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Robert Reich’s latest warning should make Republicans think long and hard about repealing Obamacare

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Robert Reich (screenshot)

On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that a whopping 14 million people will be left uninsured next year if the GOP’s new health care bill passes. To the surprise of no one, the Trump administration has responded by sticking its collective fingers in its ears.

“It’s just not believable, is what we would suggest,” Heath and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said, a sentiment echoed by former Trump campaign economic adviser Stephen Moore later that day.

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“I don’t believe this report,” Moore told Anderson Cooper in an interview on CNN’s AC 360.

“I think it’s hocus-pocus,” he added, insisting the GOP’s multi-step process will “provide more competition and will make it more economical for people to buy insurance” long-term.

Count Labor Secretary Robert Reich among the report’s many believers.

“Donald Trump said over and over again during the campaign, and he said again after he was president, that nobody would lose coverage,” Reich recalled. “Well, here you have the Congressional Budget Office, whose director was appointed by the Republican Congress, saying in effect that you’ve got huge losses.”

According to the report, that 14 million figure is set to nearly double over the course of a decade. Republicans, Reich explained, should proceed cautiously.

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“If I were a Republican—a member of Congress right now—I would be worried that possibly this bill could be enacted because then I’d have to run for Congress again, I’d have to run for Senate when people were losing their health care and their health insurance and they’re angry about that,” Reich explained.

He’s not falling for the “access to heath care” rhetoric pushed by congressional Republicans like Paul Ryan.

“What kind of choice do you have if you can’t afford it?” Reich asked Cooper. “That’s when the Republicans are using these words like well, ‘you don’t lose access.’ Of course, you lose access if you don’t have any wherewithal.”

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“Where is the replacement if it wasn’t in the Republican bill?” he hammered. “When are we going to see a replacement if it wasn’t already provided by the House Republicans and it is now being marked up by at least two committees? There is no plan.”

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2020 Election

Trump is blindingly cruel and stupid — and his presidency has been a complete failure

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In the earliest days of the Trump crisis, just about a month after the inauguration, I received the horrifying news that my best friend and podcast partner, Chez Pazienza, had died of a drug overdose.

This article was originally published at Salon

It was the evening of Feb. 25, 2017, and the shock still hasn't quite worn off. In fact, I ask myself nearly every day what Chez might've said about the most recent atrocity committed by the chief executive. I'll never know for sure, but there's something comforting in that exercise, imagining how he'd frame this dark ride with equal parts Gen-X angst, stinging Bourdain-ish erudition and artistically worded blue streaks that would've made George Carlin applaud.

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Trump asserts dictatorial power over civil servants

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In a major power grab, Donald Trump signed an executive order on Oct, 21 that asserts he has vast new authority to punish federal employees with demotions or firing without cause. It’s a Trumpian assertion of a right to cronyism and personal fealty to him.

This executive order purports to grant Trump dictatorial-like power over thousands, of career federal managers and executives. They are now at risk of losing their jobs and careers unless they blindly follow Trump’s agenda with abject loyalty to his whims.

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2020 Election

Here’s why the 2020 election has been so painful

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Donald Trump is not the central problem in American politics, and neither is the 2020 presidential election, as dire and urgent as those things seem at the moment. Our real problem is that our democracy is not a democracy, and that many Americans — most of them, I would argue — feel powerless, disenfranchised and despairing, confronted with a dysfunctional system that thrives on massive inequality and serves the interests only of the richest and most powerful. Those systemic problems made Trump's presidency possible in the first place, and created the circumstances that make this election seem like a last-ditch struggle against autocracy.
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