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From The Reporter’s Notebook
As TPM’s Lauren Fox and Tierney Sneed reported, Republicans are still debating the scope of an Obamacare repeal. As they look to repeal some provisions of the ACA through a process known as reconciliation next January, a key question is whether they will repeal the individual mandate right away—and risk near-term chaos in the insurance markets—or delay its repeal the way they suggest they’ll delay the repeal of other aspects of the law to provide a transition period into a to-be-determined alternative.
Agree or Disagree?
Josh Marshall: “Providing health insurance coverage to seniors will unquestionably cost more if run through private insurance. No one who has looked at the comparative data on the cost efficiency of Medicare and private carriers can question this. There’s no money savings. Quite the opposite. The only difference is that seniors will pay vastly more out of pocket because the vouchers won’t come close to the costs of a policy. The upshot of the Ryan plan is significantly increasing the cost of what society pays for the medical care of seniors and then making seniors pay dramatically more out of pocket. All with none of the bedrock gaurantees Medicare provides.”
“I feel like the biggest idiot in the history of the world.”
– A Wisconsin radio host took a call from listener “Paul,” who explained that he was in fact House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and had been waiting on the line for his scheduled interview.
BUZZING: Today in the Hive
From a TPM Prime member: “The GOP last had unified control of Washington under GWB. Mistakes were made, but when ideology came up against responsibility, responsibility generally won. If this time is different, then it will shatter the GOP because the voters do respond to results. Bad results get punished. Unitary control by the Democrats would be better, but was not to be. The real bad outcome that will not be punished will be climate change which the voters will not detect for many, many cycles.”
Related: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spelled out his top four priorities for Congress when Trump takes office next year.
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