The Republican Healthcare Bill is a Steaming Pile of Crap

UPDATE: Congress has approved Trumpcare 2.0 by a narrow margin of 217-213, and will now (of course) take its two-week recess. Here’s how Colorado’s delegation voted on the measure:

YES
Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez)
Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs)

NO
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver)
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulderish)
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora)
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County)

Yay, healthcare reform!

—–

As you may have heard, Congressional Republicans are preparing to vote today on the GOP’s latest attempt to repeal and destroy Obamacare.

You can call it the American Health Care Act (AHCA) or Trumpcare. Or, you can just call it a Steaming Pile of Crap. Whatever you call it, we know that most Americans don’t want it and actually prefer Obamacare.

Here are some things you should know…

 

How much will the GOP healthcare plan cost, and how many Americans will lose health insurance coverage if it is implemented?

Nobody knows. Seriously.

Republicans are pushing for a vote today on legislation that has yet to even receive an official score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). News organizations and pundits have been left with trying to sketch out the potential impact on their own.

It seems all but certain that any new score from the CBO won’t be any better than the last time they reviewed a GOP healthcare plan — in March, the CBO found that at least 24 million Americans would lose healthcare access under the AHCA.

 

Are House Republicans really going to vote on legislation that many of them apparently haven’t even seen yet?

It sure looks that way. As the Washington Post and other outlets have reported, many Republican Members of Congress have yet to even see the proposed legislation, yet GOP leadership believes it has the votes to pass the measure today. Republicans are rushing to call a vote on the bill because they think they have the votes to pass something — anything — related to repealing Obamacare.

From MSNBC:

If House Republicans were scrambling to vote on a bill that overhauls the health care system before receiving a CBO score, that alone would be astonishing. But no one should lose sight of the fact that the Republicans’ American Health Care Act has also faced no meaningful scrutiny from lawmakers themselves: there have been no public hearings, no testimony from experts, and no public debate.

Adding insult to injury, the legislation that’s scheduled to receive a floor vote in about five hours wasn’t circulated to members yesterday or published online for Americans to review. Take a moment to consider why Republican leaders in the House wouldn’t want anyone – the media, industry experts, voters, or even their own GOP colleagues – to be able to read the legislation in advance.

This is a bill that, if implemented, would affect one-sixth of the world’s largest economy. It’s being rushed through the House in a way that wouldn’t meet the standards of an elementary school’s student government.

 

What happens if House Republicans approve the bill?

The current GOP healthcare bill is believed to be DOA in the Senate. It’s possible Congressional Republicans are merely trying to kick the can to the upper chamber so they can stop dealing with it for awhile; the House GOP may also be hoping that the Senate can make the legislation more reasonable and then they can work out the details later.

 

Many Republicans, including President Trump and Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton, had pledged to protect pre-existing conditions — what happened?

They lied to you. There’s no other honest way to answer this question.

As many as one-half of all non-elderly Americans are believed to have some sort of pre-existing condition that would make it very difficult to acquire health insurance at anything resembling a reasonable cost under the current GOP legislation.

 

But…but…what about High Risk Pools?

They’re crap.

 

Who benefits from the Republican healthcare bill (other than insurance companies)?

Young, healthy Americans who are wealthier than the average person will make out just fine. Everybody else is hosed. As NBC News explains:

Older patients on the individual insurance market would see big spikes in their premiums, while lower-income families would face higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. In a widely cited finding by the CBO, a 64-year old making $26,500 a year would have seen their annual premiums shoot up by $12,900 on average and received less comprehensive insurance under the March version of the bill.

It’s not entirely clear how the newer bill would change that calculus, but there’s not much to indicate the situation for lower-income families or older consumers would be significantly improved and they’d be more vulnerable than other groups to any changes to pre-existing condition protections.

Large numbers of Medicaid patients would lose their coverage: 14 million fewer people would be on the program after a decade, according to CBO. States may have to reduce Medicaid in response in response to cuts as well, which could disproportionately impact seniors and people with disabilities.

 

Should I be angry about this?

Yes.

 

75 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. skeptical citizen says:

    I've already left a message with Rep. Coffman earlier this morning to please delay any decision until he, as Colorado's former State Treasurer, is able to review the as-yet unavailable CBO report.

    I agree that Zombie Trumpcare (AHCA) stinks: BIGLY.

    I have previously requested that Mr. Coffman oppose the AHCA.

    If Coffman votes YES, bring on Jason Crow in 2018.

    • Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

      The fact you give credibility to a CBO score indicates you have no clue what you're talking about. But you are correct to remain skeptical, "if you like your Dr, etc. etc, etc".

      • Republican 36 says:

        Have you ever worked on the "Hill" in Washington, DC? I have. The CBO scores bills all the time, including bills no one outside Washington pays any attention to and they've been doing it for a long time. Contrary to your unfounded assertion, the CBO is on target about the effects of a bill more than any other organization in the United States. They hit the mark over 90% of the time. 

        As to your second comment, you should remember that under the Republican House plan that passed today tens of millions of Americans will no longer be able to see a doctor.

        • unnamed says:

          Sadly, I think our friend is more than okay with millions of people getting screwed over.

        • Andrew Carnegie says:

          R2D2

          The Republican Plan basically puts legislating on health insurance back to the states, which is where it was before Obamacare.  If a state wants to provide egalitarian as opposed to individually rated policies they can do that.  They also have a choice not to.  Many states had mandated community rated policies before Obamacare.  Obamacare federalized that.  Trump care puts that back on the states.

          • unnamed says:

            And people lose their healthcare as a result.  States rights.  Republican code for fuck people over and enjoy it.  

          • DavieDavie says:

            The Republican Plan basically puts legislating on health insurance back to the state 

            At least you are consistent, Gerbils.  Translated that means: "Push the financial burden back onto those that can least afford it."  Whether that be the states, or the poor, the elderly, and the sick.

            Just wash your hands of the problem and claim your job is done…

          • Early WormEarly Worm says:

            Assuming this is true (which I doubt), in what way does this "Republican Plan" improve on the ACA, and in what way does it fulfill Trump's promises of better insurance for everyone? There is no one even arguing that this will increase the number of insured. Everyone understands that it will decrease, dramatically, the number of people with health insurance and therefore the number of people with access to health care. There is no evidence that it will reduce premiums or deductibles for anyone. Any claim that it will is as hollow as the decade's long claim that reducing taxes for the wealthy will spur the economy. All that it is guaranteed to do is put the most vulnerable in our society (the sick and the poor) at risk and financially benefit the wealthy. I definitely do not understand all of the minutiae (I doubt anyone does), but it is extremely telling that EVERYONE, providers, insurers, public health, patient advocates, with knowledge in this subject are against this bill.  

            • Oh, it will lower the cost of some peoples' health insurance. We'll go back to young men buying minimal "catastrophic" plans that don't cover their health needs 80% of the time. Those plans will be cheaper.

              Employers also get the option to lower their employee's coverage by selecting plans from whatever state offers the least benefits rather than selecting coverage within the state where the employee's workplace is located.

          • Republican 36 says:

            AC, your right the House bill returns legal authority back to the states, but you forgot to mention the provision in the House bill that regulates state authority in a very nasty and cruel way for those of us insured through an employers health insurance plan. Let me provide you with an example.

            Suppose a company in Colorado provides health insurance benefits for its 200 employees. And assume just one state, lets say Virginia, adopts the opt out provision in the House bill that eliminates the essential health benefits required by Obamacare, including Obamacare's requirement that forbids any annual or life time benefit limits for those with preexisting conditions. Under the House bill, the Colorado company, relying on Virginia's insurance law and even though it has no connection to Virginia, can offer its employees health insurance that has annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those with preexisitng conditions. And of course because companies want to maximize profit they will adopt and offer policies like that to their employees. Make no mistake about this, people with preexisting conditions will be left out in the cold to suffer and many to die under the House bill all in the name of returning health insurance regulation to the states. Your position is immoral.

            • DavieDavie says:

              Just another "Race to the Bottom" gleefully sponsored by today's GOP

            • Andrew Carnegie says:

              R36

              If the employer in Colorado does not want to offer insurance at all it may do so, as they could before Obamacare.  Could the Colorado company offer inferior insurance if that is how it wants to treat its employees, yes. Just as they could before.

              If the Colorado legislature passes a law that says no insurance company can sell to an employer in Colorado a health plan which does not cover preexisting conditions or which has a lifetime cap it can do so just as it could before Obamacare.

              The ball is now in the state legislature's court.

              • DavieDavie says:

                The tried and true GOP strategy of divide and conquer, ensuring the worst possible outcome for those denied representation, and maximum benefit for those with the most influence.

                Voter suppression and Gerrymandering at the state level at it's worst.

              • Republican 36 says:

                That's simply not true under the House bill. We have obligations to each other as citizens of this country. In your world state's rights trumps the health of our citizens. Your position is immoral.

      • skeptical citizen says:

        Hey, Pitiful Pear

        I trust the former Colorado State Treasurer's opinion on CBO scores far more than the opinion of rotting fruit-trolls such as you.

        Read this from Mr. Coffman's website comments on his "no" vote on the AHCA.

        Also, as I have stated in the past, I’m certainly not going to vote on a bill of this magnitude that hasn't been fully scored by the Congressional Budget Office and whose estimated price tag is unknown.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Even I have to tip my hat to Coffman. Sure, he may have waited until they saw that they had the votes to pass it before announcing his opposition, but he did vote "No." Some of his colleagues who are in much more precarious positions – I'm looking at you, Darrell Issa – voted "Yes." 

          If I were Paul Ryan, I would allocate seats in the lifeboat (dispensations to vote "No") on the basis of who were the 21 members who faced the closest races last fall.

        • Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

          I'm sure you trusted Obama when he and every other Democrat said, "If you like your Dr. you can keep your Dr." If you like your plan you can keep your plan". "Your premium will go down by $2500". All of which he knew was a lie at the time. And your wonderful CBO told you this was all fine, not to worry. Now when families health care premium is more than their mortgage and deductibles are 6-$10,000, you wonder why the economy is slow to recover and people voted for Trump. Remain skeptical!

          • Republican 36 says:

            People did receive cancellation notices because their old policy did not comply with Obamacare but they received, in the same envelope, renewal notices for insurance that did. That's whats happened at my company every year before and after Obamacare was passed because the scope of coverage changes every year. We still had insurance. What Obamacare did is cover around 20 Million more people with health insurance. Everyone could now see a doctor.

            The difference between Obamacare and the bill your supporting that passed the U.S. House yesterday is the fact many of those same people won't be able to see a doctor. You seem to be glad about that.

            • Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

              So you are happy the government knows more about your health care needs then you. Is there any area of your life you won't give control to the government. It should be none of the governments business what coverage any American has. 

              Under ACA you are correct everyone can see a doctor. Fine if you have a cold, too bad if you need hospitalization or outpatient surgery. I guess you have the ten grand laying around to cover the deductibles. Tell me your health care premium went down $2500. Share with us how much your deductibles have increased.

              What is it with you people about seeing a doctor. You think that is the issue? The issue is dealing with a the cost of hospitalization or acute medical medical issues, not going to the doctor. 

              • Actually, I think the number is about $6500 in out of pocket expenses. Much better than Trumpcare, where we go back to medical bankruptcies galore, capped lifetime coverage, and acne and rape as pretenses to jack up premiums beyond affordability.

                Or are you saying that we really should have universal coverage?

              • slavdudeslavdude says:

                And everything you have just described is, crappy as it is, an IMPROVEMENT over the completely privately-run system we had before. I guess the only difference is that it’s okay to have some faceless drone in a corporate office decide all these things for you based on how it affects his or her employer’s bottom line. If the American Hell Care Act passes the Senate, it will be a return to the bad old days where your insurer can deny you treatment or coverage or refuse to pay because reasons.

              • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

                PeePee – as former military can we safely assume you're covered by Tri-Care, meaning nothing about the changes mean a whit to you personally?

              • Republican 36 says:

                Its not a question of who knows more at all. That's nothing more than a silly diversion. And its not a matter of government control vs. freedom. The government has mandated automobile insurance for a long time.

                You're celebrating that millions of Americans, your fellow citizens, won't be able to see a doctor any longer because they will be without insurance, terminated by their elected officials, so they can suffer and in some instances die. 

                You characterize this as an issue that deals with the "cost of hospitalization or acute medical issues" and yet you're happy with legislation that removes millions of people from health insurance coverage so they can't afford hospitalization or care for acute medical issues, or see a doctor all justified by an abstract notion regarding "freedom." Your abstraction is immoral.

                 

                • Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

                   Such naïveté. 

                  • Republican 36 says:

                    Really? Then you can inform us how the Republican House plan will provide health insurance and treatment for the millions who will lose their insurance. By the way, don't say the free market will do it because before Obamacare (the world the House bill wants to return us to), the free market did not provide insurance for these people.

                    The reason the Medicare and Medicaid programs were enacted in the 1960's was very simple. The free market would not offer health insurance to older Americans because they had expensive preexisting conditions or to poor people. 

                    So in your world where are the people on Obamacare going to get medical treatment or health insurance without Obamacare?

  2. allyncooper says:

    Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat it.

    Aside from the content of the legislation, anything rammed through by the GOP will suffer the same major political flaw of Obama Care, i.e. landmark legislation that has no support from the other party. Healthcare policy therefore becomes  a political football that gets punted every time there is a change in possession of power.

    The first landmark legislation on health care was Medicare enacted in 1965. In the Senate, 13 Republicans votes yea, 17 voted nay. In the House, 70 Republicans voted yea, 68 voted nay. Medicare has endured to become a fixture in the social welfare net of our country, thanks to Republicans like Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania and Everett Dirksen of Illinois who rose above partisanship and put America First (to use someone’s campaign slogan).

    Sadly those days are gone, as are those leaders.

    “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

    Hubert H. Humphrey

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      You must be from Ireland Allyn.  I have not seen this much blarney this side of the pond.  There is no "they both do it" equivalence in this matter.  Republicans in Congress in 2009 decided to stonewall Obama and oppose everything he did.  He tried for a year and half to reach some consensus with them but to no avail.  Republicans had plenty of time to add their imprint to the legislation but chose not to.  Fast forward to 2017 and Republicans are in control and they could care less about including Democrats in the design of this legislation and then shitheads like you claim that Democrats are as bad as Republicans because they won't vote for a clearly inferior piece of legislation that transfers money from health care to the rich.  Give me a frickin break Allyn.  The Affordable Care Act has provided coverage and saved lives.  I fear TrumpCare will be more like his previous efforts to help ordinary people, Trump University.  This is a real phony blame game.  We will endure inferior health care for years to come because of the ignorance, racism and arrogance of Republicans.

      • allyncooper says:

        Gilpin  – Your partisan zealotry obviously precludes you from comprehending the point I was making. I have no use for the current Republican "leaders" in Congress – my post contrasted the Republican leaders of that era with those of today.

        Calling someone you don't even know a "shithead" because you disagree with their post and making a blanket condemnation of Republicans as "racist" is indicative of the poisoned political climate today. And by the way, those "racist" Republicans voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act in a higher percentage than did their Democratic counterparts.

        FYI, I have long advocated for universal single payer healthcare, i.e. Medicare for all. I have equal contempt for both establishment political parties – that's why I don't belong to either one.

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          Better to be a partisan zealot then to stand by while the Vulgarians sack the village.

          This is the statement I was referring to:

          "the GOP will suffer the same major political flaw of Obama Care, i.e. landmark legislation that has no support from the other party."

          Only a complete shithead would write something so patently bullshit.  It wasn't a political flaw.  It was subterfuge and sabotage which is not even close to being the same as the principled opposition by Democrats to this piece of shit legislation.

  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    CNN has Coffman voting "no." 

    • ZMulls says:

      He announced this, of course, *after* Ryan figured out he had the votes (and thus gave Coffman and others permission to vote "no"). So, it's a bullshit "no" vote; and the voters should NOT be fooled.

      • Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

        Typical Mike Coffman! The man needs to be replaced!

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          For whatever reason and with whatever cover, the fact is that Mike Coffman did the right thing.   Congratulations, sir, you are an island of integrity in a sea of Trump Trash.

          • DavieDavie says:

            Well, I understand you two are friends, and I respect that. But all I can say is, one in a row doesn't make for good policy choices over the long term.

          • ZMulls says:

            His "no" vote was meaningless. He didn't take a courageous "no" stand while the question of passage was still up in the air. He was given permission. We all know, or should know, that's how it works in DC. Both parties have done it. A Rep in a swing district facing potentially tough re-election is allowed to vote against the Party when it's safe to do so. 

            Coffman's "no" vote didn't save health care for even one single human being. He deserves zero credit.

        • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

          PeePee – you're confusing me. In an earlier rant you went on and on about 'fringes' in the Democratic Party; can I safely assume you think Congressman Coffman should be replaced by someone to his right?

          • Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

            You you are easily confused. Mike Coffman, while a good man, is a poor representative of Conservative constituents. He is a tool of the establishment and House leadership, an example for the need of term limits. Why would you vote with Democrats, and then send out campaign emails railing against Nancy Pelosi? I hope for a strong primary challenger, or hell a weak challenger to run against Coffman. It almost happened last cycle. The night auditor for a hotel chain came within a few votes of getting in the primary. This next cycle he will not be so lucky. "I like Mike", not so much.

            • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

              Thank you for answering my question using a half-page when a simple 'hell yes' would have sufficed.  In case you're still confused – what you're advocating is exactly what you're lamenting over regarding your ignorant view of the Democratic Party in rants this week  

              Carry on. 

            • VoyageurVoyageur says:

              Well, most of us will wish you luck with purging Coffman.  There are a dozen Democrats who would crush a tea party whack job on the ticketin 7

      • Pebble says:

        Guess who *is* fooled?

        Chuck Plunkett and the DP editorial board. 

        https://twitter.com/chuckplunkett/status/860245061904113664

  4. Negev says:

    I thought you had to pass a bill to see what was in it.

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      Only if you are a Dem.  Republicans know how to read.

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        Your President can't read a two-page Executive Order. 

      • DavieDavie says:

        Republicans just dropped a dirty bomb on their own caucus.  As your favorite Grandma just announced — "You will glow in the dark"

        When Democrats passed the health care law in 2010, many members knew it was coming at the expense of their seats. They did it, however, because it was policy they deeply believed in, protecting millions of sick and poor Americans while growing the number of insured in the country to record highs.

        Republicans marched off this potential political cliff knowing their bill would uninsure millions, undermine protections for the sick and poor, and probably face little chance of becoming law ― and they did it without a revised score from the Congressional Budget Office.

        But at least it’s off their plate.

        Here's how Republicans make good policy:

        One vulnerable Republican, Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona, told members in a closed door meeting on Thursday that they just had to “get this fucking thing done,” according to members and aides present.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Such language from the party of family values.

          Maybe Trump promised to appoint those who do not survive next year to all his still vacant positions.

          o

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      In one case the end result was that 24 million people were able to afford health insurance than before.  With this piece of dirty shit, the only thing we'll be measuring is how much caviar the filthy rich are buying.  Caviar for the rich in exchange for healthcare coverage for everybody else.  Only in sick, twisted Republican minds is that a good deal.

  5. JohnInDenver says:

    After this momentous vote, I hope the Representatives come home to lively "district work" for the next week and a half.

  6. ZappateroZappatero says:

    This is definitive proof for all time that Udall and Bennet and CPols/Jason were idiots for soft pedaling their support for the ACA and for being wimps in the face of the Republican assault on "Obamacare".  

    Wimpy Democrats who are only against Republicans and not for anything will not earn voters' confidence. 

    Insert any number of quotes from Harry Truman and Bill Clinton that you cowards are too afraid to learn from here…

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I don't follow. You actually liked the Affordable Care Act? I figured you wanted a single payer system.

      Was not the A.C.A. too much of an accommodation with the insurance industry. Which is almost as bad as the banking industry.

  7. RepealAndReplace says:

    We've heard from Pear and Corn Hole. Has Moldy awoken yet from this wet dream come true?

  8. Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

    Fake news from ColoradoPols.

  9. (((JADodd)))(((JADodd))) says:

    It's not over yet. Republicans are finding out how difficult it is to address healthcare and health insurance issues. 

    Senate GOP to Snub House Obamacare Repeal Bill and Write Its Own – Bloomberg.

  10. doremi says:

    I've been crying about this.  My brother (who is a rock hard conservative) will lose his health care.  Both he and his wife have pre-existing conditions and will be uninsurable….or insurable only at extremely high rates.

    I expect they're now crossing their fingers and hoping for when they age into Medicare.  Not soon enough….and they'll have to swallow it….it's a socialist-type program.

    But I'm sure he voted for the Current Occupant excitedly….so perhaps I'll leave the tears to him and his family and chalk mine up to the onions.

  11. Gilpin Guy says:

    This is going to be Cory Gardner's defining moment.  That moment when the mask of a moderate is ripped away and everyone will see the true soul of this conservative extremist.  The pressure won't be intense from Senate Republicans because they know he is Trump's bitch.  The pressure is going to come from those effected who are going to make it known to him of their dedication to ending his political career.  His moderate image is going to take a deserved pounding for his betrayal of the citizens of Colorado for this sell out to the rich.

  12. DavieDavie says:

    Hey Gerbils — good luck spinning this:

    View image on Twitter

    View image on Twitter

     Follow

    Bernie Sanders ✔@SenSanders

    Donald Trump and Republicans just celebrated voting to let thousands of Americans die so that billionaires get tax breaks. Think about that.

    2:15 PM – 4 May 2017

     Follow

    Patton Oswalt ✔@pattonoswalt

    I'll do what I can to make November 6, 2018 a dawn-to-dusk nightmare for the GOP. Fuck these smirking, entitled frauds. Tick tick tick.

    12:59 PM – 4 May 2017

     Follow

    Peter Daou ✔@peterdaou

    This celebratory atmosphere over stripping health care from the sick is one of the most obscene political spectacles I've witnessed. 

    12:19 PM – 4 May 2017

  13. DavieDavie says:

    The Donald says: Let the Good Times Roll

    MARK WILSON VIA GETTY IMAGES

    President Trump congratulates jubilant House Republicans after they voted to repeal major parts of Obamacare.

    That deliberate spectacle — Republican lawmakers chuckling at the prospect of passing into law a measure that would uninsure millions and weaken protections for those with pre-existing conditions — did not go unnoticed. 

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Thirty mostly white, mostly wealthy, mostly men gleeful about cutting $800 billion from Medicaid to give $300 billion in tax breaks to themselves and their wealthiest donors. This is "class war" on a grand scale.

      2/3 of the people on Medicaid are elderly disabled people.

      Republicans have finally found their "death panel" for grandma and grandpa..

      They lied about not cutting Medicaid. They cut Medicaid.

      They lied about gutting protections for pre-existing conditions. They cut those protections.

      They lied that they care about children and the unborn. Pregnancy is now a pre-existing condition, and maternity care will be optional for states to cover. If the child is born and has disabilities or chronic illness, well, that $800 billion cut from Medicaid has to come from somewhere.
      Yachts for all these geezers don’t come cheap, you know. Right, Cory?

      Policy has consequences.

       

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        The color and gender of the folks in that photo was the first thing that jumped out at me, too.

        They're not even trying anymore. In the old days, they would have at least put Cathy McMorris Rodgers and one of their Latino male members (Ilena Ros-Lentinen, who would usually constitute a "two-fer," was unavailable since she voted "no" and trashed the bill) in the picture.

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