So, a couple of things have happened and I’m still sorting through them. For starters, the GOP healthcare bill is officially, kinda sorta alive. Its being debated, and despite McCain’s admonishing of the senate, it doesn’t look like much has changed in terms of process. Secondly, Trump is coming after Sessions, whether that’s to fire him in an attempt to remove Mueller or just general dissatisfaction I can’t really say. Trump isn’t predictable but he’s also spiteful enough to remove someone (read: Comey) if they’re not overtly loyal to him.
Oh, and Trump is trying to ban transgenders from the military. Because reasons. No one is impressed.
So in order:
- Healthcare’s annoying but currently it doesn’t look like any of the bills are going to pass. A lot of the Republican senate seems to be eyeing the so called ‘Skinny repeal’ as their out, and whether that will go anywhere is up to debate. Literally, in this case, with the Vote-a-rama coming up, and the open amendment period which everyone is seemingly going to use.
- The Sessions issue is just weird. Trumps dissatisfaction with his Attorney General is well known, but attacking one of his cabinet members in an interview, openly discussing removing him, and being publicly rebuffed by the Senate in response, all of this just reminds me that Trump really is a weird and disconcerting President. Which leads to point three:
- Trumps trying to ban Transgenders from the military was announced via twitter (because of course it was), and apparently blindsided everyone. It’s not law yet, officially, and apparently some people are going to go to court about it if it does, but honestly? I think he just saw something on Fox and Friends and responded. He does that.
It’s been a weird day.
Politico: Sessions powerful friends stand up to Trump
Politico: Skinny Repeal Lacks Votes
Vox: Trumps Ban on Transgenders is annoying Everybody
The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) has released its score on the new AHCA bill passed through the house. Simply put it has three major points:
1. 23 Million people will lose insurance (compared to the 24 from the last bill)
2. Premiums for the older, sicker Americans will rise especially in states that refuse to maintain any of the Obama era provisions ala Kentucky and their ilk
3. However, the bill will save the Federal government $119 Billion over ten years.
Due to the last point, in its current state the bill could theoretically pass through the senate through reconciliation, however actually reaching the 51 is the sticking point. It is currently assumed that no Democrat, even the more centrist conservative leaning sort, are likely to support any bill that threatens Obamacare.
Secondly, there are enough moderate republicans opposed to serious losses of healthcare for their constituents (and 23 million people pretty much means that most of the poorer southern states will be hit) that in its current state it is unlikely for them to support this bill, be it on a political or ideological basis. Additionally, two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, oppose any particular threat to federal funding for Planned Parenthood. These two alone could derail any attempt to pass this bill in its current state, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be swayed or that changes to the bill could not convince them to support it in spite of these concerns.
At this stage I have no real prediction to the Bills success or failure. However if it does pass through the republican senate, there is no question that Trump will sign it, not due to any real grasp of the bill in question but to finally repeal and replace Obamacare.
And let the consequences be on there head.
(also did anyone else hear about the republican running for the Montana seat body-slamming a reporter? Seriously, What? Why?)
The Atlantic: The AHCA Fixes Don’t Do much to fix it’s Flaws
Mother Jones: Montana Republican Candidate Allegedly slams reporter
Trump has released his newest tax plan, and it has one singular issue that most people, even Republicans can’t truly look past. It doesn’t add up.
I mean that literally, the math doesn’t work.
Firstly it bases much of its assumed debt losses on tax cuts, and cuts to Medicaid, medicare and Social Security, especially Disability Insurance. Secondly, it relies on the idea that due tot he sudden decrease in costs to the federal government, the GDP will grow upwards over the next four years, starting at 2.1% this year and rising to 3.0% by 2021. The tax plan does not explain why there would be a sudden increase in GDP, it does not allocate any resources into economic stimulus, simply cuts resources and taxes and seems to expect that to improve things according to Mulvaney.
This also contradicts the Congressional Budget Office, which claims that the GDP will only grow 1.8% this year. It’s middling, but more realistic, as there’s certainly no reason to believe this particular plan, even with the Trump bump in the Stock Exchange, will increase the GDP by any significant amount.
Oh, and they double counted the growth rate. The White House is predicting that the cuts they are presenting will not only lower the deficit they will raise revenue. Somehow.
This is the kinda stuff you fail maths class for.
The Atlantic: The Unworkable Math of Trumps Budget