Data: Census Bureau Current Population Survey Data, Congressional Budget OfficeChart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios
Let’s start with the CBO Score of the Trickle-Down Health Care Act, you know the thing that says giving tax breaks to billionaires will make us all healthy.
Mike ‘Payola’ Allen writing the morning email thingie at Axios:
Under the CBO projections, the House bill will still un-insure a lot of people (23 million vs. 24 million before the “fix”), save less money in deficit reduction than the prior version, and open up a can of worms that could make people with employer-sponsored insurance worry that their policies might change.
Anyone with a preexisting condition now covered by Obamacare will worry that they might lose coverage (and they could). Opponents will argue that it disproportionately hurts older, sicker, and poorer Americans, and makes insurance more expensive for the sick and the pregnant.
The big takeaway … “Final House health care bill could cause some state markets to unravel,” by Axios’ David Nather: “The last-minute changes to the [House] bill didn’t affect the cost or coverage estimates that much. … But CBO is warning Congress that the latest changes — letting states opt out of two of the ACA’s main insurance regulations — could ruin the insurance markets in those states even if they make insurance cheaper for healthy people.”
and now a jump cut to Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie:
“The nonpartisan scorekeeping office also forecast the GOP plan would cut the deficit by $119 billion over a decade, primarily because of its cuts to Medicaid and private insurance subsidies. That exceeds $2 billion of minimum projected savings the bill needed to hit, which should clear an important hurdle and help the bill’s prospects of getting to the Senate. Senate GOP aides are still checking the analysis to ensure the bill can travel safely across the Capitol.”
So… technically it could go to the Senate and be part of the Reconciliation process, which only requires a simple majority to pass.
Amply be-chinned Mitch McConnell poked his head outta his shell and drawled, y’all: “I don’t know how we get to 50 [votes] at the moment. But that’s the goal. And exactly what the composition of that [bill] is I’m not going to speculate about because it serves no purpose.”
And the hot-potato (potatoe if you are Dan Quayle) nature of this thing had some repercussions, too. Greg Gianforte, a Montana candidate for a special election body-slammed a reporter who asked him about the CBO score (Note that Ben Jacobs is also the guy who reported that software CEO millionare Gianforte has deep Russian ties, too):
And of course, being Republicans, his campaign reacts with a stone-cold lie:
“Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions. Jacobs was asked to leave. After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It’s unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer BBQ.”
…and the fallout includes that both of the papers have un-endorsed Gianforte. The election is today, so this might be a fun one to watch.
Moving overseas… Trump strikes again!
“Greater Manchester Police released a statement condemning the leaks on behalf of the National Counter-Terrorism Policing units that suggested a severe rupture in trust between Britain and the United States, who have traditionally shared intelligence at the highest levels. … Police and security services are also upset that the name of bomber Salman Abedi was leaked by U.S. officials and published while police in Britain were withholding the name for what they said were reasons of operational security.”
UK Prime Minister Theresa May “said she would tell Donald Trump at a Nato meeting that shared intelligence ‘must remain secure.'” — Lots’a luck with that.
Drip… drip… drip…
And then we toodle over to Russia, because why not? Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer
American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers, according to three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence. The conversations focused on Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman at the time, and Michael T. Flynn, a retired general who was advising Mr. Trump … Some Russians boasted about how well they knew Mr. Flynn. Others discussed leveraging their ties to Viktor F. Yanukovych, the deposed president of Ukraine living in exile in Russia, who at one time had worked closely with Mr. Manafort.
And CNN tells us:
Washington (CNN)Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose meetings he had last year with Russian officials when he applied for his security clearance, the Justice Department told CNN Wednesday.
Sessions, who met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at least two times last year, didn’t note those interactions on the form, which requires him to list “any contact” he or his family had with a “foreign government” or its “representatives” over the past seven years, officials said.
Poor Jefferson Beauregard Sessions! How hard it must be to remember all the names of the spies and traitors you consort with! An honest mistake!
And I think that brings us up to speed for today. So what’s catching your eye, Scissorheads?
UPDATE 1: In my rush, I forgot to add this: Trump Records Robocall For GOP Candidate In Montana Special Election. Robocalls are illegal in Montana. Note, too, that Pence has recorded one, too (3?)!