The American Health Care Act: The Republicans’ bill to replace Obamacare, explained

Vox has the rundown. Look like it favors the wealthy and runs a bit like a payday loan for everybody else.

Some of Obamacare’s signature features are gone immediately, such as the tax on people who don’t purchase health care. Others would be phased out, including the requirement that insurers cover preventive care. Other protections, including the ban on discriminating people with pre-existing conditions and the provision that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plan through age 26, would survive.

The plan maintains the Medicaid expansion — for now. The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid to cover millions of low-income Americans. And, in a big shift from previous drafts of the legislation, which ended Medicaid expansion immediately, this bill would continue to that coverage expansion through January 1, 2020. At that point, enrollment would “freeze,” and legislators expect enrollees would drop out of the program as their incomes change.

The replacement plan benefits people who are healthy and high-income, and disadvantages those who are sicker and lower-income. The replacement plan would make several changes to what health insurers can charge enrollees who purchase insurance on the individual market, as well as changing what benefits their plans must cover. In aggregate, these changes could be advantageous to younger and healthier enrollees who want skimpier (and cheaper) benefit packages. But they could be costly for older and sicker Obamacare enrollees, who rely on the law’s current requirements.

The bill looks a lot more like Obamacare than previous drafts. A curious thing has happened to the Republican replacement plan as it has evolved through multiple drafts: it has begun to look more and more like Obamacare itself. The bill keeps some key features of Obamacare, like giving more help to lower-income Americans and the Medicaid expansion, around in a scaled-back form. This speaks to how entrenched the health care law has become since its enactment 10 years ago, and how difficult it will be for the GOP to repeal it entirely.

Ben Carson: ‘Slave Ships’ Held ‘Immigrants’

This is the guy who thinks that the pyramids in Egypt were made to store grain so…

While speaking with his employees on Monday, Ben Carson made a baffling claim that seemingly likened slaves to immigrants. Calling the United States a “land of dreams and opportunity,” the newly confirmed housing and urban development secretary said, “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less.” He added: “They too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great grandsons, great granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.” It’s unclear what the retired neurosurgeon meant by the suggestion that immigrants came over on slave ships; however, the NAACP responded to Carson’s claim with a one-word response: “Immigrants???”