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Should-Read: Nancy LeTorneau: There Is No Grand Strategy to Repeal Obamacare

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Should-Read: Nancy LeTorneau: There Is No Grand Strategy to Repeal Obamacare: “The Congressional Budget Office… released their report…. What we’ve seen from conservatives/Republicans/the White House since then… …If anyone can see a grand strategy here, I’d like to hear about it: HHS Sec. Tom Price and OMB Director Mulvaney said you can’t believe what the CBO says. Speaker Paul Ryan praised the CBO report. The White House produced a report that was even worse than CBO’s – suggesting that 26 million people would lose coverage. Someone leaked the WH report to Politico. Breitbart validated the CBO report by broadcasting the news that Paul Ryan’s plan would result in 24 million people losing their health insurance. Almost simultaneously, Breibart released a tape from last October in which Ryan said he was abandoning Trump forever and wouldn’t support him. Trump is telling conservative Republicans that he’ll work with them to make the bill even worse by speeding up the changes to Medicaid and basically saying, “who cares if that makes it less likely to pass the Senate, we’ll deal with that later.” Let’s note one thing right away. The plan to rally right-wing media around the idea that the CBO report cannot be trusted has completely gone off the rails. When everyone from Ryan to Breitbart to the released White House report are validating it, that simply isn’t going to fly….

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Should-Read: Nancy LeTorneau: There Is No Grand Strategy to Repeal Obamacare: “The Congressional Budget Office… released their report…. What we’ve seen from conservatives/Republicans/the White House since then…

…If anyone can see a grand strategy here, I’d like to hear about it:

  1. HHS Sec. Tom Price and OMB Director Mulvaney said you can’t believe what the CBO says.
  2. Speaker Paul Ryan praised the CBO report.
  3. The White House produced a report that was even worse than CBO’s – suggesting that 26 million people would lose coverage.
  4. Someone leaked the WH report to Politico.
  5. Breitbart validated the CBO report by broadcasting the news that Paul Ryan’s plan would result in 24 million people losing their health insurance.
  6. Almost simultaneously, Breibart released a tape from last October in which Ryan said he was abandoning Trump forever and wouldn’t support him.
  7. Trump is telling conservative Republicans that he’ll work with them to make the bill even worse by speeding up the changes to Medicaid and basically saying, “who cares if that makes it less likely to pass the Senate, we’ll deal with that later.”

Let’s note one thing right away. The plan to rally right-wing media around the idea that the CBO report cannot be trusted has completely gone off the rails. When everyone from Ryan to Breitbart to the released White House report are validating it, that simply isn’t going to fly…. The theory that… Bannon is working… to discredit Speaker Ryan… Breitbart has consistently referred to this bill as “Ryan’s plan,” even though the president embraced it as “our wonderful new health care bill” the day it was released…. But then why is Trump working with conservative Republicans behind the scenes to get the bill passed, apparently with an assist from Bannon in dealing with the head of the Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows (per Politico)?… I’m going to assume that the error in my thinking is assuming that there is either some grand strategy for passing Obamacare repeal or fighting the factional war…. The easier position to defend is that this is a party that doesn’t know how to govern and it’s being exposed for its inadequacies. The silver lining is that it could be good news for the 24 million people who want to keep their health insurance.

Bradford DeLong
J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

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