Republicans Are Forcing Gorsuch Through…

From the Washington Post

Republicans on Thursday cleared the way for Judge Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, overcoming a historic Democratic blockade by changing the rules of the U.S. Senate — a move that highlighted the fierce partisanship that has seized Congress.

The long-anticipated rules change now means that all presidential nominees for executive branch positions and the federal courts need only a simple-majority vote to be confirmed by senators.

At this point, we can all expect to say Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Fuck.

Goodbye Progress. It Was Nice Knowing You.

Neil Gorsuch is now on the Supreme Court.

By a 54–45 vote, the Senate confirmed Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on Friday.

The vote effectively returns control of the judicial branch — and with it, the U.S. Constitution — to Republicans. Once Gorsuch is sworn in, Republicans will enjoy a 5–4 majority on the Supreme Court.

Lisa Simpson saying "well, I guess that's it." in defeat.

Lisa Simpson saying “well, I guess that’s it.” in defeat.

 

Agent Orange Blames Democrats for Trumpcare Failure

After Paul Ryan says that Obamacare will remain for the foreseeable future, Agent Circus Peanut is now blaming Democrats… for not supporting it.

From the New York Times

President Trump, trying to put the best possible face on a major defeat on Friday, dismissed the scuttled bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as a byproduct of Democratic partisanship. He predicted that Democrats would return to him to make a deal in roughly a year.

“Look, we got no Democratic votes. We got none, zero,” Mr. Trump said in a telephone interview he initiated with The New York Times. “So when you get zero from the other side — they let us down because they’re hurting the people. The good news is they now own health care, they now own Obamacare.”

He tried to minimize the deep divisions within his own party that prevented Speaker Paul D. Ryan from securing passage of the bill.

[Read more…]

Late GOP Proposal for Health Care is Sicker Than Imagined

From the New York Times

Why should a 60-year-old man have to buy a plan that includes maternity benefits he’ll never use? (This is an example that comes up a lot.) In contrast, the Affordable Care Act includes a list of benefits that have to be in every plan, a reality that makes insurance comprehensive, but often costly.

I mean…

At first glance, this may sound like a wonderful policy. Why should that 60-year-old man have to pay for maternity benefits he will never use? If 60-year-old men don’t need to pay for benefits they won’t use, the price of insurance will come down, and more people will be able to afford that coverage, the thinking goes. And people who want fancy coverage with extra benefits can just pay a little more for the plan that’s right for them.

Most Republicans in Congress prefer the type of health insurance market in which everyone could “choose the plan that’s right for them.”

Why should a 60-year-old man have to buy a plan that includes maternity benefits he’ll never use? (This is an example that comes up a lot.) In contrast, the Affordable Care Act includes a list of benefits that have to be in every plan, a reality that makes insurance comprehensive, but often costly.

Now, a group of conservative House members is trying to cut a deal to get those benefit requirements eliminated as part of the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act moving through Congress. (The vote in the House is expected later today.)

At first glance, this may sound like a wonderful policy. Why should that 60-year-old man have to pay for maternity benefits he will never use? If 60-year-old men don’t need to pay for benefits they won’t use, the price of insurance will come down, and more people will be able to afford that coverage, the thinking goes. And people who want fancy coverage with extra benefits can just pay a little more for the plan that’s right for them.

But there are two main problems with stripping away minimum benefit rules. One is that the meaning of “health insurance” can start to become a little murky. The second is that, in a world in which no one has to offer maternity coverage, no insurance company wants to be the only one that offers it.

Below the fold is a list of all the things Rethugs are trying to cut…

[Read more…]

Government Contractors No Longer Have to Disclose Labor Law Violations

From APNews

The Senate on Monday reversed an Obama administration rule designed to ensure government contractors disclose violations of federal labor laws as they seek more work.

Senate approval of the measure sends it to President Donald Trump for his signature and marks another success in the GOP’s efforts to quash an array of regulations issued during President Barack Obama’s final months in office.

This time, the Senate voted 49-48 to overturn a rule that required contractors to disclose violations of 14 federal labor laws, including those pertaining to workplace safety, wages and discrimination. Contracting officers would then consider the violations when evaluating bids.

The rule addressed government auditors’ concerns over the years that contracting officers frequently failed to consider violations when awarding contracts because they lacked adequate information.

[Read more…]

Republicans Finally Tell Us How They Plan On Replacing The ACA

From the Washington Post

House Republicans on Monday released long-anticipated legislation to supplant the Affordable Care Act with a more conservative vision for the nation’s health-care system, replacing federal insurance subsidies with a new form of individual tax credits and grants to help states shape their own policies.

Under two bills drafted by separate House committees, the government would no longer penalize Americans for failing to have health insurance but would try to encourage people to maintain coverage by allowing insurers to impose a surcharge of 30 percent for those who have a gap between health plans.

The legislation would preserve two of the most popular features of the 2010 health-care law, letting young adults stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 and forbidding insurers to deny coverage or charge more to people with preexisting medical problems. It would also target Planned Parenthood, rendering the women’s health organization ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements or federal family planning grants — a key priority for antiabortion groups.

[Read more…]