President Barack Obama and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke look out a window at Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier during a flight aboard Air Force One from Los Angeles, Calif., to Seattle, Wash., Aug. 17, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
GOP Desperation Is Hilarious
Steve Benen: Earlier this week, Reince Priebus, commenting on the Affordable Care Act, said, “People know what Obamacare is. It’s European, socialist-style type health care.” The quote struck me as fairly hilarious because the second sentence helps debunk the first — anyone who thinks the federal U.S. system is in anyway similar to European, socialist-style type health care clearly has no idea what “Obamacare” is.
In reality, there’s simply nothing in the Affordable Care Act that stops consumers from choosing their own doctor. Literally, not one provision. Under a variety of HMOs, there are limits on out-of-network physicians, but that was an American norm long before “Obamacare” came around. For that matter, if you’re a parent of a kid with seizures, the Affordable Care Act is perhaps the best friend you’ve ever had — not only does the law protect you and your family’s coverage, but it extends protections to those with pre-existing conditions, and ends annual and lifetime caps. And since treating children with seizures can get a little pricey, that’s important.
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GOP Latino “outreach” continues its “successful” journey.
Dylan Byers: In a highly anticipated move, the Republican National Committee voted unanimously on Friday to deny NBC and CNN the rights to host or sponsor a Republican primary debate unless those two networks cancel their respective Hillary Clinton film projects. On Friday, RNC communications director Sean Spicer told POLITICO that the boycott would extend to NBC and CNN’s Spanish-language channels: Telemundo and CNN Español.
But more importantly, all CNN debates were broadcast to America’s Spanish-speaking population on CNN Español. Without that channel, the RNC will need to find another avenue to reach Latino voters.
Ready for the absolute worst thing you’re going to see written about the (very real) issue of young, healthy people and the Affordable Care Act? I’m going to make you wait for it, though. Philip Klein is trumpeting a new “study” that purports to find that buying insurance in the exchanges is a really bad deal for young healthies. Only one problem: the study, by David Hogberg, ignores in his analysis that many of those young healthies will actually use that insurance.
It’s absolutely true that for most young healthies, buying insurance won’t be a big winner. For that matter, most people who buy homeowner’s insurance never suffer a fire or a flood, but somehow you won’t find a lot of financial analysts who will advise against it. Bottom line: there’s just no use looking at the costs of insurance without also looking at the benefits. Whether they’re the short-term direct benefits that actual insurance-holders certainly do claim, or the longer-term benefits involved in having a functioning system.
Tara Culp-Ressler: How Conservatives’ Attacks On ObamaCare Accidentally Ended Up Expanding Abortion Access
The latest media reports about the health reform law proclaim that the “abortion complication” is the Obama administration’s latest headache. That’s referring to the fact that a recent tweak to the health reform law may extend abortion coverage to members of Congress and their staffers, even though federal workers currently can’t get that coverage under their government-sponsored insurance plans. Abortion opponents are calling on the government to fix the discrepancy.
“It’s a radical deviation and departure from current federal law,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) said of the potentially expanded coverage for reproductive health care. He referred to the possibility that lawmakers and their staff may be eligible for insurance coverage for abortion as a “scheme” to get the government to fund the procedure. If it’s a scheme, it’s one that conservatives actually created themselves. Here’s the background on the current controversy, which wouldn’t be an issue in the first place if not for two Republican lawmakers
Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, right, listens as President Barack Obama holds a round table discussion with local small business owners during a stop at Grand Central Bakery in Seattle, Wash., Aug. 17, 2010. The President met with the group to discuss strengthening the economy and creating jobs for the families and businesses of Washington State. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Galesburg Senior High volleyball players join in a cheer after meeting President Barack Obama during an unannounced stop in Galesburg, Ill., Aug. 17, 2011, as part of a three-day bus tour in the Midwest. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama surprises Military Aide Major Barrett Bernard with a birthday cake aboard Air Force One during the flight from Seattle, Wash., to Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 17, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)