Obamacare is the law of the land


Yeah, cause that’ll end well.

“Help me make the ACA shittier, or I’ll make it shittier.”

Best negotiations involve a stick and a rock in Trumpland. Carrots are for losers.


It’s pretty hilarious that he’s telling everyone around the table his strategy in advance. What can possibly be the advantage in that?


To be entirely fair, telling someone you’re going to @#$% them over ahead of time and then doing it while they ostensibly are powerless to stop you is a pretty intimidating thing to watch and can help with future “negotiations.” I think Trump is possibly used to being able to handle things in such a manner. Of course, we all know politics doesn’t work quite like that.


Well it didn’t use to work like that. I guess we’ll find out. Our glass house is under extreme stress since he’s hit the office.


I can’t imagine that the Dems would do anything but laugh at him.

“Sure, crater millions of people’s health care a year before mid-terms over our loud objections, that’ll work out great for you…”


The problem is that many folks would not understand what was happening.


Yup. The potential is there for this to be turned against the Democrats.

“We did everything we could to negotiate, but the Democrats failed to come to the table and allowed failing Obamacare to ruin American healthcare!”


Which seems absurd on its face, given that Trump’s party controls both legislative bodies and the executive office. So maybe I should say that if Democrats can’t successfully counter that, given the Republicans complete control over government at present they still could not get a handle on healthcare then the Democrats probably deserve to stay out of power.


Most Americans are not interested in process. When things go wrong, the party in power is blamed.

And the particular attack you suggested is very easy to turn around: “Here is a list of ten great Democratic ideas to improve health care. Trump wasn’t interested in any of them…”


I found this article to have an informative summary of the proposed new rules. For now, anyway - who knows what all may change before the Trump administration implements them.
I was a bit surprised how minor most of this seems. Of course, to the people who are impacted it won’t be minor. I’m sure the intent by the administration is to implement a “death by a thousand cuts” approach since full repeal requires actual legislation.


You’re right about process for sure. But as for blaming the ones in charge - that’s certainly been true in the past, but I’m not sure we’re living in the same world any more.

Yeah, but it should have been easy to turn around damn near everything we heard in the campaign, too. And look how well that turned out. There’s a lot of people who simply won’t listen to anything the “corrupt media” or “crooked Hillary’s liberals” say, no matter how true it is.

None of that is any reason to stop trying, of course. I just think the Democrats (and any other liberal/progressive organizations) need to figure out more of a strategy than just “blame Trump and refute his lies”, because a lot of the public will just refuse to believe them.


Sure, but those are the ones that won’t vote for Democrats no matter what they do. So there is no reason for Democrats to worry about appealing to them.


That worked out really well in the last big election.


The last election would have turned out much worse if Democrats had abandoned Obamacare in an effort to win over Sean Hannity.


If you put your hand up to your monitor right now, I will Internet high-five the shit out of it.


I think my point may be getting lost a bit here. Yes, there are some people that simply will always vote for the Republican and another group that will always vote for the Democrat. What I’m saying is that the “swayable” middle ground people haven’t been responding to the tactic of pushing back on Trump’s lies and misdeeds, as shown by the fact that he’s in the White House. That doesn’t mean you stop doing that, but it’s not sufficient. I wish I knew what that additional tactic is…maybe it’s as simple as doing a better job of marketing and messaging, taking control of the conversation instead of reacting to whatever Trump and the Republicans do.


I think the fact that Republican voters’ professed values swinging from one extreme to other and following closely the prevailing party winds actually shows that they aren’t so sure about what it is they believe.


They believe in the tribe. This has been obvious for years.


Yeah, it’s about identity and “us vs them” more than policy.


This Alaska Re-insurance idea seems like a good one to improve the ACA.

[quote]Premiums in the individual market went up a lot last year. The national average was a 25 percent hike. Alaska was bracing for an even higher 42 percent increase from its one remaining Obamacare insurer, Premera Blue Cross.

That’s when Wing-Heier and other Alaska officials had an idea. The state already had a tax on insurance plans (not just health but also life and property insurance). Usually the money goes to a general Alaska budget fund, but the state decided to divert $55 million of the tax revenue into a reinsurance program.

This would give Obamacare insurers — at this point, just Premera — extra money if they had some especially large medical claims. Reinsurance essentially backstops insurers’ losses; it guarantees they won’t be on the hook for the bills of a handful of exceptionally sick patients.

The new reinsurance program convinced Premera to only raise rates 7 percent in 2017. Alaska suddenly went from having one of the highest rate increases in the nation to one of the lowest.

This didn’t just save customers money. The federal government subsidizes premium costs for 86 percent of Alaska’s Obamacare enrollees. With cheaper premiums, the federal government didn’t have to spend as much money. The cost of these subsidies fell by $56 million when Alaska created the reinsurance fund.

This got Wing-Heier thinking: Why shouldn’t we get that money back?

“Why shouldn’t the money come back to us to fund the reinsurance program?” she recalls thinking. “It was that simple.”

Alaska applied for a waiver in late December, asking the federal government to refund its spending. The state got conditional approval in mid-January from former Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Current HHS Secretary Tom Price has spoken favorably of the Alaska approach too.

In a letter last month to governors, he described their idea as an example for other states to follow. It was, he said, an “opportunity for states to lower premiums for consumers, improve market stability, and increase consumer choice.”

Alaska officials say the Trump administration has so far been easy to work with, helping them make sure the application looks right and moves quickly toward review.

If the waiver does go through — and Wing-Heier says she is “confident” the Trump administration will approve it — Alaska expects that Obamacare rates might actually do something unheard of in 2018: They might decrease. The state estimates that an additional 1,650 people will join the marketplace due to the lower premiums.[/quote]