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Doctor my lies

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Trumpcare is so bad that Republicans can’t figure out how to lie to their constituents about it.

“They’re scared,” said Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), whose district voted for President Trump. “[They] feel like they’re about to lose it and they’re going to die. And if we cannot explain to people that is not going to happen, then it’s going to be very difficult to ever bring a bill to the floor.”

That is, Republicans can’t convince themselves that they can come up with a lie that will convince their constituents that their representative isn’t to blame for whatever happens to them if the AHCA passes. Given the very low bar the GOP has set for its lies and the contempt it holds for any supporter who doesn’t happen to have a few million dollars lying around, this may well be a first. So naturally they’re upset that no one will come up with a good lie for them.

Many lawmakers expressed frustration at having to figure out on their own how the recent changes to the bill would affect consumers.

What a pity there’s no office at Congress that is tasked with figuring out the impact a bill would have on things like the budget and consumers people and stuff.

They complain that Trump should be playing a bigger role, explaining the legislation to wary voters,

So they don’t want this thing to pass?

while others bemoan that Congress never dug into the thorny policy details to devise a workable healthcare alternative.

Whiny AND Lazy. But wait, Sleepy Spicer has come up with an You’ll have to pull the trigger to see if the gun is loaded explanation.

It works so well for climate change denial, maybe re-purposing it for health care denial will work.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday said no one can know the effects of the American Health Care Act on sick Americans until the bill goes into effect.

Spicer said there are “so many variables” to take into account when trying to make a determination on how legislation would affect people with preexisting conditions, which has been a major sticking point about the legislation in recent days.

“To do an analysis with any level of factual basis would be literally impossible,” Spicer said at the daily White House press briefing.

It’s not possible to answer the question no one asked about this bill, therefore no questions should be answered about this bill.

The AMA has taken a stab at an answer.

Despite amendments to bill, millions of Americans would still lose health insurance coverage

CHICAGO – American Medical Association (AMA) President Andrew W. Gurman, M.D., issued the following statement today about proposed changes to the American Health Care Act (AHCA):

“None of the legislative tweaks under consideration changes the serious harm to patients and the health care delivery system if AHCA passes. Proposed changes to the bill tinker at the edges without remedying the fundamental failing of the bill – that millions of Americans will lose their health insurance as a direct result of this proposal.

“High-risk pools are not a new idea. Prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, 35 states operated high-risk pools, and they were not a panacea for Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. The history of high-risk pools demonstrates that Americans with pre-existing conditions will be stuck in second-class health care coverage – if they are able to obtain coverage at all.

“Not only would the AHCA eliminate health insurance coverage for millions of Americans, the legislation would, in many cases, eliminate the ban against charging those with underlying medical conditions vastly more for their coverage.”

“America should not go backward to the time when our fellow citizens with pre-existing health conditions faced high costs for limited coverage, if they were able to obtain coverage at all. The AMA urges congressional leaders and the Administration to pursue a bipartisan dialogue on alternative policies that provide patients with access and coverage to high quality care and preserve the safety net for vulnerable populations.”

Everything I’m hearing indicates the GOP is gaining votes on this thing, so if you can, call your Rep.

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  • howard

    you can’t ask for a better example of the way every right-wing critique of progressive policies is projection: they appear to be ready to vote on a bill for which final text doesn’t even exist, much less a cbo score, just liked they lied that the dems did….

    • Little Chak

      As always, Every Accusation Is A Confession.

    • Morse Code for J

      I’m waiting for the Bret Stephens column on this, myself.

  • DamnYankees

    I’m not saying I want this to pass, but there is a part of me which would at least appreciate running the experiment of seeing what would happen.

    If this bill were to actually pass, it would probably be the most irresponsible piece of legislation ever passed. If you combine how little its consequences are understood by the people who are passing it, together with the impact of that legislation, the absolutely atrocious legislative process – it’s somewhat staggering. These people are willing to destroy health care for at least 25M people, and possibly more if this really hurts the employer insurance market – and make absolutely zero argument that there’s any health care policy reason to do it. There’s just no argument even being made that this is good policy.

    And this bill is being sheparded along by bald faced lies – the President and the Speaker are just 100% lying about what is in this bill.

    So while I really hope this doesn’t pass, a silver lining of it passing is we get to put to test a couple ideas. What would happen if a party passed a bill without knowing what was in it, without knowing the impact, without making *any* effort to entertain ideas from the other side, all while lying about what the bill does. Will they suffer? Will there be any consequences? How long can the lie continue – will they be able to continue to tell people that the bill isn’t causing anyone to lose health insurance even if it does? What would happen if the exchange collapse, people lose insurance – and Ryan and Trump just pretend its fine and the bill protects them. Can that lie sustain itself? I have no idea.

    Or maybe the fallout won’t actually be that bad, and liberals like me will have to rethink everything we know about how legislation works. Sort of like what happened during the election itself.

    So, like I said – I desperately hope this doesn’t pass. But if it does, we at least will be able to learn something from it.

    • Derelict

      Unfortunately, what many of us are going to learn from this passing is what it’s like to have a condition that could be treated, but ends up being fatal because we can’t afford the treatment. There are now many forms of cancer that can be turned into chronic nuisance conditions (some kinds of kidney cancer, for example)–provided you can pay for the diagnosis, drugs, and follow-up care.

      And, of course, Jimmy Kimmel’s kid is a goner under the new bill. He’ll never get insurance.

    • LOL.

      No.

      • DamnYankees

        No what?

        • MyNameIsZweig

          Not speaking for Shakezula, but the idea that what you’re describing is anything close to a “silver lining” is flat-out laughable.

          There will be no good coming from this if it passes. None.

          • DamnYankees

            Everything’s an opportunity to learn. Perhaps “silver lining” is not the right phrase, but to merely acknowledge that we can learn lessons by watching this happen – if it happens – should not be controversial.

            • Morse Code for J

              The macadamia poking up out of the turd?

            • Hogan

              Maybe the people capable of learning that lesson already know it. Maybe everybody else will go along with “the health care apocalypse is fake news,” or “that just shows how broken Obamacare really was,” or just continue not to see any connection between public policy and their lived experience. “First the tornado, and now this. Well shit.”

              • DamnYankees

                Indeed. But it is a maybe. And while I don’t want to find out for sure, in the event this piece of crap passes, we’ll get closer to an answer.

                • I’m all but 100% certain that the answer is the worst case scenario for tens of millions of people that we anticipate it will be. Having that confirmed will accomplish nothing good for us or those tens of millions of people. I’m also all but 100% certain that those who could afford to learn from this experience, Trump, McConnell, Ryan, the congressmen who will vote for it, and their constituents who will suffer, will learn nothing of value from the experience.

                  Even if I were considerably less certain of these outcomes, even if it were a coin toss, the potential risk would still far outweigh any potential upside to a degree that the experiment is not worth it.

                • DamnYankees

                  I agree with all that…

            • This statement is so empty it struggles to reach the level of cliche.

              In addition, I find it impossible to believe that anyone could legitimately be uncertain about whether Republicans will continue to lie and generally be shitty.

              Finally, I urge everyone who hasn’t done so to consider that the continued uncertainty about health care is stressful to people who need it, people and organizations that provide it, and business owners who prefer regulatory stability to whatever the hell it is the Republicans offer and weigh that against any learning opportunities that might be on offer.

              • DamnYankees

                In addition, I find it impossible to believe that anyone could legitimately be uncertain about whether Republicans will continue to lie and generally be shitty.

                I find that impossible to believe as well. Good thing no one here appears to be uncertain of that, including me.

              • efgoldman

                consider that the continued uncertainty about health care is stressful to people who need it, people and organizations that provide it, and business owners who prefer regulatory stability

                This, right here. Not only are they fucking their constituent voters (and the rest of us, of course) but also their natural lifetime supporters, donors, and constituent groups.
                I can’t believe that the medical associations, hospital associations, insurance companies big and small, and the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and Kiwanis types aren’t screaming in their ears.

            • veleda_k

              If I get hit by a car, is the silver lining the opportunity to learn what it feels like to break half the bones in my body?

              • This isn’t about what you might learn from having half the bones in your body broken. It’s about what other people might learn from watching you have half the bones in your body broken. Or something.

                • veleda_k

                  As a person with a disability, I suppose I should be grateful for the opportunity to be useful to society.

            • Bruce B.

              My experience of the world tells me that essentially everyone who can learn from grotesquely unnecessary pain and suffering can learn from other circumstances too, and that people who won’t learn from anything else tend not to learn from the GUP&S either.

              We can learn lessons, sure. Bayesian priors also tell us that we will not learn any lessons from it distinctive to such a calamity.

        • Hondo

          Let me take a stab at it.
          No. We don’t want to conduct an irreversible experiment with the only life that people have by subjecting them to getting sick or seriously injured while covered with garbage republican “insurance” or even no insurance at all. Because we don’t want the shameful burden of watching our country run by assholes who believe those who do get sick or injured are to blame for it since they didn’t live right, or eat right, or lift big dumbbells to develop substantial neck meat like our hero Paul “The Stud” Ryan, or get right with God, or some such bullshit.
          We are already conducting an irreversible and potentially catastrophic (for us) experiment with the only planet we have. And, in this case, it’s too late to hit the E-Stop button.
          Fuck republicans, and all who vote for them.

          • DamnYankees

            I agree. I don’t want to conduct this experiment either.

            But if this piece of crap bill passes, it *will* be an experiment, whether we like or not. And I’ll be interested in the outcome.

            • Hondo

              I know. Some of us will be victims of the outcome.

            • STH

              I get that you’re approaching this as an interesting opportunity to learn something, but you might think about how your comments come across to those of us who will die in order for you to learn this very interesting thing.

              Please don’t do this.

              • DamnYankees

                Please don’t do what? Talk about the politics of what will happen if this passes?

                How many variations of “I don’t want this to happen” do I need to post before it becomes ok to think about the political consequences of this? Or should I just act like its not interesting?

                • veleda_k

                  Seriously, if you were talking to a terminal cancer patient, would you tell then how interesting it was for you to study the course of the disease?

                  But I’m really glad my possible death is such a valuable intellectual exercise.

                • DamnYankees

                  Seriously, if you were talking to a terminal cancer patient, would you tell then how interesting it was for you to study the course of the disease?

                  This is a public blog about politics. Not a cancer ward. There is a time and place for all discussions, I grant that, but it seems extremely obvious that politic blogs with open comments are a perfectly fine venue for talking about politics.

                • Linnaeus

                  I get the point you are making, and I don’t think that people are objecting to thinking about and discussing the political consequences if the GOP health “care” bill passes; this is a political blog, after all. What people are reacting to, it seems to me, is a sense in your comment that the “experiment” has a benefit for our political understanding, with respect to the accompanying negative consequences, that is greater than you may have intended to convey.

                  Consider the following statements:

                  “If the Supreme Court strikes down the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ramifications will be significant, and such a decision would raise serious questions as to how the American body politic will react.”

                  “I’m not saying that I want the Supreme Court to declare the Civil Rights Act of 1964 unconstitutional, but a silver lining will be that we can put to test how committed Americans are to ensuring equal protection under the law. There is a part of me that would at least appreciate running the experiment of seeing what would happen.”

                  Do you see the difference between these two?

    • ringtail

      How long can the lie continue – will they be able to continue to tell people that the bill isn’t causing anyone to lose health insurance even if it does? What would happen if the exchange collapse, people lose insurance – and Ryan and Trump just pretend its fine and the bill protects them. Can that lie sustain itself?

      It’s not really a lie if it’s actually a kind of theological or philosophical argument, is it?

      I can’t decide whether I think most of the invisible-handers actually think that their laissez fair free market bullshit will lead to better outcomes or whether they don’t care because they think it’s a moral good that they act as if it does.

      I think Paul Ryan, for example is in the former camp. I think the guy actually thinks it would be paradise if we could institute some kind of Ayn Randian fever dream.

      Others, particularly the Reddit techy type libertarian bros I’ve seen, don’t really care. They’re like the turn of the century social “darwinists”; they have this idea that competition and individual action is good in it’s own right and will ignore or reject anything that doesn’t confirm that narrative because the actual effects aren’t the point.

      I would suggest that Paul Ryan and people like him start out in group 1 and even if the world turned to ashes around them they would simply migrate to group 2.

      • Little Chak

        Deep down, they’re all Mo Brooks. Survival of the “fittest”.

        • farin

          I read this at least three times as “Mo Green,” which gave me hope.

        • CP

          This.

          It’s why despite their complaints to the contrary, fascism and Randian capitalism end up with so much overlap in membership. They’re both social darwinist ideologies that believe the strong should rule and the weak should be ground underfoot. It’s not a hard adjustment for the sociopaths to make.

          • It’s not a hard adjustment for the sociopaths to make.

            Why, it’s almost as if the emotional payoff is prior to the “idea”s (such as they are) in the ideologies!

      • Hondo

        Group 1:
        More money for us, fuck you.
        Group 2:
        More money for us, fuck you.

        It doesn’t get any deeper than that. Attributing some complex high fatulin philosophy to analyze their actions gives them way too much credit.

      • JustRuss

        I believe their logic works this way: The Free Market is, by definition, the greatest force for Good in the history of ever. Messing with the Free Market, even for the ostensibly good reason of saving lives, is bad. Because nothing is as good as the Free Market. So if we can’t come up with a Free Market solution for universal health care, some folks are just going to have to suffer while we (half-heartedly) try to maybe figure out a market-based solution. Someday. Too bad for them, but not as Bad as interfering with the perfection of the Free Market.

        I know it sounds insane, but I think that explains the one who aren’t outright sadists. Whether they’re a minority or majority, I can’t say.

        • Linnaeus

          Right. These folks have turned a means into an end. So it’s axiomatic to them that the Free Market(tm) always produces optimal outcomes, and when it does not, that’s because its function has been impeded or distorted by some other social actor.

          The fact that a free market produces losers is not something to be corrected or ameliorated, because that is the proper outcome. If it weren’t, they wouldn’t be losers.

          • CP

            And when it LOOKS like it does not, what you don’t realize is that it’s still the LEAST BAD outcome and every other option would be even worse.

            • Linnaeus

              Yes, because liberty.

        • LeeEsq

          This is close but not quite what they think. Some people see market forces as akin to natural forces, things that humans should not temper with if they know what is good for them. Its like how some people on the Left look at GMOs but with economics instead. Other people see economics as a human construct and can survive a lot or a little tempering depending upon their beliefs regarding market economics.

          • Brad Nailer

            I want to strangle the next newscaster who says, “The market responded . . .”

            The market: the only observed living creature never to have been classified in linnean terms as plant, animal, fungus, protist or bacterium. My money’s on fungus.

    • Scott Mc

      First, looks like they are scheduling for tomorrow, so they either have the votes or they are really close.

      Second, we went through a stupid war, watched the repubs try to gut SS, and then had the biggest recession/financial crisis since the depression and the repubs were out of control of the house for … 4 years. I don’t see what we could possibly learn again that clearly wasn’t learned last go.

      Even if we regain the House in 2018, healthcare is gone for another generation at the least. It won’t become a real issue again until the employer market is whittled away over the next 20 years.

      • Rob in CT

        Second, we went through a stupid war, watched the repubs try to gut SS, and then had the biggest recession/financial crisis since the depression and the repubs were out of control of the house for … 4 years. I don’t see what we could possibly learn again that clearly wasn’t learned last go.

        This is basically my reaction.

        But part of the issue is that people who learn the lesson forget it (or die) and people who are too young to have learned the lesson age into adulthood & vote (note: not blaming our problems on The Kids, who are mostly alright).

        So the lesson must be learned and re-learned. It never ends.

    • Emmryss

      Didn’t Republicans run a not dissimilar experiment not that long ago? Something about what happens if you invade a foreign country based on a tissue of lies about non-existent threats from non-existent WMDs? And as a result throw the entire region into chaos? While creating conditions for terrorist groups to flourish? And didn’t Bush get re-elected? What more do we really need to learn?

      • STH

        Yes, exactly.

        Bullshit is a limitless commodity, as is the appetite for it.

    • Socrets

      (WARNING: I’m drunk off my a$$ trying to cope with this potential nightmare, so the following is probably a scorching, rambling, and incoherent hot take that could melt the sun. Also, mostly lurker, sometimes drunk hot take poster.)

      TL; DR: I am not optimistic that the GOP repealing Obamacare will result in anything good because our media sucks, our electoral system sucks, and we live in the darkest timeline. The only comfort is that maybe enough Trump voters will be among the dead that Dems might have a chance.

      No. There is no silver lining here and there is no result worthwhile to conduct an experiment of this kind because we’ve already seen it happen time and time again with a whole bunch of different things that the GOP has done that in any civilized dimension would have seen them charged with crimes and banished to the outskirts of polite society (or eradicated outright).

      If the GOP and Tangerine Trujillo decide to tell the poors (including their own constituents) to f*ck off and die, then in 2018 (20?), we’re going to be treated to the media narrative of how it’s the Dems fault for not having the numbers to stop the GOP from killing everyone because both sides do it and the REAL ‘MURICA!!!!!!! (or what’s left of them) still voting NAZI Cthulhu Death Cult Nickelback GOP because it wasn’t the GOP but certain people with the wrong skin color, teh GAYZ!, libtards, and that Kenyan Muslim who gave them cancer/terminal illness and stole their healthcare.

      If there’s a lining anywhere, it is a blood red schadenfreude lining where the geniuses who thought Trump was going to give them Universal Healthcare or only screw certain people will either die or watch those they ‘love’ (if such people who vote Trump are capable of such a thing) die miserably and painfully along with those whom they wouldn’t even give the time of day to because MAGA!!

      I get where you’re coming from but there have been enough events similar to this and collective brainpower in this blog alone from the various blog posts and comments about such events and how they have played out that we can all draw a likely conclusion of how this is all going to play out over the next four years. (Spoiler: They learn NOTHING!!!)

      • I feel your pain. Just have to keep fighting.

      • sibusisodan

        Please do drunk hot takes more. That was righteous and on the money.

      • Rob in CT

        In Vino Veritas.

  • Derelict

    House leadership is actually telling representatives to go ahead and vote for the bill because it will never make it through the Senate. That’s some really impressive cynicism.

    If it weren’t for the fact that my own health insurance would either evaporate or end up with $100,000 a year premiums, I’d say this thing should be voted on and passed by both houses and signed by Trump without a single Democratic vote. Hang this around Republicans’ necks like a dead albatross for the next 60 years.

    “Remember how FDR and the Democrats created Social Security so Grandma wouldn’t have to live in the basement? And remember of Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats passed Medicare so Grandma wouldn’t die penniless on the hospital steps? Well, remember it was Trump and the Republicans who told every not-rich American citizen to go fuck off and die by passed the AHCA.”

    • DamnYankees

      If it weren’t for the fact that my own health insurance would either evaporate or end up with $100,000 a year premiums, I’d say this thing should be voted on and passed by both houses and signed by Trump without a single Democratic vote. Hang this around Republicans’ necks like a dead albatross for the next 60 years.

      The only problem with this is that if actually played out that way, we’d have to admit the “heighten the contradictions” leftists were actually right.

      • Vance Maverick

        You’re saying the silver lining has a lead lining?

        • petesh

          For a moment there I thought you were anticipating an assassination attempt, presumably on the President, but of course that would wrong.

      • econoclast

        The “heighten the contradictions” leftists are wrong not because the contradictions can’t be heightened, but because it’s not worth the cost. Democrats took control of Congress in 2006 on the back of a million Iraqi dead, and control of the White House in 2008 after the worst economic collapse in 75 years, one that we’re still feeling the aftereffects of.

        • Hondo

          Minor point of contention (unless you’re a dead Iraqi), I think the John-Hopkins excess mortality studies were done around that time, maybe 2005 for the first publication, but I believe the peak of the probability curve was around
          250,000 dead, the upper tail was around 650,000.
          But, it doesn’t diminish your point. I just have always had a problem with news orgs always underestimating how many non-combatants we needlessly killed. So, I think it’s important to at least be in the right ballpark on this. Unless you have a credible source that indicates it was a million.

      • Chetsky

        ISTR that the -real- argument against “heighten the contradictions” was that, when things get bad enough, nobody thinks about how they might get better. Instead, it causes people to clutch even more fiercely to what pittance of safety they have, and damn all the others. Like drowning fishermen who clamber over the shoulders of their shipmates to reach the surface (cite: Frank Herbert in Dune, and maybe it even happens in real life). I’m no historian, but I’m guessing it’d be easy to find others have studied this problem extensively and come to the conclusion I outline, simply b/c I didn’t make it up.

        And we see this in places like Wisconsin, where blue-collar workers, jealous of the relative stability of public-sector jobs, are gung-ho to strip public sector workers of what few protections (pensions, tenure rights) that they have.

        No, I don’t think we need to run this experiment.

      • Rob in CT

        “Remember how FDR and the Democrats created Social Security so Grandma wouldn’t have to live in the basement? And remember of Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats passed Medicare so Grandma wouldn’t die penniless on the hospital steps? Well, remember it was Trump and the Republicans who told every not-rich American citizen to go fuck off and die by passed the AHCA.”

        Christ, we’re lucky if people remember Dubya and his fuckups. A whole 16 (to 8) years ago. And we’re still living with the consequences of some of his fuckups.

        I used to believe the electorate would reward decent policy and stewardship (“good government”), but no longer.

    • Davis X. Machina

      Well, remember it was Trump and the Republicans who told every not-rich American citizen to go fuck off and die by passed the AHCA

      We’ve reached the Masada stage of white resentiment politics.

      “We all got to participate vicariously in a great tribal victory. So Grandma had to die. And we lost the kid. But everything good comes with a price.”

      ‘Heighten the contradictions’ theory implies you ultimately wind up in a better place. What happens if people wind up in a worse place and don’t care?

      • Derelict

        Unfortunately, I get to see exactly this kind of “decision making” going on in real life nearly every day. Some people really do choose to live the most miserable life possible, and they bitterly resent anyone else who isn’t just as miserable.

        That old saw about voting for the guy who will take away your cardboard because he promised to take away both the cardboard box and the curtain rod that the neighbors have? That’s in full effect these days.

        • Q.E.Dumbass

          Incidentally, that old saw was penned by Davis X. Machina himself.

      • Little Chak

        “That smug, elitist Jimmy Kimmel, getting all emotional over the idea of someone’s kid dying for lack of treatment because they aren’t rich like him. It’s too bad his kid couldn’t have been the one to die, and it had to be our little Johnny. Oh, well, them’s the ropes.

        What an elitist, wanting to pay more in taxes so that our Johnny’s care could be covered, too. God, what an asshole.”

        • Chetsky

          That’s too generous to Cletus, LC. The fairer take would be:

          “That smug elitist Kimmel; if he & his Hollywood liberal wife hadn’t done all those drugs, their kid woulda turned out fine — why, look at our entire family tree, we turn out fine! The only ones with problems like this are sinners and libertines, and they deserve what they get!”

          No kidding, I’ve seen people blaming him for his kid’s congenital heart condition, and citing Kimmel’s drug use (not that I know or care whether it’s accurate, and frankly, I doubt they care either).

          • pseudalicious

            jesus fucking christ .

    • corporatecake

      I mean, is it really surprising everyone in the House wants to punt this off to McConnell, the only person in Republican leadership who appears to have any idea what he’s doing?

    • wengler

      House leadership is actually telling representatives to go ahead and vote for the bill because it will never make it through the Senate.

      Hey, Congress guy in a marginal district! Do you want to go on the record voting for a terrible bill that won’t even pass?

      This is why I’m skeptical that this even goes to a vote tomorrow.

      • farin

        I assume the main work they’ve done is working the refs well enough to ensure it won’t be called terrible. Look, MacArthur got better coverage for children like the unfortunate daughter he condemned to a short life of anguish! And Upton got billions of dollars to help the millions of people suddenly unable to buy insurance! Republicans have Serious Ideas, unlike the Democrats who won’t even meet them halfway in destroying the medical system.

  • Davis X. Machina

    The fundamental problem remains — if you don’t believe the word ‘society’ refers to any actually-existing thing, you can’t really credibly offer any form of social provision.

    The GOP doesn’t, and they can’t.

  • Little Chak

    So their answer is to allow states to dump people with pre-existing conditions into “high-risk pools”, so their rates will skyrocket, while everyone else’s will go down a small amount. And this isn’t taking away health insurance from people with pre-existing conditions…because it’s possible that they are, all of them, independently wealthy?

    Or is it because they can go to the ER if they can’t afford the sky-high premium of being in a high-risk pool?

    I’m confused.

    • Scott P.

      Don’t be fuddled by the patter. It’s really about repealing the Obamacare tax hikes. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Some people had their tax rates on a portion of their non-wage income increased by as much as 10%.

        THIS SHALL NOT STAND!

      • sharonT

        Ryan promised his funders a tax cut, and if 24+ million people have to die, well, that’s the price America has to pay for FREEDOM!

    • Derelict

      I love when conservatives wheel out “Well, nobody is denied healthcare because they can just go to the ER and get treated for free!!!!”

      Uh-huh. Tell ya what, Spanky–go develop lung cancer and then run to the ER and ask for chemo. Let me know how that works out for ya.

    • Alex.S

      Their current answer is that “it covers pre-existing conditions”.

      Now realistically, it doesn’t. But if you squint at the bill and think “maybe a high-risk pool for pre-existing conditions is like insurance” and think a little bit more… it still does not cover pre-existing conditions because they aren’t offering any money.

      However! Paul Ryan has discovered that the bar has been set at “Look, it’s really difficult to say that a politician is lying when they might not be aware of what they are saying, so us objective journalists can’t say when someone is lying.”

      So the current plan and resolution of all issues with their bill is to say that none of the bad things will happen.

    • farin

      And then there’s this grotesque motherfucker saying that his amendment allowing states to opt out of the pre-existing condition guarantee was inspired by his daughter, whose painful and completely debilitating congenital condition wasn’t covered by his insurance. As a principled conservative, he claims that having the Feds, rather than insurance companies, cover expensive cases would guarantee better care.

      Oh, yeah, he was also CEO of a high-risk insurance company, the sort that would receive an enormous unearned payday from his amendment. But that can’t matter to him, right, because DEAD KID REMEMBER?

      • Little Chak

        “…some other mechanism…”

        Oh, ffs. Reminds me of the Sidney Harris cartoon:

        “…then a miracle occurs…”

        “I think you should be more explicit here in step 2.”

        I am so angry right now I am shaking. These people are all murderers. And they are giddy.

        • farin

          My only faint hope is that most of the people they end up murdering voted for them.

  • msdbdc

    So Spicer is saying, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it”? Does Nancy Pelosi know about this?

    • Alex.S

      Pelosi’s argument was that they had to pass the bill in order for people to realize the benefits that they would get from Obamacare, as the real-world benefits of health insurance would make the bill more popular.

      She was wrong on this until the Republican party got into a position where they actually could take away the benefits of Obamacare. Suddenly Obamacare is a lot more popular now that people are being told about the good stuff they will be losing!

      Spicer’s argument is that things are so complicated that it’s not worth it to try to figure out what might happen.

      • Hogan

        IOW, he’s actually saying what Pelosi was accused of saying.

        If one were a reporter, one might think that worth pointing out.

        • Bitter Scribe

          IOW, he’s actually saying what Pelosi was accused of saying.

          Yes, and the people who endlessly pimped that wrenched-out-of-context quote won’t even blink.

        • Chetsky

          IOW, he’s actually saying what Pelosi was accused of saying.

          Damn. It is always projection with these mofos.

  • SatanicPanic

    IIRC there was an office that Congress could go to that would explain policy details to congressional members if they didn’t understand it. New Gingrich shut it down. Does anyone know what it was called? Matt Yglesias was talking about it recently.

    • Hogan

      Could be the Office of Technology Assessment, an early casualty of the War on Science.

      • SatanicPanic

        I think that’s it

      • Hondo

        Even if the OTA still existed, wouldn’t you go to the CRS first for this type of analysis?

  • The 7th Marx Brother

    [sarcasm font on] Everyone will have access to health *insurance* — the GOP never promised access to health care, because that would be socialism. [sarcasm font off]

    The magic of the market will provide access to insurance for high risk pools in the same way the market currently offers me access to a G-6 jet… The fact I don’t have the funds required to take advantage of the market’s offer isn’t the market’s fault. In effect, the GOP plan creates a legal obligation for health insurers to offer a product to the chronically ill; it just has pretty much f— all to say about the price of said coverage.

  • Have they even bothered to explain how they think the zombie AHCA could possibly pass the Senate? It’s clearly not eligible for reconciliation. Even the original draft was a huge stretch, but McConnell would have bullied the parliamentarian into going along. I don’t think enough noogies exist in the entire world to get this bill past the parliamentarian. At that point you might as well not have a filibuster.

    • efgoldman

      I don’t think enough noogies exist in the entire world to get this bill past the parliamentarian.

      Who does said parliamentarian work for?

      • davidsmcwilliams

        Don’t the parliamentarians work for the tsar?

        • Bill Murray

          I think the Parliamentarians work for the Prime Minister. or perhaps Cromwell

    • Davis X. Machina

      In 2001 the Senate GOP fired the parliamentarian under similar circumstances, and hired a new one that gave the correct answers.

    • Scott Mc

      Um, I was assured just last week on another thread that getting this out of the House was impossible. Pretty sure getting this past the parliamentarian will be easier than getting it out of the House. If it passes the House, I’d be surprised if it doesn’t land on Trump’s desk.

  • Gareth

    “[They] feel like they’re about to lose it and they’re going to die. And if we cannot explain to people that is not going to happen, then it’s going to be very difficult to ever bring a bill to the floor.”

    Have they tried John 3:16?

  • ColBatGuano

    while others bemoan that Congress never dug into the thorny policy details to devise a workable healthcare alternative.

    See, here’s the thing. Half of Congress did dig into the thorny policy details and the ACA was the result. They are called Democrats. I hate the usage of “Congress” when they mean “Republicans”.

    • Davis X. Machina

      …Congress never dug into the thorny policy details to devise a workable healthcare alternative.

      A party that doesn’t believe ‘society’ refers to an extant, real thing isn’t going to waste valuable time drafting a workable bill that creates a social provision.

      You didn’t see an workable estate-tax-repeal alternative bill coming out of Pelosi’s House when Dems had the majority, did you?

      • ColBatGuano

        She was too busy playing identity politics to come up with a workable estate tax repeal.

  • DrDick

    These kinds of problems are inevitable when you try to market a massive upper class tax cut as healthcare reform.

  • Alex.S

    Vote is scheduled for tomorrow.

    The votes to get it out of committee are scheduled for tonight.

    Soon. They’re still waiting on the bills/amendments to be written.

  • Mutombo

    “The American Health Care Act is the boldest and most conservative health care legislation to come before Congress in decades.” I thought that voting to repeal Obamacare and replace it with nothing was bolder and more conservative, but I guess words change meaning depending on who is in power.

    https://housegop.leadpages.co/healthcare/

  • Alex.S

    Let’s check in with the New York Times!

    Pre-Existing Conditions: Both Sides Are Stretching the Truth

    Oh, both sides? Well I’m sure they worked long and hard to find good examples!

    WASHINGTON — In the debate over how the effort to replace the Affordable Care Act would affect those with pre-existing health conditions, opponents and supporters alike have offered misleading talking points.

    Faced with polling indicating public support for protections, and after an emotional appeal by the television host Jimmy Kimmel that has gone viral, Republicans are making a dubious case that their updated bill provides similar coverage for those who are less healthy, while Democrats are overstating claims about how many are affected.

    So, digging into the “fact-check”.

    Republicans are saying that they’ll protect people with pre-existing conditions, but they aren’t. The “misleading” from Paul Ryan is their guess that waivers for reinsurance is enough to cover pre-existing conditions.

    Meanwhile, Democrats are stating statistics on how many people have pre-existing conditions (which could impact how they get health insurance in the future), but not using the lower-bound estimate of how many people with pre-existing conditions are currently getting healthcare through the ACA.

    In conclusion, BOTH SIDES!

    • veleda_k

      Come on, somebody tell me that aside from the opinions page, the NYT is a great paper. Come on, I could use a laugh.

    • Rob in CT

      A the tombstones shall read “Both Sides Did It.”

    • But All True Liberals are required to give the NYT money because freedom.

    • Bufflars

      The weird thing is, the Democrats shouldn’t be using “the lower-bound estimate of how many people with pre-existing conditions are currently getting healthcare through the ACA” since the pre-existing conditions perk in the ACA covers all insurance, not just exchanges. If I’m not mistaken, if a state decides to drop that requirement, ALL insurance plans in that state could be lose the protection.

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