FROM Dan Diamond
One final push to repeal Obamacare? Two Republican Senators are still trying to repeal and replace Obamacare before time runs out at the end of this month. Last week, John McCain said he’d help them get 50 votes, but yesterday he seemed to hark back to his vote that killed the last such effort. He lamented, "Why didn't we have hearings, have amendments, have debate, bring a bill to the floor, have amendments, have debate and then come up with a product?" Dan Diamond, who covers healthcare and writes the daily Politico Pulse newsletter for Politico, says time is running out to act on Obamacare under budget reconciliation.
Senate healthcare bill released to partisan rancor Senate Republicans finally released their version of healthcare reform today and their Democratic opponents lost no time before pouncing. Calling the bill "a wolf in sheep's clothing," Minority Leader Chuck Schumer protested, "and we're potentially voting on it in a week. No committee hearings, no amendments in committee, no debate on the floor save for ten measly hours on one of the most important bills we're dealing with in decades." Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who hopes to see a vote on the Senate floor in just a week, announced, "There will be ample time to analyze, discuss, and provide thoughts before legislation comes to the floor, and I hope every Senator takes that opportunity." Dan Diamond covers healthcare for Politico .
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don't Public support for Obamacare now stands at 55% compared to 17% for the replacement bill passed by Republicans in the House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has kept the Senate's Republican deliberations completely secret — and Democrats are politically outraged. Behind closed doors, one of the questions is: How soon will millions of people lose Medicaid coverage? Meantime, continued uncertainty has insurance companies conducting a "slow-motion meltdown."
The latest on the battle to kill Obamacare With Congress scheduled for another recess on Thursday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said this today about repealing and replacing Obamacare: "Now is not the time to decide what to do or how to do it. Now is the time to do it." But, despite this weekend's promises by the Trump White House, that may be too little, too late. While some arch-conservative Republicans are sounding unsympathetic to pre-existing conditions, there's pressure in the other direction from the AMA, other doctors, and even celebrities. Last night TV host Jimmy Kimmel revealed that his newborn son had surgery for a heart murmur. Dan Diamond, healthcare reporter for Politico and creator of its Pulse Check podcast, says Republicans still don't have the votes.
GOP plows ahead on healthcare plan amid forceful opposition The American Medical Association said today Republican efforts to "repeal and replace" Obamacare and cut Medicaid could cost as many as 10 million people their health insurance. Although House Speaker Paul Ryan called his American Health Care Act "a conservative wish list," Dan Diamond, who covers healthcare policy and politics for Politico , says that even Breitbart, which has marched in lock step with Trump, is taking shots at the new plan.
Republicans go home again — keeping their heads down Normally, town halls at home are a staple of Congressional recesses. But this week, with advice from leaders on Capitol Hill, just seven percent of Republican Congress members and Senators are following that practice. Angry constituents make for sound bites on TV and radio, and GOP leaders want to avoid that kind of coverage. Meantime, liberal Democrats hope grassroots Tea-Party tactics will give them more clout in their party. But will the backlash to the assault on Obamacare be strong enough to unify them against Republicans in next year’s elections?
Obamacare premiums: October surprise? This week the Obama administration announced that more than 11 million consumers in the federal exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act will see their healthcare premiums jump by an average of 25 percent next year. In some states they could even double. As October surprises go, this week’s news should count as a boon to Republicans eager to gut the Obama administration’s prize legacy. But this election isn’t like any other. Guest host Barbara Bogaev explores how faltering health exchanges are playing on the campaign trail, and gets a status report from parts of the country where Obamacare is actually working as planned.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?