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Calif. Dem reintroduces public option for health insurance

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Even as Republicans gear up for a vote to repeal health care reform, one progressive House member is making a renewed push for the public option.

On Wednesday, the first day of the 112th Congress, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) introduced a measure to establish a robust public health insurance option as a supplement to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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The California congresswoman argued that the plan, which pays physicians 5 percent more than Medicare rates, would lower insurance costs and address deficit concerns, pointing to a Congressional Budget Office report saying it would cut the deficit by $68 billion.

“This is the perfect moment for the public option,” Woolsey said. “It builds on the health care reform legislation by lowering costs and it provides a great way to bring down the deficit.”

She added: “If Republicans really care about the deficit, they should sign on to this bill rather than try to dismantle the health care reform law, which would add billions to the budget deficit.”

A copy of the 17-page bill, called the “Public Option Deficit Reduction Act,” was provided to Raw Story [.pdf].

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While the provision — controversial in Congress but popular among the public — is all but guaranteed not to pass the Republican-controlled House, it serves to illustrate flaws in GOP’s budget-related arguments regarding repeal of the health care law.

Republicans have argued that the health reform law would explode the deficit, but the CBO has said it would do the opposite. The nonpartisan scorekeeper has also said repealing the measure would add $143 billion to the deficit.

After his party rode a wave of anti-health reform campaigns to retake the House, the new Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor dismissed CBO projections, suggesting that the budgeting office skewed its projections to serve the political interests of Democrats.

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“I think most people understand that the CBO did the job it was asked to do by the then-Democrat majority, and it was really comparing apples to oranges,” Mr. Cantor said. “It talked about 10 years worth of tax hikes and six years worth of benefits. Everyone knows beyond the 10-year window, this bill has the potential to bankrupt this federal government as well as the states. So that speaks to the budget implications of that.”

Woolsey has championed the public option — which would offer consumers a choice between private plans and a government-run plan — since it was under consideration in the sweeping health care law. After it was removed and the rest of the bill was enacted, she led efforts to reintroduce it as a standalone measure.


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‘The ground is shifting’: Longtime GOP aide sounds the alarm that Trump is putting Arizona in play

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Chuck Coughlin, who once served as a top aide to two different Republican governors in Arizona, is warning that President Donald Trump is putting his state in play for the 2020 presidential election.

In an interview with Politico, Coughlin said his party has expressed real anxiety about the state turning blue next year.

"Republicans are very concerned,” he said. "The ground is shifting."

At the moment, just 45 percent of Arizona voters have a favorable view of Trump, while 53 percent have an unfavorable view. Additionally, the victory of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in last year's midterm elections showed that Democrats can be competitive in statewide races in a place that became famous for electing iconic conservative senators such as John McCain and Barry Goldwater.

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PolitiFact corrects conservatives: The NYT Kavanaugh story has not been debunked

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The new report from The New York Times on the allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh contained some stunning new revelations — including that several people tried to contact the FBI to corroborate Deborah Ramirez's assault allegation but were ignored, and that prominent attorney Max Stier alleges he saw Kavanaugh take part in a third assault.

But conservative news sites are now running with the idea that the Times article has been discredited and that the paper has retracted its claims. PJ Media, a prominent right-wing site, ran the headline "New York Times Now Admits New Kavanaugh Accusation Is Fake News."

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Meghan McCain’s pity party for Sean Spicer gets smacked down: ‘He shouldn’t have lied’

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"The View" co-host Meghan McCain tried to help her friend Sean Spicer lauder his reputation on "Dancing With The Stars," but co-host Sunny Hostin quickly put a stop to her efforts.

The former White House press secretary showed off his dance moves Monday in a neon green ruffled top, and McCain insisted his dancing would be impressive at a wedding, if not on television.

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