March 9, 2017

Top Stories

Why Republicans' Vow That Their Health Care Plan Lowers Costs Is A Big Gamble

The Gist: At the core of the Republican sales pitch for their Obamacare replacement is the the promise of lower premiums. The problem is they don’t have much in their bill to point to that will, without a doubt, fulfill that promise.

Reports: Trump's Backup Plan To Repeal Is Blaming Dems For O'care Failure

The Gist: During a meeting with conservatives on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump said that if the House healthcare bill fails, Republicans can wait another two years for a repeal and blame Democrats for Obamacare's failure in the meantime, according to reports by CNN and Politico.

Tea Party Leader Tears Apart House Health Plan: Prices Will 'Skyrocket'

The Gist: Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, said on Thursday morning that she's not happy with the House Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it will increase health insurance costs even further.

From The Reporter's Notebook

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he is not aware of any women who work in the White House who participated in the "Day Without a Woman" protest Wednesday, TPM's Kristin Salaky reported. "I am not aware of any that are not here. I think everyone that I'm aware of has shown up and is working really hard to advance the president's agenda," Spicer said

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: "We're at roughly a month and a half into the administration. The GOP has unified control of the government and yet no significant legislation has moved at all. That is a stunning reality which the storm and chaos of Trump's short presidency has largely obscured. But it is an almost unprecedented development. Some of this may be an inherent limitation because the President came into office as a minority President. But as I argued a month ago, the President simply has no appetite for the hard work of passing laws. He has defaulted to rolling out executive order after executive order, in most cases Potemkin decrees with vaguely legalistic language and limited actual impact. Like so much with Trump, it's a mix of authoritarianism on the one hand and impatience and flimflam on the other. The upshot isn't so much a poor man's as a lazy man's authoritarianism."

Say What?!

"We’re looking at it in a different way, Mark, because insurance is not really the end goal here, is it? It's one of the conservatives' – one of the Republicans' complaints about the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning: It was a great way to get insurance and a lousy way to actually be able to go to the doctor."

- The director of the Office of Management and Budget said Wednesday that Republicans wouldn't use insurance coverage numbers as the ultimate metric for the success of the proposal to replace Obamacare.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "People forget that during the Bush years insurance premiums that were getting paid to insurers in the group market exploded by 100% in his 8 years in office, The ACA was a plan to try to curb that explosive growth by finding a way to bring a lot more consumers into the market while helping in other areas as well. Premiums went up another 55% under Obama and in the individual market ended up pricing a lot of participants in the individual market right out of the market and that caused a backlash against the ACA in many areas. The crux of the problem is that in the world of income inequality that we live in there is less and less room for the expenses and profits of insurers to be put into the middle of patients and providers. The only way for insurers to remain viable is to move significant costs off of their balance sheets while keeping as much revenue intact as they can. This means that they will simply price the costly out of the market altogether. Which is why you are seeing the entire provider market scream bloody murder, they know that they will be the ones who end up bearing the costs of patients who cannot afford insurance, they have been down this road already. Of course the more money they have to eat the more money it will cost for those remaining on insurance which will increase the number of the uninsured each year, lather, rinse, repeat."

Related: Spicer On AARP Concerns: We're Not Trying To Accommodate 'Special Interests'

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