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TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► House Republicans finally unveiled their healthcare plan, which is basically a bizarro-Robin Hood scenario: Steal from the middle class to give tax cuts to the rich! As the Washington Post reports, Republicans are going to have trouble getting this bill past several competing factions within their own party:
As they roll out their Obamacare replacement plan, Republicans are quickly finding out what Democrats learned eight years ago: Even if you win control of Congress and the White House, there are still plenty of obstacles to passing laws that, in principle, your whole party agrees with.
Several factions within the Republican Party don’t like some key details about this new health-care plan. In fact, there’s enough opposition that these Republicans could derail the bill as it stands. It’s something President Trump appeared to acknowledge when he offered up in a tweet Tuesday morning the opportunity for “review and negotiation.”…
…Assuming no Democrats in either chamber support the bill, Republicans can’t lose more than two GOP senators or 21 Republicans in the House. That doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room. Which means the factions opposed to Obamacare suddenly have a whole lot of leverage.
Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is apparently not immune to the concerns of constituents, even if he refuses to meet with them. On Monday Gardner signed a letter from a handful of U.S. Senators defending Medicaid expansion, which would be gutted under the House repeal-and-destroy healthcare plan. This is odd for Gardner, who voted against Medicaid expansion in late 2015.
Meanwhile, poll after poll shows that Americans are increasingly nervous about gutting Obamacare:
Fully 68% of Americans want to keep what works and fix the rest, while just 32% prefer the GOP’s repeal and replace approach, according to polling from Hart Research. Moreover, the polling showed most Americans — including 54% of President Trump’s voters — have a favorable view of the Medicaid system, which would face steep cuts under the Republican plan.
The Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity, meanwhile, considers the House bill to be nowhere near an acceptable “repeal” of Obamacare.
► The new Republican healthcare bill is still missing two very important points: It does not have an official score from the Congressional Budget Office, nor does it offer any sort of estimate on how many Americans would be covered under its plan. With those two major points still unknown, Politico takes a look at who wins and loses in this version of healthcare “reform.” Medicaid beneficiaries, hospitals, and Planned Parenthood are among the big losers, while rich people make out famously.
► President Trump’s new travel ban is succeeding in causing lots of confusion for students in Colorado. Business leaders, meanwhile, are concerned about a potential scarcity of labor as a result of the travel ban.
In response to Trump’s travel ban, Colorado legislators have proposed the “Ralph Carr Freedom Defense Act.”
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