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Be Very Afraid

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rmcV5I5

Matt Fuller’s lay of the land on TrumpCare is really good, if terrifying:

After the House passed its health care bill last week, Senators looked apt to take that dramatically conservative plan, stick it in a filing cabinet, and start over with a more moderate bill ― one that may never be able to pass the House on the way back.

But Democrats may overestimate the level of disagreement between the two chambers. And if the last two months have proved anything, it’s that we’re underestimating the ability of Republicans to accept a flawed bill in the name of winning.

We may also be surprised by what House conservatives could accept from the Senate.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) has already been working with Senate Republicans on what changes House conservatives could live with, knowing that the Senate bill will probably undo some cuts to Medicaid and perhaps a key amendment that brought conservatives onboard in the first place.

I hope the Freedom Caucus will play some heighten-the-contradictions, but I worry that they won’t. As for “moderates” in the Senate…I’d be shocked if they didn’t roll. This is a real crisis. I just wish legislation revolved around the president half as much as most people think it does.

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  • Dr. Acula

    Photo caption: “We just voted to kill a bunch of Americans. Let’s go have a kegger! Woo-Hoo!”

    • Warren Terra

      The kegger aspect is now being denied, and that’s reasonably probable. Would you really hang out and recreate with those people? Even if you were one? Over Bud Light? When some lobbyist would happily wine and dine you instead?

      • Recreate with them? Is that some euphemism for sex?

        • Warren Terra

          I can imagine contemplating recreating with them, briefly, in theory, before emphatically rejecting the notion. It’s more than I can do for partying, carousing, wassailing, or making merry with them.

  • Cheerfull

    Something I’ve been wondering. Some of the possible fixes by the Senate amount to putting money back in – increasing subsidies, or throwing more money at the high risk pools. Doesn’t that eventually mean having to keep some of the taxes? Would the Senate ever have a bill that says a reduction, but not an elimination, of the ACA taxes? It seems unlikely but I am not sure where else the money comes from.

    • AMK

      This would be my question too. They can’t save any meaningful amount of the Medicaid expansion or premium assistance for older people without those taxes on rich people’s investment income–it’s just math.

      Maybe they ultimately keep those taxes and console themselves by finding more cuts in their tax “reform” bill that passes down the line (negative estate taxes!!!). My original prediction was that they keep Obamacare in place but find a way to make the funding mechanisms more regressive or punitive–new taxes on big macs and rap music etc..

      • (negative estate taxes!!!)

        I am intrigued by your ideas and look forward to receiving your newsletter, at the special promotional price of -$10,000.95 per annum.

      • Murc

        They can’t save any meaningful amount of the Medicaid expansion or premium assistance for older people without those taxes on rich people’s investment income–it’s just math.

        They can’t deficit-finance? That’s the usual trick.

        • mds

          IIRC, they’re still hoping to pass their version via reconciliation.

        • Domino

          Unless I’m mistaken, they intend to try and pass this through reconciliation, which means it has to be deficit neutral in 10 years.

          • N__B

            which means it has to be claimed to be deficit neutral in 10 years.

            I have complete faith in McConnell’s ability to bend the rules.

            • sibusisodan

              “We would have repealed the ACA, but the parliamentarian stopped us” is not a statement that has meaning in this timeline. Sadly.

      • efgoldman

        it’s just math.

        And right there is your entire problem.

    • Shalimar

      My gut feeling is that, aside from not wanting to give Democrats a win they could talk about for decades, the Obamacare taxes have always been what Republicans really objected to. Revoking them is their overwhelming primary interest here, and any plan has to include that. Fixes will be cosmetic, not add any of the tax money back in.

      • RPorrofatto

        The GOP Senate will pass whatever is necessary to reap that sweet trillion in tax cuts (and billions more to follow) for the only constituency that matters to them, and the House will go along. In terms of actual healthcare, they couldn’t give a shit about reality or the fucking “optics.” They are accustomed to getting away with it (e.g., Merrick Garland), and 2018 is far away. They’re not letting this opportunity to make the rich richer even if they have to remove any shred of healthcare from their “healthcare” bill and lie their asses off even more than they’re used to.

        • efgoldman

          They are accustomed to getting away with it (e.g., Merrick Garland), and 2018 is far away.

          Garland was several orders of magnitude farther away from the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging flying monkey voters than losing their health insurance and/or subsidies.
          When bad things happen, the president’s party suffers. How much is the important question.

    • Warren Terra

      They’ve been proposing to push back the onset of the spending cuts. This means they can separate cause and effect: people don’t start hurting until awhile after the new law passes. The need to pass the bill by reconciliation can make this especially pernicious: if the tax cuts start now and the spending cuts start later, to make the bill revenue neutral the spending cuts have to be especially swingeing.

    • cpinva

      “Doesn’t that eventually mean having to keep some of the taxes? Would the Senate ever have a bill that says a reduction, but not an elimination, of the ACA taxes?”

      as to question 1, no, it doesn’t. as to question 2, no, it wouldn’t. bear in mind, these are Republicans we’re talking about here, not actual rational people. remember (Per Dick Cheney), if Reagan taught us one thing, it is that “Deficits don’t matter.” (but only if there’s a Republican occupying the Oval Office. if it’s a D, then all bets are off.)

      “As for “moderates” in the Senate…I’d be shocked if they didn’t roll.”

      don’t worry your pretty little head about being shocked, they will, because they always do, it’s in their DNA.. a “moderate” Republican is one that just hasn’t been caught in the act, and photographed, strangling a puppy or kitten (or both, together) with their bare hands yet.

      • SNF

        Don’t they need to avoid increasing the deficit in order to use reconciliation?

      • CP

        don’t worry your pretty little head about being shocked, they will, because they always do, it’s in their DNA.. a “moderate” Republican is one that just hasn’t been caught in the act, and photographed, strangling a puppy or kitten (or both, together) with their bare hands yet.

        Basically this. I would phrase it as “a ‘moderate’ Republican is a Republican with a more timid idea of what he can get away with.” As someone else noted, there’s not a single one of these people who wouldn’t repeal Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA all in one go if they thought they could get away with it.

        And while “moderates” would rather not be put on the spot at all, if you do it and force them to choose between the far right and someone to their left, it’ll be the former almost every time.

  • daves09

    OT, but fuck these people with red hot dildos. Salon has a very serious piece about the collapse of US politics because of-can you guess?-the decline of CENTRISM. As exemplified by. . . . JOE LIEBERMAN!!!! Is this the same collection of fuckwits who spent 2016 denouncing HRC as a corrupt, neoliberal CENTRIST sellout?
    Kill me,kill me right now, George Will goes to MSNBC. Man with nothing to say, who’s been saying it for 10,000 years continues to fail upward.
    Who’s Jabba the Hut in the center of that pic? He showed up in the Rose Garden rogues gallery too.

    • cpinva

      wouldn’t that be kind of a waste of a good, red-hot dildo? somewhere is a nice lady, who could put that red-hot dildo to much better use, a positive use.

    • cleek

      Salon has sucked since at least 1998

  • howard

    i’m just an amateur, but my guess is that what this really comes down to is what can the parliamentarian be bludgeoned into (or replaced into) accepting in the name of reconciliation: if it gets to where 50 votes will do it, they will go for the “win” for sure, and are there really any gop senators with the spine to stand up?

    • LosGatosCA

      I’m not sure the use of the word ‘spine’ there is appropriate. These folks are Republicans. They are Republicans for a set of reasons. Not a single one of those reasons is to have a spine about insisting on compassion or dignity for any one who’s not in their donor base.

      So going along with the reasons they are Republicans in the first place hardly indicates whether they have a spine or not.

      They would vote unanimously to end Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and ACA in a nanosecond if they could do it anonymously and/or without political .repercussions.

      Any plan that includes Republicans having a ‘spine’ related to Democratic priorities is not going to work. The plan has to be state level resistance making sure the potential Republican defectors are clear on the ramifications of screwing up Medicaid and ACA. Likewise, any Democrat that wobbles.

    • efgoldman

      are there really any gop senators with the spine to stand up?

      Headline on a story in today’s paper that Suzy Q Collins is “concerned.”
      Pretty much a guarantee that she votes for whatever mess Yertle McTurtle needs her to.

      • Domino

        Hey, she’s also allowed to be the lone Senate Republican to vote against the unpopular bills so she can pretend to “disagree” with the party.

    • cpinva

      “and are there really any gop senators with the spine to stand up?”

      last I checked, it’s the extremely rare, single-celled creature with a spine.

  • Rick_B

    I think the short-term future looks pretty bleak, but the worse the Republicans act to destroy the ACA structure, the more likely the GOP will get swamped in 2018 and after. It looks pretty much inevitable, only the timing remains to be determined.

    For the longer term, read the introduction to Ruy Teixeira’s new book The Optimistic Leftist. I think he has a handle on the economic and resulting social changes that are occurring to change how the politics work. Top Down “Trickle Down” economics with high inequality and a shrunken government is going to be clearly a loser, and the focus will shift to creating jobs for the middle class in a non-industrial society.

    The more the Republicans screw over the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid (they won’t touch Medicare) the faster the GOP is going to die off.

    • alexceres

      Republicans have been showing off their rebuttal to that book all week: lie. Blatantly and completely. TrumpCare protects pre-existing conditions and Medicare and nobody’s premium will go up. In fact, everybody is saving YUGE. MSM is letting them skate on most of it.

      Some anti-immigration round ups, maybe a little Middle East or Korean Peninsula dust up, and of course blaming liberals for everything… it’s really not clear to me that the Obama->Trump voters will understand what’s happened, even as their medical costs go up tons, until it’s too late.

      Or maybe ever. White nationalism seems a hell of a drug.

      • thegonch

        alexceres says:
        Republicans have been showing off their rebuttal to that book all week: lie. Blatantly and completely….Some anti-immigration round ups, maybe a little Middle East or Korean Peninsula dust up, and of course blaming liberals for everything… White nationalism seems a hell of a drug.

        One has to be careful about the multiple ways in which the comparison is flawed…but to see what alexceres suggests in action look at Britain right now. However many lies are told by the Tory’s (repated by an uncritical press) as the govt damages the economic interests of the middle and lower classess, non of it is denting the Conservatives popularity. The EU is now the same kind of scapegoat as ME / N.Korea for Trump / Republicans. In effect, the British Tory party is now the English Nationalist Party and it is working for them electorally.

        I also read the interview between Teixeira and Judis at TPM and I wonder how much Teixeira’s argument is optimistically vague. Worryingly abscent in their discussion was any mention of race or nationalism: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/why-left-will-eventually-win-ruy-teixeira

        • Warren Terra

          I haven’t read his book, but the magazine-article version of Teixeira’s “Emerging Democratic Majority” always seemed to depend on a fixed and inflexible definition of “White” that never seemed consistent with how the concept has worked throughout history.

          • CP

            It also depended on the Republican Party continuing to play more or less by the same rules when it came to accepting our current electoral system. At this point, with them having embarked on a nationwide campaign to suppress votes by any means necessary, we can’t assume that anymore.

        • CP

          The EU is now the same kind of scapegoat as ME / N.Korea for Trump / Republicans.

          I feel like the EU occupies basically the same place in the British political spectrum that Hillary Clinton (and/or the Clintons as a whole) occupy in our own. The “elite” entity that’s an acceptable punching bag for all the other “elites” and general outlet/deflection point for populist tendencies.

      • NewishLawyer

        Yep. I also suspect that the GOP is a much more cohesive group than the Democratic Party/the Left. The Democratic Party is made up of so many groups who are basically just “not GOP” that it becomes hard to run without stepping on egg shells.

        • LeeEsq

          The activist liberal/left have adopted some certain suboptimal advocacy tragedies where every cause needs to be acknowledged at the same time even when universalism with no special pleadings is necessary.

          • LeeEsq

            I am listening to WBAI and there is a very good example in a PSA for a solidarity march for healthcare, education, jobs, and ending racist policing, sexism, and homophobia and everything else at the same time. Sometimes focus and getting rid of special pleadings in favor of universalism is necessary. UHC requires universal advocacy. Arguing that we should have universal healthcare because of past racism, sexism, and whatever else is not effective advocacy because it allows the opponents of UHC to create divisions.

      • junker

        Jonathan Bernstein had a point about this: there is only so much lying and spinning can accomplish. It’s frustrating to watch but you can’t lie your way out of everything.

        They can say that no one will be worse off under the bill as much as they want, but if it passes and 24 million people really lose insurance, no amount of lying can paper over that – those people know what happened and they know who did it.

        Messaging, spin, etc. are overrated factors in politics.

        • farin

          And at that point it doesn’t matter, because the health care system is completely broken and it’ll take a Democrat’s entire term to get it back to the pre-ACA status quo, then another 90 years for another try at improvement.

    • Shalimar

      It looks inevitable now, and I am very hopeful for 2018, but I think Republicans are using the Rick Scott playbook from Florida. Fuck up everything you can the first few months, then lay low and hope people forget by the next election. It worked for Scott. I hope so many people are outraged and horrified now that it won’t work next cycle.

      • Yes, I assume the Senate Republicans are going to find a way to pass something pretty horrific and that the House will go along with it. I really don’t imagine that any of them are going to let any spoilers get in the way of their last bite at eating everyone else’s apple and killing everyone else’s relatives.

        But I’m less convinced that they can slough this off electorally. They are very publicly stripping coverage from their own wives, daughters, sons, and daughters in law and grandchildren (insert Giles from Buffy waving hands in the air and saying “our tiny tiny babies!” ) No one in their voting base is going to be untouched. If those people get discouraged, discover they can’t eat hatred for immigrants, or die of untreated health care issues, they won’t turn out to vote in 2018 and 2020.

        • Warren Terra

          But I’m less convinced that they can slough this off electorally.

          You say that, but then I read things like this:

          Conversation About Losing Obamacare With a Former Republican Who Could Have Died Without It
          Getting sick changed a lot for Denny, including how she viewed the government’s role in providing for people who need it.

          “Before this happened to me, I was a card-carrying member of the NRA, a card-carrying Republican. I thought universal health care was the wrong idea,” she said. “I ended up having to go on disability, on food stamps. It made me realize these programs assist people, and we need to de-stigmatize them. It changed me, and I’m grateful for that. I feel like I’m much more human.”

          So far, so good, right?

          But here’s the kicker:

          This is a very, very, very red state. All very Republican, all very conservative. My own parents are conservative. They have been tremendously supportive of me, personally, in my situation. But even my father told me he was happy that the bill had passed. I asked him if he understood what it could mean if I lost my health coverage, and he said that he still felt it was the right move for the country.

          Her own father, from whom she is not at all estranged, celebrated the passage of a bill that would kill her. Because Tribalism.

          These aren’t the only people out there; others are more reachable. But let’s not pretend they don’t exist, and that’s just one relevant dynamic. Keep in mind that something between 30 and 40 percent of the country – more in key areas – lives in a total fantasy world engineered for them by the former acolytes of Roger Ailes that ensures they have no conception what the real world even looks like, let alone who to blame for its state.

          • Yeah, I think, having talked to plenty of people like this, that “passing a bill” is a category that has no content in it whatsoever for a lot of these mouth breathers. And they absolutely believe that their party will take care of the good white people in the end. They believe government services will be there for the “truly needy” and that the barriers to service and cuts to service will only affect “fraud and abuse.” I hang on a website that is full of women from all over the country–the kind of women who occasionally, after giving great advice about teething babies or weaning or how to decorate a cupcake, will all start putting pictures of their personally embossed guns up and comparing the jesus quotes on the handle! And yet to a woman they all believe that extensive services are available, and should be available, for women fleeing abusive husbands, or women needing WIC or other support for their babies. Or prenatal care and NICU care for their own babies. They freely tell each other to seek out these services–even subsidized housing and subsidized childcare–even in red states where those things have never existed.

            People can count, but they can’t add, is the way I think about it. But “don’t care was made to care.” Pops is going to discover that daughter is dying and he will finally connect the policy to the bill to the death. But its going to take that death to burst his bubble of stupidity and inability to connect.

            • mds

              Pops is going to discover that daughter is dying and he will finally connect the policy to the bill to the death.

              Nah, he’ll blame Obama.

              putting pictures of their personally embossed guns up and comparing the jesus quotes on the handle!

              “Shoot them seventy times seven.”
              “Blessed are the accurate, for they can drill the Samaritan filth right in the center of their foreheads.”
              “Father, mow ’em all down with an AR-15, ’cause who cares whether they know what they do?”

              See, that’s the part that’s missing from your analysis of how they’ll eventually assess blame accurately: These people are fucking deranged.

          • Shalimar

            “I know it might kill you, dear, but it will kill a lot of colored people too. Society needs that if it is going to survive onslaught from the hippity hoppity culture. Your sacrifice is worth it.”

            • LosGatosCA

              100% correct.

              Elementary school kids get slaughtered – didn’t even move the needle on gun laws.

              Admitted sexual assaulting p***y grabber gets elected president anyway.

              The cult runs so deep, I wouldn’t even put the example so remote as a ‘family member.’ I would expect that if a white male boomer became catastrophically ill and was told he might have lived with ACA but not Trumpcare so prepare to meet your maker, the reaction would be that of a soldier sacrificing his life for his country. Better I should die than anyone that’s not me gets treated with dignity or respect.

              Theses people are deluded and hateful at any and all levels.

          • CP

            The more stuff I read like this, the more I’m convinced that the Golda Meir quote perfectly encapsulates modern U.S. politics: “we will have peace when they love their children more than they hate us.”

      • LeeEsq

        Even if the Democratic Party wins big in 2018, Trump is going to still be President. What we need is for the Democratic Party to win big in 2020 and get a Democratic President to.

    • Murc

      I think the short-term future looks pretty bleak, but the worse the Republicans act to destroy the ACA structure, the more likely the GOP will get swamped in 2018 and after.

      How swamped?

      We only have the ACA because we got to sixty in the Senate for a very, very brief period. If the GOP can kneecap it, we’ll need to either get back there, or assemble fifty votes for nuking the filibuster.

      • mds

        Eh, if the legislative filibuster somehow survives the first time it thwarts the GOP from passing what they want, emand a Democrat wins the presidency in 2020, and Democrats somehow manage to get back to 50+ senators by 2023, I suspect that the composition of the caucus at that point would make nuking the filibuster more likely.

        • Thrax

          Yeah. I strongly suspect that whatever the Senate does this year will involve either leaning on the parliamentarian to cram all sorts of non-budget stuff into a reconciliation bill, or simply ignoring the parliamentarian. At that point, the filibuster will be essentially gone, and whether the Democrats expressly nuke it or simply use the newly expanded reconciliation process to pass their own health-care legislation won’t make any substantive difference.

          (But let’s not overlook that Democrats will have to regain working Senate and House majorities along with the presidency for this to happen, with untold death and suffering in the meantime.)

    • njorl

      ” but the worse the Republicans act to destroy the ACA structure, the more likely the GOP will get swamped in 2018 and after.”

      By 2010 the Iraq war and the financial meltdown had completely vanished from the majority of Americans’ consciousnesses. Republicans have noted this and are acting accordingly. They could mandate euthanization for all diabetics on medicare and win a majority in the house by 2022.

  • AMK

    I read the other day that the CA single-payer bill passed out of committee in Sacramento. Strikes me as the direction blue states should be taking.

    • alexceres

      Republicans plan to mandate states allow out of state plans. Impossible for decent insurance to compete on cost with snake oil from Kansas. Blow up the employee market too.

      • Shalimar

        If essential benefits are eliminated nationally and California makes them a part of state law, that seems like a pretty easy case arguing that Feds can’t force a state to allow insurance lower than state standards. You might even get a concurrence from Clarence Thomas.

      • efgoldman

        Impossible for decent insurance to compete on cost with snake oil from Kansas

        Also some very blue but very small states in the East simply don’t have a large enough potential customer base to afford going it alone. If a group of smaller states could form some kind of consortium, maybe, just maybe they could go it alone.

        • Murc

          If a group of smaller states could form some kind of consortium, maybe, just maybe they could go it alone.

          My understanding is that interstate compacts of that sort require the approval of Congress. I could very well be mistaken, however.

          • JKTH

            The ACA allows states to band together to form a single insurance exchange. Whether that survives under the AHCA, I don’t know.

      • NeonTrotsky

        You know they keep saying this, but I don’t think the AHCA even included that provision. They’ve been lying about this as much as everything else, and if they are going to make it so a bunch of states have community rating and a bunch don’t, I don’t think the cross-state sales thing would even really be possible anymore.

    • Shalimar

      Iirc from the Vermont effort a few years ago, it takes a state the size of California or New York to make that work without drastically overhauling the state tax structure and increasing taxes in some major way. You might even have to do that with the huge states.

      It does need to be done, and I hope California is successful. But it won’t be easy. There could be a backlash that allows Republicans in the state to come back from the dead over the next few cycles.

      • NewishLawyer

        California and New York could probably do it. Other states, not so much.

        • I would like to see, but won’t, a consortium of states like the whole northeast get into a single payer system. Perhaps that would be a big enough unit?

          • econoclast

            Wouldn’t this require approval from Congress?

            • NeonTrotsky

              I don’t think so, that’s how they did common core.

          • NewishLawyer

            I can see New York, Mass, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Vermont joining together. Maybe New Jersey is pragmatic enough to come in*. New Hampshire and Maine are too prickly right now and the most right-leaning locally. Whether PA comes in or not would be interesting.

            *New Jersey still seems to be a state where people like to vote Republican locally but Democratic nationally because of taxes or some such but they don’t want the crazies in Congress.

            • fd2

              Speaking as a New Jerseyan – there are a lot of “sensible moderates” here that vote Dem for Senators and Presidents because they are extremely against Republican policies, but vote R on a local level because the state Democratic party is insanely corrupt, and they (arguably correctly) judge that while on a national level, policy matters more than the individual politician, on the local level the reverse is true.

      • nemdam

        I don’t see anyway you can implement single payer without drastic tax increases. A bigger state doesn’t magically change that formula. The big European nations with universal health care all require big tax increases.

        I’ve always thought that Vermont talking point was an excuse to pass the buck instead of admitting that single payer just isn’t popular anywhere in this country.

        • Murc

          I don’t see anyway you can implement single payer without drastic tax increases.

          Er. Don’t most of the countries with single-payer or comparable universal health care programs spend less on health care by the government than we do?

          The big European nations with universal health care all require big tax increases.

          I’m not sure what the British had to do financially seventy years ago to get the NHS going is 100% comparable to our situation today.

          • sibusisodan

            It’s possible my memory is fuzzy and the stats are old but UK spends around 8% of GDP (and we are one of the cheapest). US spends ~17%, of which 8% is govt.

            That US govt spending covers around a third of the pop (largely the more expensive third).

            So transferring over to single payer would unavoidably raise taxes. It might result in total healthcare spend going down, but it sure won’t look that way!

            • mds

              It might result in total healthcare spend going down, but it sure won’t look that way!

              Exactly. Less money overall, but more of it coming from taxation, triggers that “taxes are uniquely bad” kneejerk:

              “This socialized medicine will increase my taxes!”

              “Yeah, but you won’t have to pay health insurance premiums any more.”

              “But it increases my taxes!”

              “Yeah, but businesses will be able to eliminate their employee health insurance expenses.”

              “But it increases my TAXES!!!”

              etc.

              • CP

                John Cole over at Balloon Juice has made the point before that in his little corner of Appalachia, drivers would rather pay a few thousand dollars a year to car repair shops for the wear and tear to their vehicles, than pay a few hundred dollars a year in taxes to fix the fucking roads.

                I don’t know how you fix that.

                • efgoldman

                  I don’t know how you fix that.

                  Lobotomies?

                  I have known/know of people who spent more money on tax evasion avoidance than they would have paid, just because.

              • sibusisodan

                I recall a comment here on LGM about a conversation with Santorum about this:

                “Government healthcare will increase your taxes!”

                “But my private spending will decrease so it probably nets off”

                “But your taxes will go up!”

                &c.

                • FlipYrWhig

                  Republicans and some apolitical people have a very strong association between taxes and waste and/or welfare.

              • altofront

                Yeah, what’s really tough is that employers pay most Healthcare costs, so they would get a huge windfall while income taxes would rise sharply. It would all sort itself out eventually, and would likely result in higher nominal wages, but it’s a heavy lift.

          • Davis X. Machina

            I’m not sure what the British had to do financially seventy years ago to get the NHS going is 100% comparable to our situation today.

            Whatever they did, it was easier. And cheaper. Because it was 70 years ago.

            As a history-of-medicine prof once told me, “Until 50 years ago (this was in the 80’s) there was no medicine. There was surgery, and nursing.”

          • IIRC there was a health insurance patchwork in Britain, developed between the wars by inter alia Neville Chamberlain (a good politician on domestic matters). So the insurance payments ended. And of course there was a massive peace dividend. But no GI Bill. And health care was much, much cheaper than it is now, because there was so much less medicine could do.

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    On the bright side, those are a real bunch of “hold my beer” faces.

  • patrick II

    I just wish legislation revolved around the president half as much as most people think it does.

    I wish democrats would stop running just against Trump and against the whole vile republican party. Trump distractions mean Republicans are not getting the full credit they deserve for being fascists dressed in suits and ties.

    • I”m not sure what that means–who is “running?”

      • patrick II

        Sorry, that’s not clear. Democrats, like Hillary when she ran, or Jon Ossof running now in Georgia, and non-running democrats when I hear them interviewed speak mostly of Trump. Trump is just the tip of the iceberg and the most visible, while 90% of the damage is being done by the republicans he appointed to his cabinet and the republicans in the house and senate, and the republicans in their respective states. Those republican people are happy to see education marginalized, the environment desecrated, a racist republican attorney general, a republican senate vote to remove healthcare from 24,000,000 people (resulting in over 24,0000 deaths per annum) in subservience to profits for the rich. Trump is terrible, but so is the rest of that wretched party, and trump gets too much of the blame and attention. We should spend more time calling them racist thieves and less time calling them our honorable opponent from Alabama (or wherever).

        • MyNameIsZweig

          I’m not sure that Jon Ossoff explicitly calling rank-and-file Republicans and their values “vile” in a district that’s usually something like R+20 is something that in any way resembles a savvy political strategy, but maybe I’m missing something.

        • efgoldman

          when I hear them interviewed speak mostly of Trump. Trump is just the tip of the iceberg and the most visible

          In the real world, where potential voters don’t pay attention until a few weeks before voting, and don’t spend all kinds of time diving into the weeds on a political blog, this makes perfect sense. Mango Mussolini is hugely unpopular, more of his ignorance, stupidity, and incompetence comes out every day; it is much easier – and much, much more effective – to go, essentially “Trump bad, Handel is Trump.”
          He should be slagging her on a few particular issues, especially women’s issues, where she has a [really ugly] record; other than that, velcro her to Apricot Asswipe.

  • NewishLawyer

    I’ve seen two essays titled something like “The Conservative Case for Universal Healthcare.” There are probably more. One essay was in the week.

    There is also some evidence that a lot of extreme Republican partisanship and conservativism is in the 50 plus set. Polling indicates that younger conservatives have some socially liberal/libertarian positions.

    This raises the question of why people are attached to labels though and what is needed to cause a change. Instead of the Conservative case for Universal Healthcare, why not “Fuck it, I’m a liberal” with a realization that the Republican Party will never support universal healthcare.

    • LeeEsq

      People are making the Conservative case for Universal Healthcare because they might otherwise agree more with the Republican Party than the Democratic Party except on this issue. The other thing is that there are always going to be lots of people that identify as conservatives and the only way to achieve universal healthcare and a permanent welfare state is to convince those people that these are not contrary to conservatism. The permanent Social Democratic victory only happened in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. Every other developed democracy had long periods of conservative rule. Their welfare state survived because their conservatives accepted it.

  • McConnell just convened a ‘Sons of Jacob’ committee to prepare Senate version of AHCA. Female Senators not invited

    • Wow.

    • tsam

      What’s that? It sounds gross. Who the hell is Jacob?

      • The Sons of Jacob was the group that overthrew the government and established the Republic of Gilead in the Handmaid’s Tale.

        • sibusisodan

          I no longer know if it’s safe to assume you gave the name to that group, or that McConnell did.

        • mds

          There are also 12 senators + McConnell himself, so the number even works for Jacob + his sons.

    • mds

      Welp, so much for relying on Collins or Murkowski to push back on the Planned Parenthood provisions. Hell, Cassidy of brief Collins-Cassidy fame isn’t even in the group.

      So I guess the result will be a non-starter with two Republican senators, who will regretfully vote against it as it passes with 50 votes + Pence, possibly after firing the Senate parliamentarian to get past any Byrd Rule objections. Any guesses on which two will be permitted to make a show of breaking ranks this time? Or am I giving them too much credit?

      • efgoldman

        I guess the result will be a non-starter with two Republican senators, who will regretfully vote against it as it passes with 50 votes + Pence

        Suzy Q being “concerned” (today’s headline) guarantees her vote for whatever pie of pigshit McTurtle wants to pass.

  • DAS

    I dunno what it means exactly, but I heard an ad from Kennedy yesterday evening: part of the ad was about how the AHCA was just warmed over Obamacare or something like that. I dunno if this is just to provide cover for the Senate GOoPs to support the AHCA (“it is moderate; Fox Business thinks it’s too liberal in fact”) or relatedly to make them fear primary pressure should they water down the meanness of the AHCA … or if the Teahadis really will primary ACHA supporting GOoPs because “the AHCA is too liberal”.

    Or maybe the goal is to paint the AHCA as just like Obamacare so that way, when the AHCA makes things a complete mess, the GOP can blame the AHCA for not going far enough. After all, conservatism can never fail; it can only be failed.

  • tsam

    Tim kaine had the right idea–TRUMP SAID everyone is covered, premiums come down and preexisting conditions are covered. (Otherwise filibuster I guess)

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