Monday, March 16, 2015

Last Call For Hand Over The Cash

At least one Republican governor is publicly saying that they want the GOP to lose King v Burwell in front of the Supreme Court this June in order to preserve Obamacare subsidies for the people in his state who need affordable health care.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R) is no fan of the Affordable Care Act. He supported the first Supreme Court case seeking to repeal the law, and he claimed that the law is “unconstitutional.” And yet, at a news conference last week, Mead echoed many of the Justice Department’s warnings regarding what will happen if the justices side with a new case seeking to gut the law. Indeed, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Mead “hopes the court will reject the case and uphold the law.” 
The attorneys behind King v. Burwell asked the Supreme Court to cut off tax credits, which allow millions of Americans to afford their health insurance, in close to three dozen states. If the justices agree to do so, millions of people’s premiums will triple or worse, and an estimated 8 million people insured through the law’s exchanges will lose their coverage. Nearly 10,000 people will die every year who otherwise would have lived, according to one estimate. Meanwhile, the sudden, enormous spikes in the cost of insurance will destabilize many states’ individual insurance markets, potentially triggering a “death spiral” that will cause those markets to collapse. 
In his press conference, Mead worried about the chaos that would result from a decision that allowed all of this to happen. “If on June 30, if that’s when the case comes down, and they say no more subsidies for federal exchanges … it is going to cause a lot of turmoil,” he warned, adding that his home state of Wyoming “will be scrambling” if the King plaintiffs win their case.

During oral arguments on King, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli expressed similar concerns that the states will not be able to adapt to a decision cutting off tax credits.

The reason is simple math.  You can't argue that Obamacare is a giveaway to urban minority voters in states like Wyoming, and the state is the least populous in the nation. Gov. Mead is just running the numbers and he knows that his constituents are in trouble if federal subsidies go away.

Five years later Obamacare is a reality, and dealing with is the only solution.  You'll see more and more GOP governors throw in the towel and take the money.

Nate Runs The March Madness Numbers

Bottom line:  Kentucky has been so completely dominant this season that they have a better chance of winning the championship (41%) than 61 other teams do even making the Final Four.

The FiveThirtyEight crew will update the odds as the tournament continues, but UK starting out with a two in five chance before they ever take the court is just amazing.  The odds are still that somebody other than UK will win it all, but that's the odds of the Wildcats winning five straight road games compared to 63 other teams.

Even my Blue Devils have a 6% shot as a number one seed.  That hurts, because this is a pretty decent squad this year.  Nobody else in Kentucky's region (Midwest) has a more than 1% chance of winning the tournament.  Hell, the odds of them making the Final Four are 72% before they touch the damn ball.

It's a Big Blue world, rest of us just live there.

And Iran, Iran So Far Away

Though several Democratic senators told POLITICO they were offended by the missive authored by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), none of them said it would cause them to drop their support for bills to impose new sanctions on Iran or give Congress review power over a nuclear deal.

That presents another complication for the administration ahead of a rough deadline of March 24 to reach a nuclear agreement with the country.

“The letter’s incredibly unfortunate and inappropriate,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, a centrist Democrat who voted for the sanctions bill in committee and is a sponsor of the congressional approval legislation. “That doesn’t diminish my support for the legislation that we introduced.”

The president’s challenge in Congress on the issue isn’t limited to the 47 Republican senators who signed last week’s missive arguing that a nuclear agreement could be revoked by the next U.S. president. In a letter released Saturday, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough implored Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) not to push for a vote on his bill that would give Congress 60 days to reject or approve of any deal.

McDonough argued that Corker’s measure, which has nearly a dozen Democratic supporters, “goes well beyond ensuring that Congress has a role to play in any deal with Iran.” And he asked Corker, who’s sought to maintain a cordial relationship with the White House, to let the administration finish its negotiations with Iran, indicating it may take until the end of June. A framework is expected by the end of this month.

Corker shrugged off the request in response. And in an interview late last week, he said he hasn’t lost the support of any Democrats despite the turbulent atmosphere surrounding Iran politics.

“Let a couple days go by. We think there’s going to be really ignited momentum,” Corker, who did not sign the Cotton letter, said on Thursday. “Nobody’s dropping out. We’ve had reaffirmed commitment” from Democrats.

Indeed, a day after the controversy over Cotton’s letter erupted, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado co-sponsored Corker’s congressional review bill, the 11th Democrat to signal support.

Democrats in Congress still haven't figured out that running away from President Obama in 2010 and 2014 cost them the House and now Senate respectively.  Instead of using Cotton's letter to rally the party and show a united front, Democrats are actively boasting about how they will stab the President in the back, even the ones not up for re-election in 2016, like Heitkamp.

Whatever.  With Hillary, Jim Webb, Martin O'Malley, and even Liz Warren all pretending Obama was as hated in his last two years as Dubya, don't expect too much form the Dems in 2016 at this rate.


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