In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Members of the House progressive caucus on Thursday railed against President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet picks. Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison (D-MN), who is also running for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, described the Trump nominees as "representing a very disturbing trend."

"With only a few exceptions, the individuals that President-elect Trump has appointed is the greatest collection of stooges and cronies and misfits we have ever seen in a presidential administration," Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) said at a press conference hosted by a handful of the caucus' members.

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Additional reporting by Lauren Fox

Congressional Republicans didn’t want to help insurers when the health care market was transitioning into Obamacare. Now they’ll have to decide how much they’ll be willing to help insurers as they plan the country’s transition out of the Affordable Care Act, which GOP leaders say will be repealed as soon as they convene a new Congress.

With the GOP planning to repeal Obamacare with a two- or three-year delay so they can work on a replacement, a key question is what kind of life rafts they can throw to insurers, who will have no incentive to stay in the ACA individual exchanges carriers know are doomed. Among the proposals insurers are asking Congress to consider are the very programs that Republicans spent six years railing against—and in some cases obstructing legislatively—as “taxpayer funded bailouts.”

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A major trade group for insurers took the unusual step of going public with what it is demanding of Republicans considering a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

In a list of proposals released Tuesday, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) said that in light of "significant changes" the Affordable Care Act will see, the group was highlighting the "key principles that, if followed, will help ensure a stable, competitive market that delivers real choice, high quality, and affordable care." Their requests anticipate a GOP Obamacare repeal maneuver that health care policy experts warn will destabilize the individual insurance market, even if lawmakers include a delay of the repeal provisions in the bill they push early next year.

"We still have more questions than answers,” AHIP president and CEO Marilyn Tavenner told the New York Times. “We don’t want to disrupt individuals who are relying on our coverage.”

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If Republicans go through with their plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act using a similar model as their failed 2015 Obamacare repeal, the number of uninsured would double, a new report by the Urban Institute report warns. Taking into account the two or so year delay GOP lawmakers say they will include in the repeal bill, the non-partisan think tank estimates that in 2019 the number of uninsured nonelderly people would rise from about 29 million to nearly 59 million. The report also notes that since the 2015 version of the legislation repealed the individual mandate right away while delaying other repeal aspects, some impacts of the version the GOP might pass could be felt right away.

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Incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told the Washington Post that he will not help Republicans replace the Affordable Care Act if they follow through with a strategy to repeal the law immediately and then replace it down the road.

“We’re not going to do a replacement,” Schumer told the Washington Post. “If they repeal without a replacement, they will own it. Democrats will not then step up to the plate and come up with a half-baked solution that we will partially own. It’s all theirs."

Schumer's comments come as Republicans remain divided on the best strategy to replace the health care law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate would repeal the law as their first order of business in 2017, but it is unclear how Republicans plan to come up with and implement a replacement. It is very likely that Republicans will need 60 votes to implement a replacement, and thus Democratic help, according to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

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