The Latest Obamacare Repeal Plan Exacerbates the Political Problems of the First

By Vann R. Newkirk II

“Figure out a way to change the state that you live in.” That was the controversial advice White House budget director Mick Mulvaney offered to those worried about a proposal that would allow states to repeal required essential health benefits in health-insurance plans. That provision didn’t quite make it into the last round of the Republicans’ effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, and Mulvaney later clarified that he was urging citizens to persuade their legislators to enact changes where they lived, not encouraging them to move. But the soundbite, endlessly replayed on cable news, became a rallying point for the plan’s opponents. If Americans want their insurance to cover things like maternity care, hospital stays, or mental health under the future written by the American Health Care Act, they warned, they might soon have to pack up and move to another state.

The last round of Republican negotiations on the AHCA died last month in the House, driven by defections both among the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, who balked at the elements of Obamacare individual cost controls that it maintained, and also by moderates, who thought that the controls the law cut were too draconian, especially for their working-class base. But President Trump and congressional Republicans have renewed negotiations on the AHCA in recent weeks, hoping to mollify the rebellious Freedom Caucus with more conservative additions to the bill. A new proposed amendment from Rep. Tom MacArthur might accomplish just that, but in the process might actually be the final nail in the bill’s second coffin.

The amendment is rather plain in its language and what it seeks to accomplish. It would allow states to opt out of federal essential health benefits requirements for exchange plans and create their own requirements, which could allow more insurers to sell barebones …read more

Via:: The Atlantic

      

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A Chilling Threat of Political Violence in Portland

By Conor Friedersdorf

On the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated, perhaps 3 million Americans took to the streets in peaceful protest to register their opposition. When news of his travel ban broke, I stood at LAX watching Angelenos sing the Star Spangled Banner and Amazing Grace. Across the nation, peaceful protest against President Trump continues. But a violent fringe has been using Trump’s rise as a justification for political violence, as if his authoritarian impulses justify authoritarianism from his opponents.

This tiny faction knows that most of their compatriots on the left are committed to nonviolence, so they frame their aggressive actions as a narrow exception to the rule.

Most famously, they insisted that it was okay, or even righteous, to punch white supremacist Richard Spencer because he was “a Nazi.” That position impels the debate down a slippery slope. And now, activists in Oregon caused the cancellation of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, a community event in the southeast quadrant of Portland, by threatening to forcibly drag “fascists” off the parade route if they weren’t excluded.

Who exactly did they want removed from the parade? The local Republican Party of Multonomah County. The Oregonian reports on the threat the leftists sent to organizers:

“You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely,” the anonymous email said, telling organizers they could cancel the Republican group’s registration or else face action from protesters.

The email went on to speculate that right-wing extremists would march among the Republicans, and warned, “we will have two hundred or more people rush into the parade into the middle and drag and push those people out as we will not give one inch to groups who espouse hatred toward lgbt, immigrants, people …read more

Via:: The Atlantic

      

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Moderates Can Now Sink or Save the Republican Health-Care Bill

By Russell Berman The fate of the resurrected American Health Care Act in the House might now rest with Republican moderates. Forgive them for not celebrating their newfound clout. Conservative leaders of the House Freedom Caucus have struck a deal with the White House and one leading GOP moderate to back the party’s stalled replacement […]

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The Border Battles of Atlanta

By Sam Rosen On the Saturday before Election Day last November, Jason Lary, a former insurance executive, crouched on a rough patch of grass at the center of a busy intersection 20 miles outside of Atlanta in DeKalb County. Lary was holding a hammer, and he tapped carefully on the thin wire base of a […]

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Why Educated Christians Are Sticking With Church

By Emma Green The idea is peppered through the writings of scholars, great thinkers, and New Atheist-types: Education is the cure for religion. Freud wrote that civilization “has little to fear from educated people and brain-workers” who have rejected religion. And “if religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of […]

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‘Until the Drug Dealer’s Teeth Rattle’

By Matt Ford Any real discussion of mass incarceration is impossible without addressing racism. Michelle Alexander’s widely acclaimed book The New Jim Crow cast the criminal-justice system as a successor to slavery and segregation, one that’s hamstrung the African American community’s social and economic growth since the civil-rights movement. My colleague Ta-Nehisi Coates has explored […]

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One Hundred Days of Deconstruction: Part 2

Beware of the enemy within. With respect to the US government, the ultimate inside job is well underway. Through key Cabinet appointments, Trump is gutting federal agencies that have improved citizens’ daily lives in ways that most Americans will no longer take for granted. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos In her confirmation hearing, billionaire Betsy […]

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Trump Takes Aim at Libraries

Donald Trump’s “America First” budget proposal for 2018 puts working-class communities last, calling for the elimination of several federally supported, independent, cultural institutions, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). IMLS helps fund literacy and technology programs in 123,000 libraries and about 35,000 museums across the US — all with a budget of […]

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Building on the Tax Marches

As the deadline to mail checks to the IRS approached, organizers in New York were still protesting, and this time not only about President Donald Trump’s tax returns. Activists with the grassroots organization New York Communities for Change and other progressive groups held a rally on April 18 in front of Goldman Sachs’s headquarters in […]

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The Quantified Presidency

By Elaine Godfrey First, it was crowd size. Then, it was health-care bill size. On Tuesday, the Trump administration continued its habit of conflating quantity with quality by releasing a list detailing President Donald Trump’s “historic accomplishments” from his first 100 days in office, a milestone he will officially reach on Saturday. The list boasts […]

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