Our morning look Inside Politics:
7.1 million enrolled: President Obama on Tuesday crowed in the Rose Garden about meeting the health care law’s open enrollment goal for private insurance. And he had a message for Republicans who continue to oppose it.
Here’s the good, long, meaty quote from Obama’s speech:
“This law is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s working. It’s helping people from coast to coast, all of which makes the lengths to which critics have gone to scare people, or undermine the law, or try to repeal the law without offering any plausible alternative so hard to understand. I’ve got to admit, I don’t get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of folks having health insurance? Many of the tall tales that have been told about this law have been debunked. There are still no death panels. Armageddon has not arrived. Instead, this law is helping millions of Americans, and in the coming years it will help millions more.”
Related: Obamacare reaches enrollment goal
Don’t look for Republicans to give up on Obamacare. Paul Ryan’s budget, released Tuesday, calls again for a full repeal of Obamacare. And Ted Cruz tweeted this:
POTUS is dancing in the end zone while millions of Americans hurt. Obamacare wasn't working last year & it's not now. We need #FullRepeal!
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 1, 2014
POTUS is dancing in the end zone while millions of Americans hurt. Obamacare wasn't working last year & it's not now. We need #FullRepeal!
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 1, 2014
Behind the scenes: How Bradley Cooper saved Obamacare (or, as Politico writes): It was a Hollywood bump that turned things around. Seriously. The site gives major credence to the idea that the viral video and social efforts helped salvage the Obamacare enrollment effort. A turning point was Bradley Cooper, at the White House before a state dinner for France, brainstorming through a meeting with Valerie Jarrett, getting out his cell phone and putting Zach Galifianakis on speaker phone.
Ryan’s utopia: There’s a lot of red meat for fiscal conservatives in Ryan’s latest budget, headed for action in Congress soon. It has exactly zero chance of becoming law this year, but Ryan says it isn’t supposed to. This is the GOP’s vision of what should be done, not a serious proposal for what to do. It cuts $5 trillion in spending over five years. It balances the budget by 2024. But it has major cuts to entitlements and social programs like Medicaid. It would completely reform Medicare into a “premium support” system (Democrats will call that “vouchers") and it repeals Obamacare. Now that the health law is finally in place and millions have the insurance Democrats have been talking about for five years, fat chance the president’s party will let that happen.
But it is clear Republicans realize they need an alternative to Obamacare, not just an (officially unrealistic) pledge to simply repeal it.
Related: Ryan budget aims to cut trillions, balance budget, reform Medicare
The Washington Post reports that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will release his own health reform plan in D.C. on Wednesday. It shares some similarities with earlier GOP proposals and also includes a “premium support” idea like the one in Ryan’s budget.
What’s a “premium support” look like in Jindal’s plan?
The Post: “His plan also borrows the central, never-realized idea from the Medicare commission on which he worked in the late 1990s, which suggests that the federal insurance program for older Americans convert to a system known as “premium support.” This would be a dramatic change, replacing a program in which the government sets prices and pays the medical bills of elderly patients with a new model in which the government would give those patients money to buy coverage from private health plans competing to provide their care.”
Cheney’s warning: He didn’t say “Rand Paul,” but certainly that’s who he was talking about when he spoke behind closed doors to the Republican Jewish Conference and GOP moneyman and billionaire magnate Sheldon Adelson.
Audio of Cheney, which also includes a not-so-subtle story that seems to suggest the U.S. should deploy American military might against Iran’s nuclear program, was released by Mother Jones, the liberal publication of 47 percent fame.
"One of the things that concerns me first about the campaign, that I'm worried about," Cheney said, "is what I sense to be an increasing strain of isolationism, if I can put it in those terms, in our own party. It's not taking over, by any means, but there is without question a body of thought now that's supported by many Republicans and some candidates that the United States can afford to turn its back on that part of the world." Cheney complained that "some candidates" think the Middle East is "not our problem. … Bring the boys home. There's no reason in the world for us to be involved in that part of the world." But, he remarked, "anybody who thinks back on the problems of 9/11" knows that "it makes absolutely no sense at all for us to contemplate that course of action."
Some other things we’re watching today:
Cruz’s memoir payday: Ted Cruz has gotten a $1.5 million advance for a book, according to the Washington Examiner. That’s a larger advance than Sarah Palin got after she rocketed into the national consciousness during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Writes Paul Bedard: “The book, still untitled and unwritten, will be part memoir and part Cruz’s view of how to get Washington to work again as well as his vision of the future for the country. The 43-year-old has quite a story to tell, being the first Hispanic to serve as Texas solicitor general and as Texas' senator. Elected in 2012, he has also been in the middle of several major fights in Washington, including last year's government shutdown and the continued efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
Gray loses D.C. primary (from CNN’s Dan Merica): “Washington Mayor Vince Gray will not win a second term in office. The mayor, who has been dogged by ethics questions since his first campaign in 2010, conceded defeat early Wednesday morning to D.C. council member Muriel Bowser in the district's Democratic primary. And shortly after Gray's remarks, Bowser claimed victory in the primary contest. According to the District of Columbia Board of Elections, Bowser captured 44% of the vote, compared to Gray's 33% with 127 out of 143 precincts reporting. A spokesman for Bowser had declared victory for the council member earlier in the night, but Bowser waited for the mayor to speak before she gave her acceptance speech. In a speech focused on his four years of leadership, Gray thanked his supporters, congratulated Bowser on her successful campaign and stressed the need for his supporters to get behind the right candidate in November's general election.”
Related: Incumbent mayor concedes defeat in D.C. primary
Should the U.S. release spy to kick-start Mideast talks? It certainly seems like the administration’s tone on Pollard has changed as it deals with a stall in talks between Israelis and Palestinians. But there is growing concern on Capitol Hill - his freedom, said Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, shouldn’t be offered just to get talks started without any commitments toward a final peace deal.
“This was a major betrayal and I’ve followed it over the years. It’s one thing if there’s an agreement. It’s another thing totally if there isn’t,” she told the Daily Beast.
Related: 27 years later, Pollard case remains diplomatic thorn
Shame on these national thugs, pretty pathetic party is "Republican party". Why do they hate middle class.
Oh Fox-lite your bias is once again showing.... President Obama crowed.....
Another repeal vote. Lord gave mercy , they know not what they do.....
GOP insanity. Acting like bratty, school yard bullies. Vote them all out!
There are some republican pundits who have come to there senses and have said republicans need to kill the repeal talk. I think it's a losing issue if they intend to take away what people are already benefiting from. All they talk about is repeal. Whatever happened to repeal & replace?
Its to late to repeal the law, that time has passed. We need to make changes to law to make it better and make it work as it was envisioned by Obama. First, get rid of the part that allows 18-26yr. olds to stay on their parents policy. Second, reduce the cost of malpractice insurance (This a huge part of high premuims). Third, personal private plans and work related plans should not have to be regulated or changed due to ACA guidelines.
Wow. A 1,000,000.00 advance for shutting down the government and reading Green Eggs and Ham. I am definitely in the wrong line of work. No wonder the Canadian born US Senator doesn't want a real job.
Social Security will ruin this Nation-1935;Medicare will ruin this Nation(Ronald Reagan)-1965; ObamaCare will ruin this Nation(Ted Cruz)-2014.
Of all the topics I would like to focus on two things:
1) The repeal of the ACA (CNN it would serve us all to quit calling it Obamacare). The Republicans need to present something with realistic DETAIL on how they would replace it or they need to SHUT UP!! I have heard nothing from them that comes close to really helping the poor. The one idea I heard from them over a year ago that as a really good idea was to make doctors and hospitals post the cost of their services. That lasted about 2 days, about the time it took to receive phone calls from lobbyist hating the idea. The problem with healthcare is not JUST the insurance costs, the real ROOT of the problem is the ridiculously high costs for the service.
2) The Ryan budget...HA..HA..HA..HA..HA..this stuff he presents is just laughable. He seems focused on cutting benefits for the poor, reduce taxes on the rich, keep the military close to the same size it is. ONLY a person who is out of touch with reality can think this will ever pass as law!! Also common sense (which is not that common) would tell you one of the BIGGEST problems facing America is the lack of revenue (taxes) because it is not set up where a person making $55,000.00 pays about 25 to 30% taxes while a very wealthy person due to tax loop holes can pay less than 20%.
Also the easiest way to help the economy is to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by June 2016. That extra $2.65 will have an extremely positive impact on the economy because 90% of it would be spent, stimulating job growth, and 100,000's of people would be taken off SNAP and other government programs lowering the deficit !! Inflation is near "0" now and if the increase is done over 2 years I believe it would have a minimal effect to the overall economy.
Correction "because it is not set up where a person making $55,000.00 pays about 25 to 30% taxes while a very wealthy person due to tax loop holes can pay less than 20%
because it is now set up where a person making $55,000.00 pays about 25 to 30% taxes while a very wealthy person due to tax loop holes can pay less than 20%
Hobby Lobby's retirement plans are heavily invested in pharmaceutical companies who make contraception and abortofacient drugs, including IUDs, emergency contraception pills and drugs used in abortions. They are also heavily invested in insurers who provide abortion coverage. This puts the LIE to the "strongly held religious beliefs" they claim to hold that have them suing the government for special treatment with respect to the contraception mandate in the ACA. Had they actually held them, they would also not be investing in those companies. What it reveals is that it's all just more self-serving political crap from these social conservatives...and that's why the MSM will ignore this info...because when one side is just completely and utterly full of crap, it destroys the idea that there's even a legitimate controversy in the first place.
It would completely reform Medicare into a “premium support” system (Democrats will call that “vouchers") and it repeals Obamacare.
thanks Captain Obvious. never saw that one coming. as for Pollard, if anyone actually thinks Nutty Yahoo will do anything constructive even after being bribed with Pollards release, they are delusional
The GOP accountant and HOT DOG CAR driver lyin Ryan their budget writer needs to be kicked OUT oF OFFICE in November . This FAILED GOP vice presidential LOSER has NOTHING to offer the American voters but more missery and this CLOWN needs to get another hot dog car driver job!!!!
Its to late to repeal the law, that time has passed. We need to make changes to law to make it better and make it work as it was envisioned by Obama. First, get rid of the part that allows 18-26yr. olds to stay on their parents policy.
Why? My daughters were allowed to stay on our insurance until their 23rd birthdays – and that was long before President Obama was elected.
Paul Ryan's "Plan for Prosperity", which fully repeals the ACA and turns Medicare into a voucher system, is not a solution. It's a death sentence. If insurers are allowed to turn people away with pre-existing conditions again, then how are seniors supposed to buy health insurance? The insurers would categorically turn them down for coverage simply because of their ages, which is exactly the reason that Medicare was started in the first place. The private markets refused to insure seniors, so the government did.
Many of you may be too young to know what is what like before Medicare. It was terrible. Married couples would work hard their entire lives, saving up for retirement, only to have to go bankrupt because one of the got sick. The adult children would take them in, and they would bankrupt themselves trying to take care of the medical expenses. It drove people into poverty. For what? Corporate greed and polticians who supported greed over people.
"Its to late to repeal the law, that time has passed. We need to make changes to law to make it better and make it work as it was envisioned by Obama. First, get rid of the part that allows 18-26yr. olds to stay on their parents policy.
Why? My daughters were allowed to stay on our insurance until their 23rd birthdays – and that was long before President Obama was elected."
Why? Because he wants less young people to be covered in order to damage the cost control mechanisms in the ACA.
The obama admin passes a law saying you have to sign up and then is proud 7 thousand signed up? I dont get it. 40 million didnt have coverage before now. What happened to them?
"It has exactly zero chance of becoming law this year, but Ryan says it isn’t supposed to. This is the GOP’s vision of what should be done, not a serious proposal for what to do. "
Exactly their problem right there, They come up with stuff they Know does not work for the country but makes them and their buddies Tons of money. At least the other side actually helps people while making their buddies tons of money. This is one of the key problems.
They are living in a dream world where Most of the country population does not exist. They talk about no isolationism in the middle east, but they try to isolate themselves from everyday Americans.
Keep talking like that smith and you're going to get thrown out the crew. Make the law into what Obama envisioned??? Smith have you lost your ever loving mind?? Did you forget the GOP mantra that started January 2009? Nothing to help this POTUS succeed.
They can't let it go because it's all they have. They've done absolutely nothing in 5 years but vote to repeal the ACA and try to overturn Roe vs Wade. It's how they get their base whipped up in a frenzy.
I'm still wondering what happened to the jobs, jobs, jobs??
With all due respect Mr. President, you STILL don't get it after 5 years! THEY HATE YOU and everything you stand for. They have obstructed, blocked and filibustered (even their own legislation) everything you have tried to accomplish then publicly touted their efforts to the sycophants with lies, innuendo and misinformation.
The GOP has only offered one bill to address the conservative plan called ACA (other than 50+ attempts to kill it) and that bill (HR3121) contained language to repeal ACA (yet again) and overturn RVW. Yet they point at Reid [again] saying he tabled their legislation. Really? Why is that?
And now, the guy who has never held a REAL job in his life has put forth a budget that even Palin calls a joke, which the House will probably approve..
WHEN IS THE GOP going to GROW UP and start acting like ADULTS ?????
Honestly, I don't understand the right's obsession with the "18-26 year-olds being allowed to stay on their parents' plans" false flag. The parents have to pay additional premiums if they choose to insure their children – it isn't like the insurance companies are doing it for free – so why is that such a horrible thing? And WHY do you not only want to take away that which was just enacted, you want to take away a benefit that has ALWAYS been there by cutting off young people at an earlier age than before the passage of the ACA. Why do the reichwing HATE young people so much?
My, my the Natives are restless tonight. If "Dummy" Care is so successful why many of you making despiciable remarks. Worried your "Victory" is like a Summer Solider that will fade away with the first hint of winter. And do you think Obama is speaking the truth now? Hope you have a good retirement plan. However it may already be too late.
"The obama admin passes a law saying you have to sign up and then is proud 7 thousand signed up? I dont get it. 40 million didnt have coverage before now. What happened to them?"
Yes, you don't get it. Why? Well, partly because you haven't taken the time to go gain an understanding of it....which is partly because you're relying on the MSM's "news" to provide you with one. Here's the first thing you need to understand in order to fix the problem: the MSM is not interested, not in any way, shape or form, in providing you with an understanding of ANYTHING whatsoever. In fact, the MSM makes more money by deliberately keeping you stupid, misinformed and emotionally agitated.
The GOP, should repeal the wars we are involved in, it has taken years, and the results are not visible, so give the Affordable Care Act a chance, do something to enhance it
If the GOP clown lyin Ryan was really concerned about the budget , he would suggest that CONGRESS CUT THEIR OWN PAY down to 10.10 an hour, that's all their worth!!!!!
It is my fervent hope that Republicans stay true to form and continue their quest to repeal in a very public manner Obamacare, or now that it is working the PPACA.
I would like for them to bad-mouth it with made up stories that should be immediately uncovered, and misinformation that should be immediately debunked.
I would like for them to publicize how much their futile efforts to repeal a law that as time goes on more and more people are being helped by.
Yes. Please. Proceed...true to form obstructing, unfeeling, and irresponsibly wasting taxpayer's money right on through November of this year.