Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
The analysis, released late Monday afternoon by the Congressional Budget Office, predicts that 24 million fewer people would have coverage a decade from now than if the Affordable Care Act remains intact, nearly doubling the share of Americans who are uninsured from 10 percent to 19 percent. The office projects the number of uninsured people would jump 14 million after the first year –Washington Post
Democrats highlighted President Trump’s campaign promises to provide “insurance for everybody,” saying the bill falls woefully short.
“The CBO’s estimate makes clear that TrumpCare will cause serious harm to millions of American families,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said in a statement. –The Hill
How does the CBO get these numbers?
The CBO estimated that 24 million people would become uninsured by 2026 under the bill, largely due to the proposed changes to Medicaid. Seven million fewer people would be insured through their employers over that same time frame because some people would choose not to get coverage and some employers would decline to offer it. –The Hill
Comment: The numbers create obvious political problems for Republicans, and the Democrats will exploit them.
Here is how I figure Republicans will respond, at least publicly:
- The basic problem with the CBO score is that it compares the new program to Obamacare, as if the ACA will continue to exist and cover people. But it won’t. Obamacare is collapsing financially, so those people will actually lose coverage if we don’t repeal it and replace it with something sustainable. Even if Obamacare totters on for another year or two, insurers are dropping out and, as they do, monopoly providers will raise rates, forcing more people off Obamacare insurance.
- CBO projections are often wrong, and they certainly have been about healthcare costs and coverage.
- Even if 24 million fewer are covered, some of them may choose not to buy coverage since, unlike Obamacare, it is not mandated.
- By law, the CBO can only score the bill in front of them. For technical reasons (related to Senate reconciliation rules), we cannot include key measures that will reduce insurance costs and thus attract some of those 24 million to purchase insurance. The main measure will be sale of insurance across state lines and, secondarily, reform of costly tort laws.
◆ A quote to celebrate spring training: Bob Uecker’s thoughts on catching Phil Niekro’s knuckleball:
The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until it stops rolling and then pick it up. –Bob Uecker
◆ The “progressive left” makes a regressive argument for stamping out speech…and they get to decide which speech.
Here’s Slate’s cover story: “The Kids Are Right: There’s nothing outrageous about stamping out bigoted speech”
Comment: The article is an artful scam, making its argument by allusion and demonization, without confronting serious counter-arguments.
It says some speech is bad and “informal rules” ought to limit it, without explaining who gets to set those rules and what criteria should be used. Then, it notes that our Constitution does permit some restrictions on speech. That’s right, but it is a good reason to say, “Let the First Amendment set the restrictions, not Slate magazine writers.”
The article goes on to attack Trump, Bannon (whom it explicitly calls racist), William Buckley (too religious), and others loathed by Slate readers.
It concludes, “The purveyors of logic, of facts dutifully checked and delivered to the public, lost big league in November.”
Why is that an argument for shouting down Charles Murray? It’s not.
◆ Two airlines cancel routes to Cuba. Too little demand. Other airlines are cutting back flights and using smaller planes (Miami Herald)
Comment: Fortunately, one airline is still flying to Cuba, and doing it on their terms.
Comment: He’ll win easily in the Senate and go onto the Court. The only question is how quickly Sen. leader McConnell will move.
♥ Hat Tip for helpful suggestions:
◆ Ed Vidal for the airlines cancelling flights to Cuba and the story at Slate favoring speech suppression.