Republicans’ Only Selling Point for Their Obamacare Replacement Bill Is How Short It Is

The return of the dumbest talking point ever.

AP

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Amid a mounting revolt over House Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is pointing to the literal length of the proposal as a major selling point. The GOP bill is just 123 pages long—substantially shorter than the current health care law. According to the administration, this makes it less onerous than Obamacare and, somehow, better for American patients.

“Look at the size: This is the Democrats; this is us. You can’t get any clearer in terms of: ‘This is government, this is not.'”

Republicans have been complaining about the number of pages in Obama’s health care reform bills ever since they were first introduced back in 2009. This curious line of argument reemerged on Tuesday at a White House press briefing, when the two pieces of legislation—Obamacare and the GOP replacement plan—were prominently displayed alongside each other for the purpose of emphasizing the difference in length.

“Look at the size: This is the Democrats; this is us,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, pointing to the two stacks of paper. “You can’t get any clearer in terms of: ‘This is government, this is not.’ Part of the reason the visual is important is that when you actually look at the difference, you realize this is what big government does. It crowds out competition, it drives up prices, it stifles entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Earlier in the briefing, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price also underscored the physical differences.

“Notice how thick that is,” Price said, pointing at the Obamacare legislation.

Price added, “What it means is that we are making certain that the process, that the decisions that are going to be made are not going to be made by the federal government. They are going to be made by patients, families, and doctors.”

In some ways, the small-bill talking point is fitting for President Donald Trump, who prefers to keep his intelligence briefings short, uncomplicated, and supportive of his own preconceptions.

 

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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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