Sunday, October 15, 2017

It's Almost Like The Chimp Grabbed An AKA-47 And He's Just Shooting It Indiscriminately In Every Direction


As you can see on the chart above, a huge majority of 2016 Trump voters polled by PPP approve of his executive order to hobble the Affordable Care Act. I wonder if the majority would go down if PPP described what exactly Trump's executive order is trying to accomplish. Only 34% of registered voters overall, approve of the order-- and only 8% of Clinton voters (which includes the nearly 3 million more who voted for her than for Trumpanzee). But that Trump base of support-- about a third of voters-- seems to be adhering to him through thin and thinner. Presumably when their relatives die from lack of medicare care they'll just blame Obama. Friday, Greg Sargent suggested that the executive order was a gun pointed at the heads of congressional Republicans. I hope so... because the DCCC sure doesn't have any guns to point at their heads. Sargent points out that "Trump’s peculiar combination of malevolence, certainty in his own negotiating prowess and cluelessness about the details of policy sometimes leads him to issue fearsome-sounding threats that are rooted in a baffling misread of the distribution of leverage and incentives underlying the situation at hand. Case in point: The big news of the morning, which is that Trump will cut off paying the 'cost-sharing reductions' in his latest bid to sabotage the Affordable Care Act." He asserts that Trump's move "puts more pressure on congressional Republicans than on Democrats to agree to" a bipartisan fix like the one Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), two centrists who head the Senate Health and Education Committee, have been working on.

According to a Democratic source familiar with the talks, there is broad agreement that Congress should appropriate the money to cover the billions of dollars in cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), which, if halted, could cause the individual markets to melt down. The sticking points are over how much flexibility the deal should give to give states in defining what counts as insurance coverage, and there’s a decent chance those sticking points will be resolved.

Indeed, Alexander has publicly confirmed that he believes Congress should appropriate the funds to cover the CSRs. He has also publicly allowed that he believes Murray has already made serious concessions towards the flexibility of ACA rules that Republicans want, though Murray still insists that the regulations requiring insurers to offer “essential health benefits” must remain. What this means is that, presuming a deal is reached, the real lingering question will be whether Republican leaders in Congress will accept such a compromise and allow a vote on it.

And the pressure on Republicans to do that will be intense. The Washington Examiner recently reported that vulnerable House Republicans worry they could have a major political problem on their hands if these payments are stopped, because it could harm large numbers of people in their districts. As it is, millions are enrolled in plans with cost-sharing reductions, which pay money to insurers to subsidize out-of-pocket costs, and if they are halted, insurers could exit the markets, further destabilizing them and leaving millions without coverage options. Tellingly, influential House Republicans such as Reps. Tom Cole (OK) and Greg Walden (OR) have called for Congress to appropriate the payments.

...[T]he issue is whether Congress will appropriate the payments to cover the CSRs. It would not be that hard to reach a bipartisan deal to do this, at which point the question will become whether GOP leaders and Trump will support it. If not, it is likely that Trump and Republicans will take the blame for any disruptions that ensue.

By the way, when Trump says Obamacare is “imploding,” which will allegedly pressure Dems, he’s lying: The exchanges were stabilizing, and many of their travails are largely attributable to his own multiple efforts to sabotage them. The public understands this: Large majorities say Trump and Republicans will own the ACA’s problems going forward and want them to make the law work.

So in what sense will Democrats feel pressure from Trump’s escalating sabotage? All the versions of repeal Trump has supported would harm more people than stopping the CSRs will. Why would Dems feel pressure to choose the former over the latter? It’s true that Dems, worried about the humanitarian toll this could have, might be more inclined to make concessions in the talks with Alexander. But all indications are that Alexander is approaching those talks in good faith and that a reasonable deal is possible.

In the end, Trump and Republicans are the ones likely to feel more pressure to support such a deal, which will put them in the tough spot of choosing between taking the blame for chaos in the individual markets and weathering the rage from the right that accepting a deal will unleash. Even if Trump doesn’t understand this, congressional Republicans surely do.
This Charlie Dent appearance on CNN probably didn't please the so-called "ill-advised" Trump yesterday. But it isn't so much that he's ill-advised as that he's mentally ill and not paying any attention to his advisors. 

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At 6:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at those polls.

The logical conclusion of what those tell us is civil war. Those who approve of that EXO actually WANT 10s of Ks of poor people to lose health insurance and die. And a lot of them will be ... them.

This thinking is akin to OBL, IS et al trying to start a religious war with the US, sacrificing maybe a billion of their own, with the goal of eventually breaking the west.

There is only one way to cleanse this evil from humankind. Only one.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Elizabeth Burton said...

It helps to stop pretending the switch-voters supported (and continue to support) Mr. Trump because of his platform. They didn't, and don't. They support him because he said he would "give it to the man," and that is a Pavlovian bell to a whole lot of people whose concept of economics is them and a massive corporate entity. It's the basis for pirating intellectual property, no matter the window dressing of "free publicity" and all the other excuses usually applied.

As far as they're concerned, the media outrage over everything Trump says and does is exactly what they hoped would happen. It was what helped get him elected, all that free publicity that put lots and lots of $$$ into corporate media bank accounts.

And let us not forget that, thanks to that same media constantly repeating the right-wing appellation "Obamacare" instead of using the correct name/acronym resulted in a whole lot of people thinking "Obamacare" is some awful gubmint giveaway that has nothing to do with the health insurance they're getting via the ACA.


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