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Paul Krugman divulges the real reason Trump and Ryan are intent on snatching healthcare away from millions

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Paul Krugman is still very angry at James Comey and Vladimir Putin for tipping the scales in favor of Donald Trump. If not for them, he writes on Friday, the Clinton administration would be celebrating the good news that “health reform, President Obama’s signature achievement, is stabilizing after a bumpy year.”

Krugman has always been an ardent Obamacare defender, though he readily admits it has hit some snags. Premiums did rise sharply this year, due mostly to the fact that more unhealthy people signed up than expected. But the gains are undeniable: “tens of millions of newly insured Americans and dramatic reductions in the number of people skipping treatment or facing financial hardship because of cost,” he points out.

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The much vaunted Obamacare death spiral that so many Republicans have long wished for looks like a no-show. “Despite higher premiums, enrollments in the exchanges are running ahead of their levels a year ago,” Krugman says. “Meanwhile, analysts are reporting substantial financial improvement for insurers: The premium hikes are doing the job, ending their losses.”

Those gains would be here to stay if Trump was not intent on betraying his supporters by yanking away this vital life-saving program. Krugman:

In a way, Democrats should hope that Republicans follow through on their promises to repeal health reform. After all, they don’t have a replacement, and never will. They’ve spent seven years promising something very different from yet better than Obamacare, but keep failing to deliver, because they can’t; the logic of broad coverage, especially for those with pre-existing conditions, requires either an Obamacare-like system or single-payer, which Republicans like even less. That won’t change.

As a result, repeal would have devastating effects, with people who voted Trump among the biggest losers. Independent estimates suggest that Republican plans would cause 30 million Americans to lose coverage, with about half the losers coming from the Trump-supporting white working class. At least some of those Trump supporters would probably conclude that they were the victims of a political scam — which they were.

Republican congressional leaders like Paul Ryan nonetheless seem eager to push ahead with repeal. In fact, they seem to be in a great rush, probably because they’re afraid that if they don’t unravel health reform in the very first weeks of the Trump era, rank-and-file members of Congress will start hearing from constituents who really, really don’t want to lose their insurance.

But why the Republican hostility for health reform? Two reasons: One is that the measure was paid for by taxes on the wealthy and it’s time to give them a tax break and hurt middle and low-income people instead, goes the reasoning. Secondly, as Krugman points out, the modern GOP is philosophically opposed to the notion that the government has a positive part to play in people’s lives at all.

What everyone needs to be prepared for now is how the false narrative about Obamacare will be pushed, namely that it was always a failure, and that the GOP merely conducted a mercy killing. “When the number of uninsured Americans skyrockets on their watch, they’ll claim that it’s not their fault,” Krugman concludes ruefully. “Like everything, it’s the fault of liberal elites.”

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We cannot let them rewrite history in addition to all their other crimes.


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Trump declares himself the ‘greatest of all presidents’ in manic tweetstorm attacking Pelosi and Democrats

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Donald Trump broke out of his Twitter hibernation on Saturday afternoon just before flying off to Florida for a pair of fundraisers, and used the opportunity to declare himself the "greatest of all presidents."

Attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for not passing his signature trade bill, Trump then went after Democrats for trying to impeach him -- saying they were making a big mistake.

On Twitter, the president wrote: ""Hard to believe, but if Nancy Pelosi had put our great Trade Deal with Mexico and Canada, USMCA, up for a vote long ago, our economy would be even better. If she doesn’t move quickly, it will collapse!"

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Donald Trump sounds like a complete lunatic because he’s isolated himself in a far-right media bubble

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

If you have an older relative who spends way too much time stewing in the conservative media, you may have experienced a moment when you not only disagreed with him, but you realized that you had no earthly clue what he was going on about. Perhaps it was when he started talking about the UN plot to eliminate golf courses and replace paved roads with bicycle paths. Maybe he stopped you in your tracks with a discourse on why flies were attracted to Barack Obama, or complained about the government insisting on referring to Christians as "Easter-worshippers" or expressed outrage over 9/11 hijackers being given leniency by Muslim jurists.

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Trump’s claim impeachment ‘nullifies’ 2016 election blown up in new House Judiciary Committee report

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On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released their report outlining the offenses committed by President Donald Trump, and the legal framework for impeachment — which clears the way for Congress to write and approve articles of impeachment against him.

One of the key issues examined by the report is the claim, repeatedly made by the president and his supporters, that impeachment would "nullify" the 2016 presidential election and the popular will — which is already a weak claim given that Trump never won the popular vote, and that impeaching Trump would still install Mike Pence as president. But the report more broadly rejects the entire claim that an election result immunizes a president from punishment for official misconduct.

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