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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Why Is Paul Ryan Rushing to Repeal Obamacare?

Jonathan Cohn at HuffPo thinks it's because there's too much good news coming in about Obamacare and that it will start to push his caucus's constituents to start to make noise:

House Speaker Paul Ryan has vowed a quick repeal of Obamacare in order to “stop the damage” and because “things are only getting worse.”
Meanwhile, here is a selection of news reports from the past two weeks:
The Obama administration announced that the number of people signing up for insurance through HealthCare.gov, the federal website that 39 states use to administer Obamacare plans, is even higher than last year. State-run sites such as Covered California are reporting similar surges.
An independent think tank, The Commonwealth Fund, published a study showing that fewer people are skipping medical care because of cost ― most likely because, thanks to the health care law, so many more people have health insurance.
Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings reported that insurers selling Obamacare plans are seeing better financial results this year, suggesting that premiums are finally coming into line with the actual medical expenses of their customers ― and that this year’s big rate hikes may be a “one-time pricing correction.”
It’s possible that Ryan thinks these and similarly positive news items are irrelevant ― that the Wisconsin Republican has deluded himself into thinking Obamacare really is an unmitigated policy disaster, rather than a fairly typical government program full of pluses and minuses and the inevitable implementation complications that large reform efforts usually overcome.
It’s also possible that Ryan’s crusade to pass repeal in January has nothing to do with policy and everything to do with politics ― that he wants Congress to vote before the rest of the country, and maybe even the president-elect, wakes up to the real-life changes such a vote would unleash.
It could be, but aside from the fact that many House Republicans are pretty safe thanks to gerrymandering, getting this and many other things that will result in lower taxes for his backers is the highest priority, and he may only have two years to get them all through -- ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, SNAP, public education... these things will take time.

Having said that, delaying the vote in any way we can, for whatever reason, is a good idea. Also, protesting ACA repeal in districts like these would be terrific.