House Republicans Introduce Yet Another Cunning Plot to Destroy Obamacare

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Ed Kilgore points us today to the latest state-of-the-art healthcare thinking from conservatives. House Republicans have a plan to take money away from Obamacare implementation and shift it to a high-risk pool that’s currently underfunded. Some conservatives are apparently objecting to this because they think it “fixes” Obamacare and they want nothing to do with that. One of the bill’s supporters sets them straight:

Instead, it effectively cannibalizes ObamaCare to impede its implementation. The bill would transfer $4,000,000,000 (four billion dollars) from an ObamaCare implementation slush fund to a program called the Pre-Existing Condition Plan, or PCIP. The slush fund is a big pot of money the Administration is using to set up exchanges in states that refuse to set them up (a resistance we’ve strongly encouraged). 

….PCIP is not, in itself, a good program. But if Congress had enacted only PCIP in 2010, instead of ObamaCare, America would be in a much, much better place today. Now, I agree with those conservatives who hold that preex pool programs should be state- rather than federally run. But the harm here is slight, because PCIP is scheduled to expire on December 31st of this year. It’s a temporary subsidy, remember.

There’s an almost charming honesty to this. Here’s the plan:

  1. Take money away from the program to set up federal exchanges.
  2. Use the money to temporarily fund an admittedly crappy program.
  3. Victory! By 2014, the crappy program will be gone and federal exchanges won’t exist. Obamacare will be in tatters.

I can’t respond too much better than Ed: “Pretty plain, eh? Give sick people without insurance temporary access to crappy private plans at exorbitant rates as part of a strategy aimed at pulling the rug out from under them entirely at the end of the year, all the while mewling about one’s concern for sick people.”

I hear a lot these days about “reformist” conservatives who are trying to move the Republican Party in a new, more serious direction. I’ve become pretty skeptical of this whole movement, which seems to be about an inch deep, but I’d be a lot less skeptical if they took on nonsense like this and actually fought it.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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