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The Con Republicans Will Use to Try to Pass TrumpCare


Your reminder that the Republican mass-murder-for-an-upper-class-tax-cut bill is still alive and your hair should still be on fire about it:

Senate Republicans have asked the Congressional Budget Office to analyze Sen. Ted Cruz’s proposal for further health insurance deregulation, and they’ve asked for one estimate of a health care bill that includes his changes and one that doesn’t, according to a GOP aide familiar with the discussions.

The bottom line: That would give Republicans a better idea of the impact of his proposal, which would let insurers sell health plans that don’t meet Affordable Care Act standards — including, potentially, waiving the pre-existing condition rules — as long as they also sell plans that comply with all of the ACA insurance regulations.

The scam is pretty clear. McConnell keeps sending drafts to the CBO. They work the refs. They eventially find a bill that is only projected to take insurance from 19 million people. Then they count on the media to report on the latest version as “new, moderate Senate bill takes insurance away from 4 million fewer people than mean House bill for a (perhaps somewhat lower) upper-class tax cut.” Susan Collins agrees that killing only 17,000 people a year for upper-class tax cuts that will have to wait until the tax cut bill next month to be realized is the very epitome of Principled Moderation.

I’m not saying this is guaranteed to work, but Dems need to be prepared. In particular, they need to keep the focus on the relevant baseline (the status quo) rather than the meaningless one (previous even worse iterations of Republican efforts to take insurance away from millions of people to pay for upper-class tax cuts.) And they also should make clear that even if Republicans take some of the tax giveaways to the rich out of this bill, they’re coming back for another round anyway.

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