • imwithher

          That’s fair. Perhaps the mandate is more like forcing homeless by choice hippies into buying a house. Or, better yet, young adults living with their parents into buying a home. It is something that costs a lot and the mandated purchasers don’t feel they need it.

          But the point of overlap that I was getting at is that many young, healthy people, making too much to qualify for the subsidy, but not really all that much, and having little or no accumulated wealth either, can’t really afford the health insurance or the penalty, similar to how homeless not by choice people can’t afford to buy a home. What you call a “nudge” they see as a huge expense.

          Maybe part of the problem too is the hassle of it. They have to sign up for it, every year, on an antediluvian website. And then pay for it, out of what they see as their after tax money. Maybe it would have been better if there simply was no choice, and thus no hassle. The cost of the insurance is simply deducted from your paycheck, just like SS and unemployment and FICA. And you get some sort of standard coverage. If you want something else, then you have to go online and deal with it.

          • FlipYrWhig

            You could sort of say it’s like forcing bike commuters to buy a car, because they’d say, “Hey, man, it’s a conscientious lifestyle choice, stop telling me how to live my life!” But we already require people to do a lot of things they don’t especially want to do. We don’t complain that No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service is an unfair Apparel Mandate that infringes the freedom of nudists to patronize convenience stores.

            Even so, the political and public-health crisis this is solving is that… too many people who don’t want insurance are getting it? I don’t think the scale of this problem is particularly vast. It’s not like young people who have the option of health insurance through work make a big show of turning it down.

            • imwithher

              Of course we already tell people that they must do things that they don’t want. The point is that, in general, most people don’t like it. And they especially don’t like it if it means they have to buy something they don’t want, that costs a lot, that they don’t think they need, and that comes with a lot of hassles (balky website, millions of plan to sift through, monthly bills). Your car analogy is more on point than the no shoes, no shirt, no service gibe. Even less on point is the comparison to health insurance that comes “for free” and with no hassle whatsoever, at work.

              As for the crises that is being “solved,” it is entirely political. Again, there are plenty of young and youngish folks who view the mandate as a disaster. They either grit their teeth and, yes, get (and pay for) coverage they don’t want. Or they do without it and pay the penalty. This gets rid of all that, or, at least, kicks the pain down the road.

              • FlipYrWhig

                Again, I don’t think this is a substantial portion of discontent with Obamacare. I’m sure it exists. I’ve heard it from a (Republican-leaning) friend who runs a small business. But these same people have equal grounds for grumbling about losing money from their paychecks for payroll taxes — and after the first few checks of our lives, most of us grow up and get used to it.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    It apparently contains a tax break for insurance companies that pay their CEOs over $500,000 a year. If you must go through hell, why not bring as many snowballs as you can?

    • Rob in CT

      The naked pander here is breathtaking. Don’t oppose our repeal bill, health insurance CEOs! Here’s a special tax break just for you (on top of the other tax breaks in our bill)!

  • MPAVictoria

    Worth pointing out that despite many comments to the contrary here Neoliberalism is an actual ideology with an actual set of policy preferences that they have been successfully pushing for the past 40 years. Friend of the blog Atrios is smart enough to see this. I wish more commenters here were as well.

    http://www.eschatonblog.com/2017/03/in-beginning.html

    • sibusisodan

      This is like pointing out that communism is an actual ideology with an actual yadda yadda yadda.

      We all know this, but it’s not terribly relevant, since the word ‘communism’ in US political discourse 2017 is both divorced from said ideology by a wide margin and virtually empty of actual meaning.

      Same with neoliberalism.

      • MPAVictoria

        “Same with neoliberalism.”

        Hard disagree.

        • sibusisodan

          Could you elaborate? It seems to me that neoliberal has been a pejorative term pretty much devoid of meaning for at least 8 years.

    • Rob in CT

      I’m not sure who Atrios means by “everyone” but here that’s not the argument. That’s a strawman of the argument.

      The point is not and has never been that neoliberalism doesn’t exist. It obviously exists. It’s that the term has been degraded to the point of near uselessness. A lot of times it’s used in nonsensical ways to mean “policy I don’t like.”

      This happens. People who study fascism get frustrated because fascist came to be used as an empty epithet. Communist as well.

      So, with regard to the ACA: Scott’s point is that describing the ACA as “neoliberal” is a stretch at best. Neoliberalism involved taking government functions and privatizing them, removing/reducing governmental regulations, and fiscal austerity/tax cuts. Did the ACA privatize formerly governmentally-provided healthcare or health insurance? Did it deregulate health insurance? Did it lower taxes and decrease spending? No, it did not. It moved things in precisely the opposite direction!

      In my view, the ACA is only a neoliberal reform if it was enacted from a baseline of universal governmentally-provided insurance or something thereabouts. Which happened on Earth 2 I guess.

      • Ronan

        Here’s Henry Farrells retelling of Colin crouchs definition

        “Crouch argues that neoliberalism, despite its claims, is effectively “devoted to the dominance of public life by the giant corporation.” What neo-liberals, and some leftists, see as a conflict between the market and the state is in fact an argument over how the two should relate to each other. Neoliberals are not pushing for free markets so much as a certain style of politics, which masquerades as a commitment to free markets, independent of politics, but in fact is an unhealthy hybridization of the two. To the extent that politics pervades markets, and markets pervades politics, both suffer.”

        I think this is reasonably clear, and is it not applicable to the example of the ACA?

        “People who study fascism get frustrated because fascist came to be used as an empty epithet. Communist as well.”

        Well fair enough, but there’s been little pushback to the use of the term fascist here , even when it’s clearly not applicable. (I’ve tried to argue against its use ‘re trump and UKip and got, at best, “who cares”, at worst that I was looking to undermine the threat posed by each. )

        • djw

          I think this is reasonably clear, and is it not applicable to the example of the ACA?

          In some abstract sense, I suppose, if you politely ignore the Medicaid expansion. Relative to the pre-ACA status quo? Absolutely not.

          Also worth noting that Crouch’s definition is very different than Peters’ manifesto, which is different than Mont Perelin, and so on. Some of the conceptions of neoliberalism are internally coherent, but when we’re constantly sliding back and forth between them whenever it’s convenient to do so, the term becomes less clarifying and more obfuscatory.

          • Ronan

            “Relative to the pre-ACA status quo? Absolutely not.”

            Sure, but this would be crouchs argument (iirc), that neo liberalism has limited the political space to such an extent that There are no longer major, collective public solutions to collective problems, but problems are framed as having market solutions, and implemented as private – public partnerships that often combine the worst of both (corporate rent seeking and governmental incompetence)
            I’m not an expert on ACA so genuine question. Can this fairly be said to describe the political limits that health care reform had to work within?

            “but when we’re constantly sliding back and forth between them whenever it’s convenient to do so, the term becomes less clarifying and more obfuscatory.”

            Yeah, fair enough. I don’t use the term personally.

            • djw

              Can this fairly be said to describe the political limits that health care reform had to work within?

              Yes. And to explain why, neoliberalism is at best superfluous, boring old-fashioned interest group theory, with a dash of historical institutionalism, will do just fine.

            • FlipYrWhig

              This kind of seems like saying that food stamps are “neoliberal” because you spend them like money at grocery stores, foreclosing the option of the government giving everyone a small plot of earth and a selection of seeds.

            • Frequently Confused

              that neo liberalism has limited the political space to such an extent that There are no longer major, collective public solutions to collective problems

              The problem with that quote is that it really doesn’t work in an American context. Unlike Europe, the US has never really embraced collective public solutions to anything.

        • FlipYrWhig

          The ACA is an example of “the dominance of public life by the giant corporation”? Because it has an important feature that has elements of the logic of a (highly regulated) market? Come the fuck on.

          • Ronan

            Why not? This is the argument over single payer, isn’t it?

            • Rob in CT

              Again, the baseline was not single payer. If you took a single payer system and switched to something like the ACA, I think that’s a clear case of a neoliberal reform.

              The ACA moved things from more neoliberal to less neoliberal.

              This matters. To me, at least.

            • FlipYrWhig

              Is the point to get people health care in the America that currently exists, or to overthrow 150 years of capitalism, starting with a symbolic attempt to dismantle lofty theoretical abstractions? This to me is the problem with the concept of “neoliberalism”: it either explains everything or it explains nothing. American society as it currently exists adheres to certain capitalist default assumptions, yes. Call those “neoliberal” if you like. Do you try to humanize them or do you instead try to erect a whole new set of assumptions and then convert the society en masse into believing them? The latter project seems a wee bit challenging.

            • Ronan

              At both. I’m not taking a position one way or the other on the issue of single payer. It’s not my business and I don’t know enough about it so I’ll outsource my opinion to SL.
              So I buy it fully when SL says what you got was what was politically feasible, and that the changes were a huge improvement.

              But that’s not what the argument is. The question is whether “neo liberal” has any analytical use. To make this case, I guess, you’d need to argue that there was a time when public private, market based corporate solutions were not as prevalent , when collective problems had collective, public solutions, and that this changed at some point in time (the neo liberal era)
              Crouch was writing from the UK, where the example of the NHS would seem to support his case. At one time there were public solutions to collective problems, but Now that political space has been limited. Did such a time exist in the US? If not then I agree neo liberal isn’t particularly useful.

              • Redwood Rhiadra

                No, such a time never existed in the US.

                Really, Ronan, this is not the first time, or even the hundredth, that you have made completely stupid arguments because you have zero understanding of American society or American history.

              • FlipYrWhig

                If it ever existed, maybe in a brief moment after World War II, it changed when the Republican Party decided to destroy the concept of the public by linking it to welfare payments for lazy, mooching Others. People didn’t decide to become “neoliberal” on a lark but because they were losing a whole lot of elections the other way.

          • djw

            Yeah, it seems to me the uninsured person’s life, should they end up recieving costly emergency care, will be just as “dominated by the giant corporation(s)” that hound them to bankruptcy than the person who makes purchases as subsidized, regulated insurance plan.

        • Rob in CT

          That particular definition of neoliberal (which I would shortform as “corporatism”) does fit the ACA better than the one I was going off of, though I still don’t think it really works, for the reasons djw mentions.

          And yes, we’ve gotten pretty loose with “fascist” lately. White nationalism is likely more accurate.

    • witlesschum

      http://www.leftbusinessobserver.com/Radio.html#S141127

      This Doug Henwood show includes an interesting discussion with an actual, factual person who calls himself a neoliberal, Steven Teles. Teles points out that a lot of things the U.S. does in service of not interfering directly with the free market are terrible ideas which he terms Kludgocracy.

    • djw

      Revisiting Peters’ manifesto in 2017 actually hurts, rather than helps, the case for neoliberalism as a useful political concept as presently used. If the analytic value of the concept of neoliberalism is to render insignificant the (very large) gap between Peters’ vision and the policy vision of Clinton’s 2016 campaign (because they’re both “neoliberal” after all), while focusing on the (comparatively much smaller) differences between Clinton and Sanders’ policy visions (because one is “neoliberal,” the other isn’t), that’s a pretty clear sign the concept in its current usage has negative analytic value.

      Atrios’ narrow claim–that the concept has a history–is clearly correct. (More accurately, histories; it’s clearly an essentially contested concept, even before its recent turn to mush. The Peters/80’s TNR crew’s neoliberalism differs in key ways from the Mont Perelin Society’s neoliberalism, for instance.) All he does here is establish a genealogy exists; I don’t know who he thinks contests that.

    • FlipYrWhig

      Virtually everyone on the left who uses the term “neoliberal” these days means “pseudoliberal.” It’s about on par with how people on the right use “socialist” to describe any act of redistribution or encouraged sharing.

    • tsam

      Calling a bunch of people stupid should clear the issue right up. It’s not like there’s any grey area in the definition or practice of it.

    • D.N. Nation

      Good God, Atrios has become tiresome lately. The combination of Jonah Goldberg-esque flatulent musings and above-it-all ‘tude…who does this serve other than the man himself?

      No shit that “neoliberalism” is an actual thing. Thanks for the update, Doc. It’s almost as if the word can nevertheless be used in completely incorrect ways, and that is the argument people were actually making if you’d bother to get off your duff long enough to attempt to respond to it. Mercy.

      • FlipYrWhig

        Atrios has been tiresome for at least a decade.

  • Bruce B.

    I’ve been crying on and off this morning. I do appreciate reasons to believe this won’t go through as written, but the sheer hatefulness of it is exhausting, and I was already deep in struggle with the health problems they think people like me are just being lazy about. Being hated is hard work sometimes.

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      House Freedom Caucus called it “Obamacare Lite” i highly expect it is DOA.

  • Please note, because nobody’s talking about it, though it gets a quick note in the Times graphic, and I think it’s the key Republican demand: The repeal of the employer mandate.

    That’s the aspect of the ACA that makes them craziest, but they keep it quiet. The Marketplace for the 6-8% of households that can’t get insurance through employer, Medicaid, or Medicare gets all the attention, but the purpose of any GOP action will be to take insurance away most particularly from Walmart and MacDonalds workers and the employees of the Kochs. Spread it around.

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