Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Thirty-two million more people people will be uninsured by 2026, compared to current law, if the GOP repeal-and-delay legislation the Senate may vote on next week becomes law, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

The legislation, which was posted shortly before the CBO released its score, tracks closely with a bill that Congress passed and then-President Barack Obama vetoed in early 2016.

The CBO report also said that premiums would double by 2026 under the Senate legislation, which eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s taxes, insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansion, but keeps its regulatory regime in place.

The repeal of the subsidies and expansion would go into effect in 2020, while the elimination of individual mandate would take place right away.

The analysis predicted that insurers would flee the exchanges under those conditions:

In CBO and JCT’s estimation, under this legislation, about half of the nation’s population would live in areas having no insurer participating in the nongroup market in 2020 because of downward pressure on enrollment and upward pressure on premiums. That share would continue to increase, extending to about three-quarters of the population by 2026.

The CBO predicted that the Medicaid expansion elimination would reduce Medicaid spending by $842 billion over the next decade, and the government would save $454 billion from getting rid of the subsidies. Those savings would be partially offset by the repeal of the taxes — which costs the government $613 billion in revenue—and the end of mandate, for a net deficit reduction of $473 billion.

The analysis comes as Senate Republicans consider whether to vote on the so-called “clean repeal” bill, after their legislation known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act saw enough defections this week to sink it.

In theory, Republicans say, they will work out a replacement plan in the two years before repeal of the ACA subsidies and Medicaid expansion kicks in. However, CBO’s analysis highlights that even in that ideal scenario, some of the legislation’s ugly effects will kick in pretty quickly.

The CBO predicted that in 2018, 10 percent of the population would be living in areas where no insurers would be participating in the individual market. It also said premiums for what are known as “silver plans” under the ACA would rise by 25 percent in 2018, because fewer people would chose to enroll without the mandate and because the mix of those individuals who would remain would be costlier.

In 2018, 17 million more people would not have health insurance coverage than under current law, 10 million of those losses coming from the nongroup market. While those increases are largely fueled by the end of the mandate, the increase in premiums and the departure of insurers from the marketplace would also play a role in reducing coverage, the CBO said.

Come 2020, 27 million fewer people will have coverage compared to current law, and that number would grow to 32 million by 2026. Of the 32 million, 19 million would be due to Medicaid cuts and 23 million to changes in private insurance.

Leaving Obamacare’s regulatory regime in place while taking away its government assistance is partly to blame for those high numbers. The CBO found if the regulations were also repealed, 23 million fewer people would be insured in 2026 compared to current law, instead of 32 million.

Overall, the CBO painted a picture of major instability if the legislation became law, culminating in three out of every four Americans living in an area with no insurers by 2026.

Read the report below:

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After a meeting at the White House where President Trump urged Republican senators to keep working on their Obamacare repeal effort—which was presumed dead due to resistance from both the conference’s right and centrist wings—the caucus is expected to hold a meeting Wednesday evening where hesitant Republicans can continue to talk through their differences.

Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) suggested it was possible that the Senate’s left-for-dead Obamacare replacement bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, could be revived, Politico reported.

“I’m more optimistic that that would be the case. But if there’s no agreement, then we’ll still vote on the motion to proceed but it’ll be to the 2015 just-repeal bill,” he said, referring to the back-up plan Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered up Monday night after too many Republicans defected from the replacement bill for it to have a hope of passing.



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The Republican officials that make up the bulk of Trump voter fraud commission did little in terms of toning down the hyped voter fraud rhetoric they’ve employed in the past that had prompted civil rights groups to worry that the commission would be used as a pretext for more suppressive elections policies.

At the commission’s first in-person meeting Wednesday, President Trump himself, in his brief appearance in front of the panel, hyped up the fraud threat by recounting tales of “irregularities” told to him on the campaign trail “having to do with very large numbers of people in certain states.”

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President Trump opened the first in-person meeting of his sketchy voter fraud commission by claiming he’s heard concerns about “very large numbers of people in certain states” involved in “voter inconsistencies,” while also suggesting that states that so far haven’t turned over all the voter information the commission has requested had something to hide.

“If any state does not want to share this information, one has to wonder what they’re worried about,” Trump said at his brief appearance at the meeting, which took place at a government building near the White House. “And I ask the Vice President, I ask the commission, what are they worried about? There is something, there always is.”

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The so-called “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” that President Trump created after false claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 elections holds its first in-person meeting at 11 a.m. ET in Washington Wednesday.

The White House is livestreaming the meeting, being held at the White House complex. You can watch it here:

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After seven years of promising to repeal and replace Obamacare — and about seven months laboring on an Affordable Care Act replacement— Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Senate Republicans were unable to come up with enough votes to pass their repeal-and-replace legislation at this time. Instead, McConnell said, they would vote “sometime in the near future” on a so-called straight repeal bill, akin to the bill Republicans in Congress passed in 2015 that was vetoed by then President Obama.

“As of today we simply do not have 50 senators who can agree on what ought to replace the existing law,” McConnell told reporters after a private Senate GOP lunch. “What we do have is a vote that many of us made two years ago—at a time when the President of the United States would not sign the legislation—that would repeal Obamacare, and, with a two-year delay, give us the opportunity to build something better on a bipartisan basis.”

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The lesson Republicans have taken from watching their efforts to gut Medicaid face-plant is that their next act should be an attempt to gut an even more popular government health care program: Medicare.

On Tuesday morning, hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had pulled the plug on an Obamacare repeal bill that imposed a massive overhaul on Medicaid, the House Budget Committee unveiled a 10-year budget blueprint that would seek to transform and privatize Medicare.

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Not long after the defections of two more Senate Republicans made the GOP Obamacare replacement bill dead in the water, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell  (R-KY) announced Monday night he would let members vote for a “repeal only” amendment, if they are able to get the base health care legislation that was passed in the House onto the floor.

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Two more GOP senators announced Monday evening that they are opposed to the Senate Obamacare repeal bill, meaning that even when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) returns from a medical emergency that delayed plans for a vote this week, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will not have enough support to even advance the legislation to the floor.

Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) announced on Twitter their opposition to the motion to proceed, a procedural vote that would have opened the bill to debate. In a statement, Lee said he opposed the bill –the Better Care Reconciliation, Act–because it kept some Obamacare taxes and regulations, while an amendment that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) negotiated to earn conservative support was not enough to gain his vote.

Moran, meanwhile, was critical of the “closed door process” as well as the substance of the legislation. “We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” Moran said.

Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) had previously announced that they opposed the latest form of the bill, which was unveiled last week.

Republican leaders had hoped to at least get it through the motion to proceed vote, which would start the floor process during which amendments could also be voted on to secure support.

News that McCain had undergone emergency surgery for a blood clot on Friday had forced McConnell to “defer” a vote for the time being. With McCain’s absence, Republicans did not have the 50 votes to even bring the bill to the floor. Lee’s and Moran’s opposition means that at best the legislation will have to undergo more changes to get the 50 votes to pass it.

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An email chain released as part of litigation around Kansas’ proof-of-citizenship voter registration requirement confirmed what many suspected to be Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s (R) long-term goal in partnering with President Trump’s administration.

The email chain, first published Saturday by the Huffington Post, reveals that Kobach emailed Trump’s transition team the day after Trump’s surprise victory informing transition member Gene Hamilton that he was working on draft “amendments to the [National Voter Registration Act] to make clear that proof of citizenship requirements are permitted” to submit as legislation to Congress.

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