The 202: Republicans are keeping Obamacare out of taxes — for now

The Health 202: Republicans are keeping Obamacare out of taxes -- for now


Republicans flirting with the prospect of repealing the individual mandate as part of the tax change are facing some troubling questions. Would the move to strike the most-reviled part of Obamacare alienate GOP moderates? Would scrapping the mandate even obtain the savings Republicans are hoping with regard to? And would such a move go beyond the boundary in muddying the waters of the already-contentious process of rewriting the nation’s tax program code?  

For all those reasons, Conservatives have not yet committed to a rollback of the individual mandate — which demands all Americans to purchase health coverage or even pay a penalty — as part of the taxes rewrite. At least not right now.

It’s looking unlikely that a repeal from the mandate will get a ride on the Home GOP tax bill — despite the very fact that Republicans most involved in tax negotiations insist a final, final decision hasn’t been made.

The topic didn’t come up a lot at yesterday’s House Ways and Means taxes markup, where Republicans and Democrats instead sparred over the effort to eliminate various deductions, the measure’s impact on low-income people and even a provision allowing parents to set up college savings accounts for their unborn children.

And Methods Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex. ) – who has previously said he or she didn’t want to attempt individual require repeal as part of the tax effort — didn’t include it among many amendments he proposed to the expenses. A Brady spokeswoman directed to those previous comments when inquired whether he’s still open to which includes a repeal of the mandate:

From Fox News’s Chad Pergram:

From Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur:

GOP market leaders — most notably, Senate Majority Head McConnell (Ky. ) — are usually deeply wary of mixing controversial health-care elements into the tax debate. But very conservative aren’t giving up, and neither could be the White House.

President Trump has made it clear he desires the mandate gone, whether by means of a vote in Congress or simply by weakening it through an executive purchase. In fact , the president has salready prepped such an order, presumably to utilize if Congress doesn’t act.

The order stops short of rescinding the mandate â€? only Our elected representatives can do that because it’s inlayed in the Affordable Care Act’s textual content. But it would allow even more people to declare a “hardship exemption” that allows people to move uninsured as the result of extraordinary conditions and was created under the Obama administration, the colleagues Juliet Eilperin and Sean Sullivan reported.

From Vox’s Dylan Scott:

Andy Slavitt, who going the Centers for Medicare plus Medicaid Services under Obama:

Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation:

It’s not surprising that Trump and some Conservatives are fixating on the mandate since the single most vulnerable part of the ACA after GOP efforts crashed and burned in order to repeal the whole law. The particular mandate polls poorly, with simply 35 percent of Americans viewing it favorably, according to Kaiser Family Foundation polling. A repeal of the mandate has been part of every GOP health-care plan in the past seven years.

And remember, the mandate was the centerpiece of the 2012 Supreme Court case that questioned its constitutionality. The court eventually upheld the mandate by judgment the penalty for being uninsured was the “tax” and therefore within the authority from the federal government to administer.

Of program, the main attraction of repealing the particular mandate is that such a move would provide Republicans some fast cash to assist fund their tax overhaul. Yet here’s a wrinkle – the very same Republicans have actually criticized the official analysis, which concluded repealing the mandate is a money-saver.

This sounds complicated â€? yet it’s not. The Congressional Spending budget Office assumed 16 million less people would choose to buy protection without the penalty for remaining uninsured, leading it to score big protection declines under multiple GOP health-care bills this past spring and summer time.

At the time, many very conservative balked that the CBO was heading way too far in assuming the particular mandate’s effectiveness in incentivizing individuals to buy coverage. There’s no way a lot of people would forgo coverage just because the particular mandate was kaput, they contended.

But here’s the turn side: Fewer people buying protection means fewer people accessing federal government subsidies to help cover the costs. And that translates to less government investing. The CBO estimated that repealing the mandate would save the us government $416 billion over a decade, which makes it a valuable pay-for as Republicans look for to fund their tax bill.

Thus, the mandate now serves as a huge possible funding mechanism for the GOP precisely because the CBO might have overestimated its effectiveness. If the CBO reduced its confidence in the mandate, that could mean fewer people estimated never to buy coverage and less government savings, eventually.

Here’s the bottom line.  Including the mandate repeal in tax change would help Republicans in 2 big ways: keeping part of their particular most hyped political promise to eliminate Obamacare (in part, anyway). And it also would also serve as a valuable method of offsetting the exorbitant costs associated with tax cuts.

In some other words, maybe Republicans can have their particular Obamacare cake and eat this, too. But such a dessert may simply not be in the offing to get a bunch of other complex reasons. Stay tuned for more.

Here’s what we should know about the mass shooting in a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex. that left 26 people deceased and 20 injured. The massacre came amid a “domestic situation” involving the alleged gunman, 26-year-old Devin Tanker Kelley, and his family, some of who attended the First Baptist Church. Within suggesting a motive behind the particular attack, officials pointed to their issues with his relatives,  report Eva Ruth Moravec and Mark Berman, noting the gunman sent “threatening texts” to their mother in-law, who was not on church when he opened open fire Sunday morning.

Kelley, who had been discharged from the Air Force with regard to bad conduct after being found guilty for assaulting his then-wife plus stepson and serving 12 weeks in confinement,  should not have had the opportunity to buy a gun.  The Air Drive “failed to follow policies for alerting federal law enforcement,” about the gunman’s past,  our colleague Alex Horton reports. “enabling the former service member… to obtain firearms before the shooting rampage.”

Speaking in Seoul yesterday, President Trump insisted that tougher gun laws and regulations would not have prevented the bulk shooting. Instead he spoke of the man, Stephen Willeford, who snapped up his own gun and exchanged open fire with the gunman outside the church. Trump called Willeford a “brave man” and stated “if he had not had a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead… It’s not going to help,” David Nakamura reports.  Read Sen. Philip Murphy’s (D-Conn. ) plea here for his colleagues to “think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets.”

Here’s what we know about the lives lost in Texas. A state official said Monday the sufferers ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years. As well as the New York Times wrote about the Holcombes, that lost eight members of their prolonged family in the shooting.


â€? Is actually Day Seven of the ACA’s fifth open up enrollment season.  Monday’s The Health 202 about the hefty premiums many unsubsidized consumers are encountering appeared to strike the chord with many readers, who had written me to share their stories. Over the rest of the sign-up period, we’re going try to feature a daily letter in it, so please send me your own story.  ( paige. cunningham@washpost. com).  We do a lot of high-level analysis upon these pages, but it’s also important to think about the individual experiences — good and bad — of readers like you.

Here’s today’s letter:

“We make just enough not to qualify for a subsidy. We currently pay about $1, 100/month for health insurance for the 2 of us. Today we found out that will next year, the lowest plan on offer is usually $3, 472/month with a $14, 000 deductible (a $2, 000 hike). As the premiums are about 50% of our pre-tax income and we do not require expensive care, there is no way we are able to afford it…. America used to be a professional country. Now we are faced with exactly the same situation as in a banana republic… If the media only talk about the poor who will continue getting assist until the GOP can slash that will, it is no help. Right now, the unemployed of the self-employed or self-insured requirements highlighting. They are the ones being consigned to the trash. “     â€? Andrew Foss, Albemarle County, Veterans administration.


AHH: An administration official has confirmed there’s been a spike in sign-ups on Healthcare. gov in the first 7 days it’s been open.  More people have registered in the first few days of registration compared with the same period in prior years, Juliet Eilperin writes.

“More than 200, 000 Americans decided on a plan on Nov. 1, the day open up enrollment began, according to one management official. That’s more than double the amount of consumers who signed up on the 1st day of enrollment last year. Greater than 1 million people visited HeathCare. gov, the official federal website, the state said, which amounts to approximately a 33 percent increase in visitors compared with 2016. “

The numbers are worth noting as Obamacare advocates worried the word wouldn’t move out that it was open enrollment season provided the GOP Congress’s efforts to remove the ACA, and moves with the Trump administration to slash financing for marketing.  Experts had expected a significant drop in enrollment amounts,  as we noted last week. A Standard & Poor’s analysis forecast up to an one 6 million drop overall.  

“But on opening day, several state exchange officials said that enrollment had exceeded their projections, ” Juliet adds.

Thoughts from Vice’s Alexandra Jaffe:

The Daily Beast’s Mike Stein:

Liz Allen, previous deputy communications director under Obama:

From the head of communications for Oscar Health, a participant in certain of the marketplaces:

Some used the news in order to urge even more people to sign up. Through liberal group MoveOn. org:

OOF: Today, Maine voters will decide whether — or not — to accept the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. If they do, the state will be the first to expand the program via ballot initiative, but the 33rd state overall to simply accept expansion of the insurance program with regard to low-income Americans. About 70, 000 Mainers would be able to join the particular state’s Medicaid program, which presently covers about 265, 000 individuals.  The question is on the ballot because Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed Medicaid expansion five instances, the Press Herald writes.

OUCH: Violent mass shootings may be contagious, catching on and multiplying as an epidemic, The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson writes.  Three of the five worst bulk shootings in modern U. H. history have occurred in the last 2 yrs and two of them were within the last 37 days.

Derek cites research from Arizona State University or college in 2015 that found “significant evidence that mass killings including firearms are incented by comparable events in the immediate past. inch Lead author Sherry Towers informed The Atlantic that television, radio, as well as other media exposure might be the means through which one mass shooting infects the following perpetrator.

“Like an industrial, each event’s extraordinary coverage provides accidental advertising for depravity, â€? Derek writes. “Given the contagion research, one can imagine a menacing feedback loop that might explain the particular recent spate of murderous sprees. If more victims indicate more media coverage, and more protection means more inspiration, it means that historically violent mass shootings may be the most contagious. â€? **************************)

Of course, it’s not like the media are likely to stop covering mass shootings (or should stop covering them), Derek acknowledges. But he suggests that journalists should cover such events “with an awareness that even noble protection can advertise. “


–Why would one medical professional attack another? The details growing about the altercation between Sen. Seite Paul and his next-door neighbor — which left the Kentucky Conservative with serious injuries — are usually confusing.

Here’s what we understand four days after Paul had been attacked at his home in Bowling Green. Paul was mowing their lawn when his neighbor, outdated anesthesiologist Rene Boucher, tackled your pet, according to the New York Times. Paul, who had been wearing sound-muting earmuffs, did not discover or hear Boucher coming. He or she suffered five broken ribs plus bruises to his lungs because of the attack. A lawyer for Boucher called the incident a “very regrettable dispute between two neighbors over a matter that most people would regard as trivial.”

“We sincerely hope that Senator Paul is doing well and that these two gentlemen can get back to being neighbors as quickly as possible,” Boucher’s lawyer, Matthew Baker, additional.

–Three Kentucky Republicans informed the Times that the incident resulted over the landscaping dispute. “Competing details of the origins of the drama reported stray yard clippings, newly grown saplings and unraked leaves, inch the Times’s Nicholas Fandos, Noah Weiland and Jonathan Martin compose. But a friend, Robert Porter, who visited Paul over the weekend informed the Times he was not aware of landscaping design drama between the neighbors and that John is “still unsure why he was attacked… I don’t know if he knows why he was attacked.”

Boucher was billed with fourth-degree assault and launched on Saturday on $7, 500 bond, but our colleagues Wesley Lowery and Ed O’Keefe survey that given the extent associated with Paul’s injuries, police and prosecutors may considering upgrading the fees.


—Â? *************************)You’ll soon be able to get your medicine delivered almost immediately from CVS Wellness. The company announced yesterday that it will offer next-day delivery from all the 9, 700 stores beginning in 2018. Same-day prescription delivery will also start in major markets, our friend Carolyn Y. Johnson reports,  including in Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Bay area and the District. And if you live within Manhattan, you’ll be able to get free delivery inside hours for prescription medications as well as certain otc products starting Dec. 4.

How much will this most cost? Unclear. A company spokeswoman told Katie Thomas of theTimes that delivery fees outside of Manhattan CVS locations will vary and haven’t been introduced.

Monday’s announcement reflects a sort of preemptive strike by CVS as it hedges Amazon. com’s possible expansion in to the sale of prescription drugs, Katie writes.  Although Amazon (whose owner, Jeff Bezos, furthermore owns The Post) has not formally announced plans to sell pharmaceuticals, the online store giant… has made several moves, which includes acquiring state-level permits to be a low cost pharmacy distributor and hiring medication industry leaders. The potential move simply by Amazon has also partly driven CVS in order to enter into talks with Aetna over any acquisition, something The Health 202 described last month.

A couple of more reads from The Post and round the Internet:




DON’T SKIP THIS:  The Post and Reside Nation will bring the “Can He Do That?” podcasting to a live audience at the Warner Theatre.  In this live taping, political reporters Bob Woodward, David Fahrenthold and Karen Tumulty will join host Allison Michaels to examine the past year in President Trump’s White House and the biggest occasions that made people wonder “Can He Do That?” Tickets can be bought now at Live Nation. Attendees will likely receive a free 30-day digital membership to The Washington Post.

MORE POST PROGRAMMING:  The Washington Post hosts Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin for a discussion that will include their department’s efforts to curb the particular veteransâ€? suicide rate, address post-traumatic stress disorder and other health concerns on Thursday.


  • The Hill serves an event on the opioid epidemic showcasing Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N. L. ) and FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

Coming Up

  • Kaiser Health News holds an event on progress care planning on Wednesday.
  • Axios hosts an event on a new period in cancer innovation with previous Vice President Joe Biden plus former first lady Jill Biden on Wednesday.

  • The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, plus Secondary Education and Higher Education plus Workforce Development hold a joint hearing on opioids on Wednesday.

  • The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health holds a hearing on MACRA and alternative payment models on Wednesday.
  • The American Business Institute holds an event on the opioid crisis with Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore. ) on Nov.  13.

  • STAT holds an event on the FDA on Nov.  13.


These are the nine talking factors that are repeated after every bulk shooting:

What you need to know regarding semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15:

Stephen Colbert responds to the bulk shooting in Texas:

Seth Meyers requires a closer look at the Russia investigation which is escalating as President Trump moves in Asia:

Watch Elton John’s shock performance of “Circle of Life” at the 20th anniv


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here