Documentation. Witnesses. Facts. Truth. That's what they're afraid of.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fear the Walking Trumpcare

Mixed entertainment metaphor, but Fear the Walking Dead just came back for a third season as the Republicans appear to be making a third push with Trumpcare, and both deserve to be cancelled...

Anyway, hot take from Young Ezra Klein via Young Matt Yglesias, neither of whom are so young anymore, and neither am I:

History may record a certain irony if this is the argument McConnell uses to successfully destroy Obamacare. In recent conversations with Democrats and industry observers, I’ve become convinced that just the opposite is true: If Republicans unwind Obamacare and pass their bill, then Democrats are much likelier to establish a single-payer health care system — or at least the beginnings of one — when they regain power.
 Iiiiinteresting... This felt like clickbait from a Vox editor, but there may be something to it:

“I will tell you,” says Len Nichols, director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University, “Democratic politicians I never thought would utter the words have mentioned single-payer to me in a non-joking way of late.”
If Republicans wipe out the Affordable Care Act and de-insure tens of millions of people, they will prove a few things to Democrats. First, including private insurers and conservative ideas in a health reform plan doesn’t offer a scintilla of political protection, much less Republican support. Second, sweeping health reform can be passed quickly, with only 51 votes in the Senate, and with no support from major industry actors. Third, it’s easier to defend popular government programs that people already understand and appreciate, like Medicaid and Medicare, than to defend complex public-private partnerships, like Obamacare’s exchanges.

The first two are iffy; I mean, the approach did offer some political protection. It just took some time. Because of Republicans and conservative Democrats like Joe Lieberman, it really wouldn't have passed if it were any more government-oriented. Additionally, the way I remember it way back in the 'aughts is that the deep-pocketed health insurance companies, who did oppose Obamacare, pulled some punches. I don't think they would've if a public option, or particularly single-payer, were pushed at the time. Second, would a move to single-payer pass the muster of reconciliation rules? I'd need to hear more specifics. If the Dems killed the filibuster, definitely.

I think I agree with the third point, which was the genius of the ACA, even if I didn't understand that myself, not being a genius and all. It shifted the "Overton Window" on the healthcare conversation. Even most conservatives need to pretend they believe everyone deserves coverage, even if not a single one believes it.  

I think there may be a show in this worth watching... it just might not air until 2021, and who knows what things looks like if 25 million people have lost their insurance? Seems like a recipe for utter chaos to me.

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