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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 …

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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.”

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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The View goes ‘insane’ trying to unravel GOP’s mind-bending impeachment conspiracies

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Panelists on "The View" questioned their own sanity while trying to make sense of the theories House Republicans threw out to defend President Donald Trump against impeachment.

The four panelists, minus an absent Meghan McCain, were thoroughly confused by GOP arguments against the evidence presented in the first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry -- where Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor revealed the president was overheard discussing investigations of Joe Biden with the EU ambassador by phone.

"Here's the craziest part of that call," said co-host Abby Huntsman. "It's an incredible breach of security."

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Second official confirms Trump’s call with Gordon Sondland as evidence for latest bombshell grows: report

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According to the Associated Press, a source is saying that a second US embassy official overheard President Trump’s call with Sondland regarding Ukraine moving forward with investigating Trump's political rivals.

Suriya Jayanti was also at the table during Trump's call and was identified by anonymous source who spoke to the AP. Jayanti is a foreign service officer who is based in Kyiv.

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Pelosi smacks down Fox News reporter’s question — and hilariously explains to Trump what ‘exculpatory’ means

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday smacked down Fox News reporter Chad Pergram after he insinuated that House Democrats seemed "excited" about the prospect of impeaching President Donald Trump.

During a press conference, Pergram asked Pelosi, "Why would the public not think that the House is dead set on a course to impeach the president when all of this milieu was going on?"

"All this milieu is a seeking of the truth," she replied. "It's called an inquiry."

Pelosi at this point turned to the camera and seemed to address Trump directly.

"And if the president has something that is exculpatory -- Mr. President, that means if you have anything that shows your innocence -- then he should make that known," she said. "And that's part of the inquiry. So far we haven't seen that."

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