Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

On CNN we just heard a law professor who is an expert on professional and government ethics explain why Trump's removing himself from the operation of his businesses is irrelevant in terms of what we now rather quaintly call 'conflicts of interest'. This is true, of course. And Richard Painter, former Bush White House ethics counsel and now a Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota, says that turning over ownership to his children, which Trump has not agreed to do, "would be a very, very good move in the right direction."

This is no doubt accurate, as far as it goes. But it doesn't go very far.

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Today two of our reporters were up on Capitol Hill looking for answers to what was afoot on the Medicare Phaseout and Obamacare fronts. I was particularly interested in the former. And Tierney Sneed was able to get some very key information from Sen. John Boozman (R) of Arkansas.

Boozman was already on our list of Medicare wobblers based on his office's responses to constituents. But Arkansas is also one of the poorest state's in the country. By various metrics, it's a state particularly reliant on programs like Medicare. So where does Boozman stand?

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Romney: "[Trump] continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together."

Donald Trump and Mitt Romney share dinner tonight at Manhattan restaurant Jean Georges. We've seldom had a more poignant evocation of the anguish of becoming a Trump dignity wraith.

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Schumer plans to make Rep. Price's confirmation hearing for HHS a into a showcase for and proxy battle over Trump and Ryan's plans to phase out Medicare and replace it with private insurance and vouchers. That's a good idea. But we still need to know where everyone in Congress stands, everyone in both house of congress. Here's the list so far. Lots of members are giving shifty, changing answers to constituents, unwilling to give any clear answer to reporters.

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We are hearing more about the Trump/Ryan plan to phase out Medicare and replace it with private insurance and vouchers. But we're still hearing much, much less than about Obamacare or a lot of other issues. Obamacare is super important. Don't get me wrong. But Medicare is a much, much bigger deal. Most DC journalists don't actually understand what's being proposed. You think it's hard getting good insurance when you're 30 or 50? Try getting good private insurance when you're 70 or 80.

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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) says forget about repeal and replace on Obamacare, just repeal will be fine. Once it's repealed you can look into replacing it. It's all clear. Republicans still have no plan or even any concept for how you replace Obamacare - at least if 'replace' is defined as something that will keep the tens of millions now insured insured. The immediate impact on millions of people will be huge. I'm curious whether they will be able to get this through the senate or indeed, in this form, through the House.

According to multiple reports Monday evening, President-Elect Donald Trump has settled on Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) as his nominee to become Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Price, an orthopedic surgeon and Budget Committee Chair in the outgoing Congress, is an arch-critic of 'Obamacare' and a top supporter of Speaker Paul Ryan's plan to phase out Medicare and replace it with private insurance and vouchers.

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Rep. Tom Price (R) of Georgia is said to be President-Elect Trump's choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. He is the one who told us little more than a week ago that Congress would move on phasing out Medicare in 6 to 8 months (i.e., early summer 2017). He also predicted and advocated pushing the phaseout through with 50 votes in the Senate.

Most health care policy goes through HHS. So he's now the administration point man on Medicare phaseout.

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