FROM Peter Suderman
Healthcare nears the home stretch. Can it make it over the line? Republicans pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare even before it became law seven years ago. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell wanted a vote this week on the latest Republican healthcare bill , which remains highly unpopular -- only one in three Americans support it, only 35 percent of Republicans. Now, the vote has been postponed until Arizona Senator John McCain recovers from surgery to remove a blood clot. In the meantime, opposition to the bill has increased, with key Republican governors, like Arizona's Doug Ducey, expressing concern. We take a look at whether the bill really reflects a Republican vision for the healthcare system.
Does Obamacare Have a Shaky Future? This year's open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is about to close, with almost 10 million people having signed up so far. Some six million could be in for a big surprise as the US Supreme Court might decide they're not entitled to subsidized health insurance after all. Most of them don't even know they might lose the new coverage they couldn't afford on their own. Now Republicans — who've failed to repeal Obamacare in Congress — could face a hornet's nest of angry constituents if the Court guts the law for them. Both sides are jockeying for political advantage as the Court prepares to hear arguments and make a decision.
When Will Obamacare be Ready for Prime Time? Was the White House overconfident? Why didn't it listen to friendly warnings from experienced sources? Now, consumers are frustrated by computer glitches in some of the 36 states where the federal government set up insurance exchanges last week to implement the Affordable Care Act. Can the problems be fixed before they do long term damage to an already controversial program?
Medical Care and Political Confusion Republicans who once warned about "death panels" are now telling Democrats to stop frightening old people with "Mediscare." But Newt Gingrich says the country's not ready for Paul Ryan's privatization plan , and some Republicans who voted for it are having second thoughts too. Meantime, the former Governor of Massachusetts is trying to explain why " RomneyCare " looks so much like " ObamaCare ." And the State of Vermont is about to embark on its own program of "universal coverage," the ultimate public option. We try to sort it all out.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?