WaPo: ‘discussion draft’ of GOP bill

After weeks of secret negotiations, evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell is ready to release the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare to rank and file GOP senators today, and is expected to release the bill publicly ahead of the vote next week. Senate GOP leaders set to unveil health-care bill.

The Washington Post purportedly has a leaked copy of the “discussion draft” for rank and file GOP senators this morning. Senate health-care draft repeals Obamacare taxes, provides bigger subsidies for low-income Americans than House bill:

A discussion draft circulating Wednesday afternoon among aides and lobbyists would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s taxes, phase down its Medicaid expansion, rejigger its subsidies, give states wider latitude in opting out of its regulations and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

The bill largely mirrors the House measure that narrowly passed last month but with some significant changes aimed at pleasing moderates. While the House legislation tied federal insurance subsidies to age, the Senate bill would link them to income, as the ACA does. The Senate proposal cuts off Medicaid expansion more gradually than the House bill, but would enact deeper long-term cuts to the health-care program for low-income Americans. It also removes language restricting federally subsidized health plans from covering abortions, which may have run afoul of complex budget rules.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) intends to present the draft to wary GOP senators at a meeting Thursday morning. McConnell has vowed to hold a vote before senators go home for the July 4 recess, but he is still seeking the 50 votes necessary to pass the major legislation under arcane budget rules. A handful of senators, from conservatives to moderates, are by no means persuaded that they can vote for the emerging measure.

Aides stress that the GOP plan is likely to undergo more changes to garner the 50 votes Republicans need to pass it. Moderate senators are concerned about cutting off coverage too quickly for those who gained it under the ACA, also known as Obamacare, while conservatives don’t want to leave big parts of the ACA in place.

As a nod to conservatives, the Senate bill would give states more leeway in opting out of the ACA’s insurance regulations through expanding the use of so-called “1332” waivers already embedded within the law, according to the draft proposal. States could use the waivers to make federal subsidies available even off the marketplaces — but they couldn’t go so far as to lift ACA protections for patients with preexisting conditions.

But it may prove trickier to get moderates on board. Senate leaders are hoping the big draw for them lies in the bill’s more generous income-based approach to insurance subsidies, which closely mirror the subsidies offered under Obamacare.

Subsidies are available to Americans earning between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Starting in 2020, under the Senate bill, this assistance would be capped for those earning up to 350 percent — but anyone below that line could get the subsidies if they’re not eligible for Medicaid.

The Senate bill would also keep the ACA’s Medicaid expansion around for longer, gradually phasing it out over three years, starting in 2021.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump stumped on promises not to touch Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Surprise! He lied to you.  Medicaid will be gone, and Paul Ryan is coming for your social security and Medicare next.

Despite these shifts, moderates are likely to be turned off by how the bill cuts Medicaid more deeply than the House version. But the biggest cuts wouldn’t take effect for seven years, a time frame that could be more politically palatable for members like Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

Under the Senate draft, federal Medicaid spending would remain as is for three years. Then in 2021 it would be transformed from an open-ended entitlement to a system based on per capita enrollment. Starting in 2025, the measure would tie federal spending on the program to an even slower growth index, which in turn could prompt states to reduce the size of their Medicaid programs.

In a move that is likely to please conservatives, the draft also proposes repealing all of the ACA taxes except for its so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health plans in language similar to the House version. Senators had previously toyed with the idea of keeping some of the ACA’s taxes.

Remember, for Tea-Publicans this is not about health care policy but is about freeing up money to give a massive tax cut to the wealthiest Americans.

The Senate bill would also provide funding in 2018 and 2019 for extra Obamacare subsidies to insurers to cover the cost-sharing discounts they’re required to give the lowest-income patients. Insurers have been deeply concerned over whether the subsidies will continue, as the Trump administration has refused to say whether it will keep funding them in the long run.

Yeah, I’m not buying it. This is a ruse. This will be decided in House v. Price before the Court of Appeals sometime in August, long before this bill is completed, if ever, later this year. The lower court ruled in favor of House Tea-Publicans that the cost sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies were not provided for in the ACA, and if President Trump elects not to defend against that ruling, he could kill the subsidies. There are a number of intervenors in the lawsuit, but the Court of Appeals is unlikely to rule for the intervenors when the principal litigants are in agreement. This is just about attracting votes now.

Even if the Senate measure does pass the upper chamber, there will have to be a reconciliation bill that can pass muster with the more conservative House  and again in the Senate before any final legislation could be enacted. Tea-Publicans are only at the half-way point if the Senate passes this disastrous bill.

UPDATE: The 142-page bill, which is being described as a “discussion draft,” is online in its entirety here. (It is searchable.)

27 responses to “WaPo: ‘discussion draft’ of GOP bill

  1. Frances Perkins

    Sgt. Scapiro in Stalag 17 as McConnell, to the American people, “Droppen sie dead!”

  2. Comparisons between Mitch McConnell and Adolf Eichmann would not be exaggerated. McConnell is the Devil, and he revels in it. He loves what he is doing. I don’t know why, but I can’t think like the Devil. Most people can’t, except for the GOP senators and representatives.

    This is Republican “leadership” and it’s not all about Trump. Trump will play along, of course, because to him it’s just another reality show.

    • Disabled people protesting in front of McConnell’s office being forcibly removed.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        The removal of people from their wheelchairs is disturbing for two reasons.

        First, holy f***, these are people in wheelchairs!

        And second, because who didn’t know this would be filmed and how it would make McConnell and the GOP look?

        We are dealing with evil AND stupid people.

        • McConnell doesn’t seem to care how much he is hated. He loves this, he’s all smiles these days. Probably had his first hard on since he usurped presidential power by denying a hearing for Merrick Garland.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Crudely put. But at the same time, well said. 🙂

          • Thank you, Tom. I like to think I can be (almost) eloquent but also irreverent and perhaps crude when appropriate. To be truthful, I’m holding back on McConnell for fear of scaring myself.

          • “McConnell doesn’t seem to care how much he is hated.”

            I disagree. I think he knows exactly how much he is hated. Liberals do not remain silent when they are upset. He also knows liberals did not elect him to office. And he knows that he will be hated simply because he is a Republican. What is really puzzling you, I think, is why Republicans – who traditionally caved in at the slightest hint of opposition (much like McCain does) – no longer do so. They have taken a page form the democrat playbook and realize the hatred will always be there, so they need to play to their electorate and NOT try to make freinds with democrats. It is a shocker. democrats can no longer bully Republicans and they don’t really know how to react except through obfuscation and delay and the hope for 2018.

            And I hope you don’t become too crude. Tom likes slopping in the mud but once you go there, it is hard to come back. I personally think you are most effective by being what you are: a genteel and refined person.

        • “We are dealing with evil AND stupid people.”

          Or, you are dealing with perople who realize such numbskull displays are inevitable by liberals and there isn’t anything they can do about it. The protest was done for show and they got what they wanted; why complain? The people who support McConnell look at it as just another stunt by democrats and are not affected by it. The people were handled gently and removed fairly easily. If they were surprised, then they won’t be in the future.

          I suspect the next time, it will be healthy people in wheel chairs who will fight like crazy in order to get manhandled and hurt for the cameras in order to create a more vivid display.

    • “Comparisons between Mitch McConnell and Adolf Eichmann would not be exaggerated.”

      You know, Liza, when I see comments like that, I get discouraged because it means we have forgotten what true evil was. The Nazi’s legacy has now been diminished to the level of common political discourse. Do you have any real idea who Adolf Eichman was? Do you have any idea what he actually did? In what way is he comparable to Mitch McConnel? Do you know what the Nazi’s actually did? You are a smart lady, Liza. How do you allow yourself to compare the genuine, true evil of Naziism with the Republican Party?

      Yes, I am sermonizing again. As I said, when something calls for sermonizing, I do it.

      • Yes, Steve, I’m quite familiar with Mr. Eichmann’s accomplishments.

        We can compare numbers and methodology, but rounding up people and sending them somewhere to die does in fact share moral equivalence with denying tens of millions of people access to healthcare that would save lives and mitigate suffering. Or, more aptly put, taking it away from them.

        Mitch McConnell deserves the comparison. I shudder to think what he is truly capable of doing. And those in the Senate who support McConnell deserve no better.

        You’re going to see an escalation of anger everywhere you look and this goes on until these people are gone, however long that takes. What in the blazes did you think would happen as the GOP rolls out its hateful, mean spirited, anti-populist agenda?

        And, yes, we are talking about “true evil”. Our country is in the grip of true evil.

        • “…rounding up people and sending them somewhere to die does in fact share moral equivalence with denying tens of millions of people access to healthcare…”

          Congratulations, Liza! You have done what Tom has tried to do since he started posting here…you actually shocked me with that statement. You make light of more than 7,000,000 men, women and children that Eichmann arranged to be sent to Concentration Camps where they were slaughtered and butchered, by comparing it to a healthcare plan that won’t make it possible for some people to get a subsidized or free healthcare plan. You think dead men, women and children poisoned, burned and stacked up like piles of cord wood is the same thing as someone who maybe can’t afford healthcare? You think of yourself as a moral person and yet you are able to find a moral equivilence between the two. Those two don’t connect, Liza.

          And make no mistake, this healthcare plan does not stop anyone from getting healthcare, nor does it force anyone to get healthcare. It retains the provision of prohibiting insurance companies from not insuring existing health problems and parents keeping their children on their policies until age 25. Obamacare has millions of people who don’t have healthcare available now, but you don’t care because it is the right people being screwed, I guess.

          Something else you accomplished that Tom has tried to do is you sort of left me speechless. I don’t know what else to say. The issue is so black and white that if you can’t see it, you have given too much of your soul to politics. Sorry…

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Damn, I have old girlfriends who call me out less than you.

            Get over it, I’m just not that into you.

            Signed yours forever,
            General Tom.

          • It is about the same callous disregard for human life, specifically those lives (poor, sick, disabled, etc…) that you hold in such contempt that you prefer them dead. And being in a position to bring about those deaths and acting upon it or even trying to act upon it.

            Sorry you didn’t get that.

            BTW, I didn’t make light of anything and I wish to God you would stop making stuff up.

            You defend everything that has the GOP name on it and, quite understandably, your comments are becoming more and more like drivel. Especially when you try to make it personal which you so often do.

            Pretty soon only Huppenthal and Kavanaugh will respond.

          • “It is about the same callous disregard for human life, specifically those lives (poor, sick, disabled, etc…) that you hold in such contempt that you prefer them dead.”

            Liza, I never said that, I never even implied it. I know that because it is not true. I value human life too much. You are finding it difficult to argue with I am saying so you are twisting it in order to justify what you are saying. I think you are reasonable enough and smart enough to know you painted yourself into a corner and you have too much pride to admit you are wrong. At least that is what I hope

            “BTW, I didn’t make light of anything and I wish to God you would stop making stuff up.”

            Point to anything I have made up, Liza. You can’t because I haven’t. I try not to even exaggerate unless it is obvious I am doing so. To make something up is to give your opponent something to use against you and in a hostile environment like this, that is the last thing I need to do. ;o)

            “…your comments are becoming more and more like drivel.”

            Which means you don’t like what I am saying, but you can’t figure out where I am wrong. I hope you don’t fall in the trap of only listening to people who feel and act the same way you do. That echo chamber will only give you a distorted view of what you believe. It will set you up for disappointment after disappointment after disappointment. Tell the truth, before you met me, have you ever heard an opposing opinion to the leftist slant like you hold?

            “Especially when you try to make it personal which you so often do.”

            There are time I make it personal and sincere and times I make it personal and, well, it is what it is. With you, it is always personal and sincere. It is like a conversation between adults. With Tom, it is what it is and it depends on what we are talking about.

            “Pretty soon only Huppenthal and Kavanaugh will respond.”

            Well, I hope that doesn’t happen, but if it does, then it does. I long ago learned to accept life as it happens. As long as they let me post here, I will continue to do so. :o)

          • Steve, I know you think you have won an argument with me. Please feel free to revel in your perceived superiority. Honestly, I don’t care.

          • “Steve, I know you think you have won an argument with me.”

            Liza, I never think of these discussions as “winning or losing”. They are simply exchanges of opinions and information. Sometimes they are spirited and enthusiastic, sometimes they are dull. Sometimes they hurt people’s feelings, most times they don’t. They are always partisan, but sometimes people see some value in what the other person has to say and that is when they are productive. Gosh knows, I have had to reasess my position on some things when presented with solid facts and information that made me pause and think about the issue more clearly.

            You did that to me regarding school funding. I am not opposed across the board to any increase in school funding like I once was. After you talked to me about it, I now take a close look at the funding request and decide based on it’s merits. THAT was a production discussion.

            “Please feel free to revel in your perceived superiority.”

            Again, I don’t “perceive any superiority” from these discussions. To feel superior to others is not why I post here. I post here to expose myself to different ideas and concepts. Granted, I usually don’t find much to make me change my opinion, but sometimes I find a little of gold that makes it all worthwhile.

            “Honestly, I don’t care.”

            No, Liza, you do care. You wouldn’t have posted this message if you didn’t care. That is why I like arguing positions with you…you actually care. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t write with such feeling and emotion.

        • “And, yes, we are talking about “true evil”. Our country is in the grip of true evil.”

          I read this line and got my speech back. It is obvious, Liza, that you have lead a very sheltered life and have no concept – and I mean NO concept – of what true evil is. Examples of “true evil” from the 20th Century include (but are not limited to):
          • The Turks in 1915 – when they raped, tortured and slaughtered 2,000,000 Armenians during a purge;
          • Vladimir Lenin in 1917-1922 – when he orchestrated through various purges, the Red Terror, small wars, forced starvation, rape and murder camps, destroying villages, murdering parents and stealing for re-eduction and miscellaneous death marches, is estimated to have slaughtered about 10,000,000 people;
          • The Nazis from 1937 to 1945 – when they orchestrated the wholesale roundup of over 12,000,000 Jews, cripples, Gypsies, the mentally challenged, Catholics, and any other undesirables, and shipped them to Concentration Camps, and who slaughtered over 7,000,000 Soviet soldiers in the field, and caused the death of 25,000,000 more people in the second world ward;
          • Joseph Stalin from 1933 to 1952 – when he ordered the mass starvation of 32,000,000 Ukrainians, the killing of 2,000 Polish Army Officers by locking them in barges and sinking the barges while he watched, by sending 17,000,000 political prisoners to their death in Siberia, by his directly ordering the deaths of over 4,000 Polish Army Officers by machine gunning them to death in open trenches near Auschwitz, by his orders to deliberately starve another 10,000,000 people in the “–stans” countries of the eastern USSR, and by ordering the political assassination of 1,000s of his political enemies;
          • Mao Zedong from 1946 to 1966 – when ordered several “Red Purges” that killed more than 28,000,000 of his own people;
          • The Pathet Lao of Laos from 1975 to 1978 – when they slaughtered, and cannibalized, approximately 2,500,000 of their own people. These were the “Killing Fields” you may have heard of;
          • Idi Amin of Uganda from 1970 to 1979 – when he and his soldiers raped, killed, and cannibalized, more than 8,000 of his own people;
          • Saddam Hussein from 1979 to 2003 – when he ordered and organized the ritual slaughter of Shia and Kurdish sects of Iraqi society, declared war on Iran, used chemical weapons and killed 700,000 soldiers, then invaded Kuwait and killed another 20,000 people;
          I could go on and on and on with examples of true evil, but if you really want to make a moral equivalence between these examples and the Republicans you will never understand “proportionality”. I hope you can understand something of what I am trying to explain to you.

          • You’re right, Steve. Trump, McConnell, Ryan, et al probably can’t kill as many people as Stalin. Even if they cancel or destroy every program in this country that helps the poor, sick, disabled, homeless, etc…they still cannot cause that much suffering or death.

            Their numbers can never approach those of Joseph Stalin, no matter how hard they try.

            Therefore, they are righteous and good and moral.

            Logic fail.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            See! It really is Liza’ internet! 🙂

        • For Sure Not Tom

          I was writing a very long and personal reply about losing a loved one, my ex mother in law of all people, years ago to cancer because she didn’t have insurance.

          It was before we had any money, but her story would have made everyone on the internet cry.

          I’m doing great now, of course, I mean thank God for white privilege, you can literally go from sleeping in your car to a big house and pool in a fancy neighborhood in no time, and while I have no idea what my ex wife is up to, my ex brother in law’s name pops up in the credits of half of the big Hollywood hits now.

          I won’t name drop but damn he’s loaded. If you’ve seen a movie in the past 15 years you’ve seen his work.

          I remember being in his tiny rental house in California back in the early 80’s. bundled up including scarves because he couldn’t afford the PG&E bill.

          The point being, she died because we all weren’t rich at the right time. We all went on to make good money and pay taxes and get insurance, but not when my ex mother in law, who to this day is one of the sweetest people I ever knew, needed it.

          If I told the entire story, we’d have Medicare for all tomorrow.

          Not everyone is in the right place a the right time, and for lots of folks, they’ll never have the advantages me and my rich and famous ex brother in law had as white kids from the suburbs of Silicon Valley.

          Keep posting facts, Liza. 400,000 Arizonan’s lose Medicaid under the new plan, and next year they expect over 30,000 deaths nationwide from the ACA repeal.

          The GOP is giving a huge tax break to very wealthy people and letting people die needlessly to do it.

          Does it matter if you kill millions in camps or genocide or just let 30,000 people die to save money?

          Is there a sliding scale on evil?

          • Sorry about your ex-mother-in-law, Tom. Not being able to save the life of someone you really care about simply for lack of money is tragic. And it should never happen in this country. It’s just wrong.

            One of the first articles I remember reading about the severity of the healthcare crisis was in Consumer Reports back in the 90s. I’m going to try to find it again. What I remember is they talked about these organizations that would take on these cases of uninsured people with life threatening illness. Primarily what they did was just man the phones, calling doctors and literally begging them to treat people without compensation. Truly heartbreaking stories.

            With the ACA, we were at least moving in the direction of eradicating this injustice, but the GOP may succeed in taking us backwards, at least temporarily.

            And this I just don’t understand.

          • I noticed a couple of comments you made last night, Tom, but I was too tired to respond, so I waited until this morning.

            “…I mean thank God for white privilege…”

            When you say that are you saying you didn’t any of your degrees or certifications? Are you saying you never had to seek out opportunities? Are you saying you didn’t deserve any of the things you accomplished? Were you just handed them because you’re white? And if you truly think you didn’t deserve it, how could you possibly have slopped at the “Whites Only” trough” Shouldn’t you have stood aside and let a more deserving person take your place? After all, your “white privilege” ensured your ultimate success so why bother trying? It just doesn’t seem right that you know something is wrong and still take advantage of it at the expense of more deserving people. Shame on you, Tom!!

            “…and next year they expect over 30,000 deaths nationwide from the ACA repeal.”

            Really?!?!? As long as we are making up numbers, why not 50,000, or 100,000, or even tens of millions as Liza suggested? You and I both know the old adage “Garbage in, garbage out”. Well, all these doom & gloom “studies” make up the figures and then present them as likely estimates. Of course, they never pan out as predicted, but come the new crisis, and they trot out all new – and equally unreliable – “facts and figures” to terrify us. That 30,000 figure has as much reliability as Pinochio has claim to the Crown of England.

            “Is there a sliding scale on evil?”

            If there isn’t, then why do we think the murder of 49 people in the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando was a worse crime than the shooting of one man at a nightclub in South Pheonix last night? And why do we consider 9/11 more tragic than the shootings in Orlando? Or do you consider them all the same?

          • Do you remember Ramzi Yousef, Steve? He was the architect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He was also one of the pioneers of macro terrorism, hoping to kill vast numbers of civilians, and he influenced another famous terrorist with considerably more resources. As I recall, Mr. Yousef hoped to kill 250,000 civilians in his NYC bombing but was unsuccessful. It is also interesting that Mr. Yousef, who now resides in the super max in Florence, CO, didn’t seem to believe in much of anything. He just liked being a real bad ass.

            So, is the measure of evil your final body count?

            And in the case of the GOP, is the measure of evil whether they kill people directly or indirectly? And what is an acceptable body count? Does (unnecessary) suffering matter?

            Don’t answer. Those are rhetorical questions. And this discussion is pointless.

          • “And this discussion is pointless.”

            It is only pointless, Liza, when you close your mind…

      • Oh, yeah, it’s not just healthcare.

        Here are the 66 programs eliminated in Trump’s budget
        BY NIV ELIS – 05/23/17 02:03 PM EDT

        http://thehill.com/policy/finance/334768-here-are-the-66-programs-eliminated-in-trumps-budget