March 22, 2017

Top Stories

Where Things Stand Ahead Of Thursday's Nail-Biter Obamacare Repeal Vote

The Gist: Less than 48 hours ahead of Thursday's House floor vote on the GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, some Republican lawmakers were openly worrying about what would happen if the bill goes down in flames.

Top House GOPer: Repeal Bill 'Has Not Been Sold Properly' To Voters

The Gist: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), the chair of the House Rules Committee, on Wednesday morning said that issues in uniting the entire Republican caucus to behind the bill to repeal Obamacare stem from Republicans' failure to fully sell the legislation to voters.

Trump: 'I'll Criticize Judges' Even Though I've Been Told Not To (VIDEO)

The Gist: During a speech at a Tuesday fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House Republican campaign arm, President Donald Trump disregarded the recommendation that he not lash out at judges.

From The Reporter's Notebook

After telling “60 Minutes” in January that she was focused on being a “daughter” instead of a White House role, Ivanka Trump is officially moving into a West Wing office to serve as an unofficial adviser. During the transition, Scott Amey of the Project on Government Oversight told TPM’s Allegra Kirkland that such a move would compound the serious family’s glaring conflicts of interest. “Now you’d have multiple people working inside the administration that also have an ownership interest in the family business, who are in contact with the family members who are still operating that business,” Amey said.

Agree or Disagree?

Josh Marshall: "If you're of a conspiratorial mind you might say, wow, Russian disinformation and propaganda keeps ending in the mouths of top Trump staffers. That's kind of weird. Is Russia somehow supplying this disinformation directly to the Trump campaign? That seems a bit hard to figure. But as I explained in this post at the time, there was another explanation. We know that at the time Donald Trump's Twitter feed, which was clearly where he got a lot of his information, was positively lousy with alt-right Twitter feeds, often of the harshest racist and neo-Nazi variety. The whole Trump crew, which was still fairly small at the time, was awash in this stuff. For whatever reason these streams were filled with stories from RT, Sputiknews and other rightist-European news sites which themselves often picked up stories."

Say What?!

"I didn’t want this job. I didn’t seek this job. My wife told me I’m supposed to do this."

- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson “didn’t want” the job, and took it at his wife’s urging.

BUZZING: Today in the Hive

From a TPM Prime member: "Politics is called the Art of the Possible. Obviously sales techniques become part of the process, and I feel that it is a constant complaint, which I contributed to myself, that we are poor at sales. But ACA only needs more revenue to support the subsidy and risk-corridor issues. It and Medicare (and Medicaid) could use more revenue for more generous fees to providers. I just had a small surgery, which was nominally a $3,000 bill, outpatient. But Medicare and supplemental paid about $450. I'm no elitist, but that seems a bit meager shared between surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses, and the facility. And the subsidy system is fine but coupled with the difficulty in persuading people they should join for others' sake, it would be less unpopular with the grumps if the subsidies went a bit higher. Sadly, 'Fix ACA by increasing taxes!' doesn't sound like a good pitch, but it is exactly the goal. Higher tax revenue would support a shift to Medicare at 55. Even higher taxes would support Medicare for all (mandatory). Even higher taxes would support Medicare for all with no requirement to pay a premium. Single-payer is nice to say. So is free college. Find the revenue in any conceivable Congress and I'll be thrilled."

Related: GOP Sen. Lee: House Leaders 'Don’t Have The Votes' To Pass Repeal Bill

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What We're Reading

Americans worry, cheer as Congress moves to upend the Affordable Care Act (The Washington Post)

The Case For Defeating Death (The Outline)