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President Trump Thinks the Senate Health Care Bill Is ‘Mean.’ But He Still Supports It

President Donald Trump confirmed Sunday that he had characterized the Senate’s version of the Obamacare repeal bill as “mean,” but gave no indication that will lessen his support of the legislation. Trump made the admission during a Fox News interview when he fielded a question about former President Barack Obama’s response to the bill. Obama insisted that “small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.” “He used my term, mean. That was my term because I want to see – and I speak from the heart, that’s what I want to see. I want to see a bill with heart,” Trump told Fox News’ Pete Hegseth. Earlier this month, CNN reported hat Trump had called the Senate bill “mean” in a luncheon with Republican senators, and said the House’s version of the bill did not provide enough protection for individuals. House Speaker Paul Ryan downplayed Trump’s response, telling Fox News it was “some kind of a misinterpretation of a private meeting.” The Congressional Budget Office, which offers non-partisan analysis, estimated that under the House version of the health care bill, 23 million fewer Americans would have health insurance by 2026, largely due to shrinking Medicaid eligibility. The CBO is slated to release its analysis of the Senate bill this coming week. But, like the House version, the Senate’s bill also aims to phase out the portion of Obamacare that provides federal funding for states to expand medicaid. A month before he officially launched his bid for president, Trump tweeted that he would not touch the Medicaid program. I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. Huckabee copied me. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2015 But in his interview on Sunday, Trump seemed confident in the contents of the Senate’s bill, as well as its passage — although he predicted some changes to placate the senators that are currently not supporting the legislation. “We have a very good plan,” he said. “We have a few people that are – I think you could say modestly – they’re not standing on the rooftops and screaming. They want to get some points, I think they’ll get some points.” […]

Public Health: Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich Is a Key Part of the Senate Health Bill

Avik Roy, the president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, and a conservative health care analyst, cheered the bill on Twitter, saying, “If it passes, it’ll be the greatest policy achievement by a G.O.P. Congress in my lifetime.” The bill, he explained in an email, provides a mechanism for poor Americans to move from Medicaid coverage into the private market, a goal he has long championed as a way of equalizing insurance coverage across income groups.States would continue to receive extra funding for Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid to more poor adults, but only temporarily. After several years, states wishing to cover that population would be expected to pay a much greater share of the bill, even as they adjust to leaner federal funding for other Medicaid beneficiaries — disabled children, nursing home residents — who are more vulnerable.PhotoMitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, in the Capitol on Thursday.Credit Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesHigh-income earners would get substantial tax cuts on payroll and investment income. Subsidies for those low-income Americans who buy their own insurance would decline compared with current law. Low-income Americans who currently buy their own insurance would also lose federal help in paying their deductibles and co-payments.The bill does offer insurance subsidies to poor Americans who live in states that don’t offer them Medicaid coverage, a group without good insurance options under Obamacare. But the high-deductible plans that would become the norm might continue to leave care out of their financial reach even if they do buy insurance.Continue reading the main storyThe battle over resources played into the public debate […]

Sweet Cornageddon

The modern farm lobby has many similarities with the Republican Party like denying climate change and calling for the repeal of Obamacare in policy books. Until today, DC based ag lobbyists have largely adhered to a peace accord similar to the GOP 11th Amendment axiom made famous by Ronald Reagan to not attack other members in the industrial farm family. So pass the popcorn because the Corn Refiner’s Association just launched a massive attack on the U.S. sugar industry’s federal support. The Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger and James Hohmann have the exclusive last week on CRA’s surprise offensive: For decades, it’s been an unspoken rule among Washington’s agricultural lobbyists: advocates for one crop do not attack other crops, so that everyone’s benefits can be protected. But a leading member of the traditionally united community plans to do just that: the Corn Refiners Association is about to invest heavily in an effort to unwind the lucrative breaks afforded to sugar, which are among the most generous in U.S. agriculture. The Corn Refiners, representing companies that produce high-fructose corn syrup, just hired 10 outside lobbyists for an aggressive, unorthodox attack on the federal sugar program just a year after a new farm bill was signed into law […]

No, really, your birth control is supposed to be free now

put a (nuva) ring on it

No, really, your birth control is supposed to be free now

By on 11 May 2015 6:02 pmcommentsShare

For National Women’s Health Week, we’ll be highlighting women’s health issues in the United States.

Let’s play an American history game: Where Were You when you realized that the Affordable Care Act really, actually meant that you wouldn’t have to pay a copay for your birth control?

For me, it was a Walgreens on the north end of Seattle in February 2014, staring dumbfoundedly at a pharmacist who assured me that no, really, there was no charge for those pills.

This was a very happy moment, but one that not all privately insured, contraception-using women have had yet — which is really not OK. So new White House regulations, just issued today, will firmly remind health insurers that, yes, they are required to provide birth control to women at no cost.

Why is this reminder necessary? Vox reports:

Two recent investigations — one by the Kaiser Family Foundation and another by the National Women’s Law Center — found that not all insurance plans were abiding by these rules.

Some insurers seemed to blatantly disregard the Obamacare mandate. The KFF study — which looked at a sample of 20 insurers in five states — found one that simply didn’t cover the birth control ring and four that “couldn’t ascertain” whether they covered birth control implants. These are potential violations of the law.

This is really not complicated: Provide free, easy-to-get birth control, and women’s lives will universally improve. Fail to do so, and life becomes an Amy Schumer sketch — but way less fun. The birth control mandate of the Affordable Care Act has already had real, positive effects on women’s access to contraception. The percentages of privately insured women who have had no copays on their birth control have increased dramatically — in the case of birth control pills, for example, from 15 percent to 67 percent.

Basically, insurance companies, like surly teens, just need to be constantly reminded of what they’re supposed to do. If yours isn’t cooperating, call it every day until it does — or, alternatively, until it lashes out and gets a small, regrettable ankle tattoo.

The White House just got aggressive enforcing Obamacare’s birth control mandate

, Vox.



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A People’s Budget for the People’s Future

This week as the House and Senate vote on their respective federal budget proposals, it’s important to remind ourselves that how our collective wealth is spent is the purest reflection of what we value as a country. If you listen long enough to the voices dominating Washington, D.C. budget debates, you almost start to believe that austerity is inevitable and that the only question is how to allocate the suffering. Chairman of the House Budget Committee Tom Price’s (R-Ga.) budget proposes repealing Obamacare, turning Medicare into a voucher system that no longer ensures full coverage for recipients and cutting food stamps […]

Ted Cruz Recites ‘Green Eggs and Ham’

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Capital One Fined $210 Million For Deceptive Marketing

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