Going Small on Health Care

The Democratic bill in 2010 delivered significantly to the party’s base; the Republican bill in 2017 delivers significantly only to the party’s donors.

.. In order to mitigate its unpopularity, Senate Republicans keep making their bill more like, well, Obamacare, which raises the question of why they’re attempting something so complex for such a modest end.

.. the smaller bill would repeal the individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance. It would replace it, as the Senate bill does, with a continuous-coverage requirement — a waiting period to purchase insurance if you go without it for more than two months.

.. Instead of wringing almost $800 billion out of Medicaid over 10 years, it would try to reduce the program’s spending by $250 billion — just enough for deficit neutrality.

.. That’s it. That’s the whole thing. Eliminate the hated mandate, keep the exchanges stable, cut a few health care taxes, and pull Medicaid spending downward. Pass the package, declare victory, and pivot to tax reform.

.. Republicans could campaign in 2018 on the credible claim that they had maintained Obamacare’s coverage for most people who wanted it, while reducing its burdens on those who don’t.

.. the Republican Party is too divided on health care, too incompetently “led” by its president, and too confused about the details of health policy to do something that’s big and sweeping and also smart and decent and defensible.


Obama Lobbies Against Obliteration by Trump

Harry Reid wasn’t in a kumbaya frame of mind, calling Trump “a sexual predator who lost the popular vote.”

.. in 2008 not comprehending that many voters viewed him as the escape hatch from Clinton Inc. It never would have occurred to anyone then — even the Clintons — that President Obama would be the one to brush away any aversions and objections, take us by the elbow, and firmly steer us back to Clinton Inc.

.. But Obama lost touch with his revolutionary side and settled comfortably into being an Ivy League East Coast cerebral elitist who hung out with celebrities, lectured Congress and scorned the art of political persuasion.

.. He was cozy with Silicon Valley and dismissive of working-class voters anxious about globalization, shrugging that “We’re part of an interconnected global economy now, and there’s no going back from that.”

.. He was dismissive of Bernie Sanders and his voters, treating Sanders as a fairy tale, just as Bill Clinton treated him in 2008 when he was a senator with little record

.. Obama was the ultimate establishmentarian. As he told the Rutgers student paper in May, “We have to make incremental changes where we can, and every once in a while you’ll get a breakthrough and make the kind of big changes that are necessary.”

.. Hillary’s campaign message boiled down to “It’s my turn, dammit.”