It’s a confused time for Obamacare: As its poll numbers bounce up and down in Gallup’s recent measurements, the signals coming from Democratic campaigns also paint a contradictory picture.
— Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz‘s (D) new TV ad touting her work on Obamacare has attracted significant attention. It follows another notable move in health care politics, when the main outside group backing Sen. Mark Begich (D) aired a testimonial ad touting the law’s insurance reforms on preexisting conditions.
— Yet not every Democrat or Democratic campaign is marching in the same direction in its messaging. Sen. Kay Hagan‘s (D) first flight of radio advertising included criticism of North Carolina state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) for once calling health care reform “a great idea” (before saying it couldn’t be paid for). Meanwhile, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), also in a tough red state race, pledged to the Washington Post this week that she’ll be on offense on health care, regarding Medicaid expansion and other access issues.
— Obamacare’s healthy enrollment numbers and other recent successes in certain states, after a rocky start at implementation, may eventually force Republicans to change their strategy of attacking the law. (Democrats argue results in 2012 and other elections show it’s already costing them.)
But for now. it’s Democrats who are going with different messages indifferent situations, from Democratic primaries to tough general election matchups. Obamacare isn’t a completely stable fixture of the political landscape; opinions on it continue to evolve. So, too, will the messaging we see.
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After more than a month of back and forth, a failed bill, and GOP embarrassment, the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus has announced that it will support the Obamacare replacement legislation in its most recent iteration. Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the caucus, said the roughly 30 members of the caucus view this compromise as the best option short of a full repeal. A recent amendment, authored by Meadows and Rep. Tom McArthur, co-chair of the more moderate Tuesday Group, would allow states to apply for waivers exempting them from provisions forbidding insurers from charging higher prices to those with pre-existing conditions if the state set up a high-risk pool. The plan's passage in the House is not a done deal though, as a number of moderate lawmakers have resisted supporting the amendment.
"A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer fired a warning flare toward an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel coming near it in the Persian Gulf. The incident happened Monday as the vessel closed to within 1,000 meters of the USS Mahan, "despite the destroyer trying to turn away from it." After attempting to contact the Iranian vessel and sounding its whistle, it deployed the flare. After that, the ship had had enough and turned away.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick Tuesday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing part of an executive order calling for the end of federal funding to so-called sanctuary cities. The decision was followed by a scathing rebuke from the White House, a precedent-breaking activity which with this White House has had no qualms. A White House statement called the decision an "egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge." The statement was followed by an inaccurate Wednesday morning tweetstorm from Trump, which railed against the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. While Judge Orrick's district falls within the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit, Orrick himself does not serve on the Ninth Circuit.
"House Republicans are circulating the text of an amendment to their ObamaCare replacement bill that they believe could bring many conservatives on board. According to legislative text of the amendment," drafted by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), "the measure would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal one of ObamaCare’s core protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Conservatives argue the provision drives up premiums for healthy people, but Democrats—and many more moderate Republicans—warn it would spark a return to the days when insurance companies could charge sick people exorbitantly high premiums."