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GOP health bill would allow insurers to ignore consumer protection laws

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A new Republican health reform proposal would allow insurers to bypass consumer protection laws and remove restrictions on rate hikes, according to published reports.

In the GOP’s 230-page draft of an alternative health care bill is the following passage:

This policy may be less expensive than others because it is not subject to all of the insurance laws and regulations of the state … including coverage of some services or benefits mandated by the law of the state … Additionally, this policy is not subject to all of the consumer protection laws or restrictions on rate changes …

The bill, which caps medical malpractice awards, additionally seeks to increase the use of health savings accounts and would create insurance pools for high-risk individuals.

Rep. John Boehner is calling the bill “The Affordable Health Care for America Act.”

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A key to the expansion of coverage and choice is permitting health insurers to offer interstate policies, they claim. As Think Progress points out, under the Republican proposal the insurer can choose a primary state “whose covered laws shall govern the health insurance issuer” and can change states “upon renewal of the policy.”

Page 129 requires a “health insurance issuer” to “provide the following notice” informing consumers in so-called “secondary states” that the policy is “not subject to all of the consumer protection laws or restrictions on rate changes of the state.”

On CNN over the weekend, Boehner told host John King that Republicans seek, “a common sense approach to make the current system work better.” However, allowing insurers to ignore consumer protections could make things worse than they already are.

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Health care providers could simply choose to do business in states that allow them to charge sick patients more, attracting only the healthiest applicants. Or as Think Progress suggests, “Companies could choose a state with scarce regulations and sell policies that don’t provide mental health parity or cancer screenings.”

Boehner aides told the Associated Press the measure was not final and changes were being made.


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Nazis ‘feed off of’ Trump’s statements: MSNBC law enforcement analyst warns of the president inciting violence

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An MSNBC law enforcement analyst warned of President Donald Trump inciting violence with his racist targeting of women of color in Congress.

Anchor Joy Reid interviewed Jim Cavanaugh, a retired ATF special agent-in-charge on Friday evening's "The Last Word."

"So those threats beginning about two years ago, increases in white nationalist activity. Have you ever heard of these kinds of increases in hate and potential hate crimes being tied to a president of the United States?" Reid asked.

"No," he replied. "That’s very, very unusual, Joy, to have that happen."

"You know, when you get more power, your words carry more weight. When you get into this undercurrent of the Nazis and the white nationalists and the klansmen, they feed off of this. They feed off of public figures -- on the regular media, in the government, congressmen, senators, the president -- saying the things they always say," he explained. "It bolsters them. It gives them strength and power."

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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report is a meticulous and compelling document recounting President Donald Trump’s actions and the informational warfare carried out during the 2016 election by the Russian government. But it contains a serious flaw — and it sents a terrible precedent for the country.

We’re now confronted with that flaw once again as the Justice Department has revealed that the case of the 2016 criminal hush money payments meant to benefit Trump’s campaign has closed. Michael Cohen has already been imprisoned for his part in the scheme, but his testimony, public evidence, and common sense all indicate that Trump, too, was just as culpable.

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Rush Limbaugh admits his attacks on Obama were ‘bogus’ as he attempts to defend Trump

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Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh admitted that Republican fear-mongering over the federal deficit under President Obama was “bogus,” while defending the deficit's explosive rise to $1 trillion under President Trump.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

During Limbaugh’s show on Tuesday, a caller suggested that Republicans should nominate a young fiscal conservative instead of Trump, citing the rising deficit. Limbaugh dismissed the concerns, declaring that fiscal conservatism was basically a sham all along.

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