March 16, 2017

Top Stories

Are Republicans Just Using Obamacare Repeal As Cover For Gutting Medicaid?

The Gist: The fights over how Republicans’ Obamacare repeal legislation changes or eliminates ACA-related provisions have made the loudest noise as the legislation has moved forward on Capitol Hill. But its biggest provision -- both in terms of budgetary impact and long-term effect on the health care system -- is its overhaul of Medicaid, a transformation that Republicans have sought long before the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010.

McDonald's Beefs With Donald Trump On Twitter

The Gist: McDonald's corporate Twitter account sent a rather negative message to noted fast food lover President Donald Trump Thursday morning, calling him a "disgusting excuse for a President" and insulting his hands.

Trump Acknowledges Repeal Bill Wouldn't Be Great For His Supporters

The Gist: During an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Wednesday, President Donald Trump signaled that the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare is not in its final form, admitting that the current legislation does not favor the voters who elected Trump.

From The Reporter's Notebook

In his budget blueprint released on Thursday, President Donald Trump proposed completely eliminating the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, TPM's Caitlin MacNeal reported. The NEA and NEH have been funding targets as recently as 2014, when Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who now serves as speaker of the House, called for their elimination in his 2015 budget.

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: "It certainly makes sense both politically and morally that President Trump night push or sign a bill that victimizes his own supporters as much as anyone. Every President recognizes and serves the needs of his core supporters, the bedrocks of his political coalition. But it is rare to see a President who so openly presses his goal of serving the needs of his own supporters either to the exclusion or indifference of everyone else."

Say What?!

"This is a watered-down version of the first one. This is a watered down version, and let me tell you something. I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first place."

- After a federal judge in Hawaii put on hold President Donald Trump's revised executive order barring travel from a list of predominantly Muslim countries, Trump complained at a rally in Nashville, Tennessee, that he did not want the "watered-down" version of the order.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "One of the underreported aspects of Obamacare is that it has become shorthand for everything that is wrong with the health insurance markets -- notably including the increasing cost and decreasing coverage (higher deductibles and copayments) for many workers' employer-provided health insurance. Whether or not people recognize that the PPACA was not designed to fix employer-sponsored coverage (and, by buying into right-wing dogma about copayments and deductibles, effectively put its blessing on that form of cost-shifting to employees), many perceive increases in their contribution as being attributable to the PPACA. By that measure, the 'repeal' bill poses a danger for the Trump Administration and Republicans that has perhaps been overshadowed by the numbers of people who stand to lose their coverage. Specifically, everybody else will continue to see their premiums increase as before, and they will continue to see their employers cost-shift through higher copays and deductibles. It's also possible that the destabilization caused by the 'repeal' will increase medical costs for everybody else, given that many uninsured people are likely to shift back to emergency room care as the alternative to the primary care that they cannot afford. I don't see how Trump can avoid being held responsible for a continuation of the burden of health insurance and healthcare costs on working families, even if they aren't among those who lose their insurance coverage under this proposed legislation. Meanwhile, the spin should be that there is no Ryancare -- just Trumpcare -- and that the Ryan bill reflects a leadership failure by Trump, given that it breaks many of Trump's health insurance promises and keeps none of them."

Related: Cancer Survivor To Price: 'Why Do You Want To Take Away My Medicaid Expansion?'

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What We're Reading

Can Words Be Violent? (The Nation)

Joe Biden's favorite Obama-Biden meme revealed (CBS)