Mulvaney: If Your State Doesn’t Mandate Maternity Care, Change Your State

From Talking Points Memo:

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, one of the top administration officials who had been working to pass the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, on Friday morning brushed off concerns about a new provision in the bill that repeals the Essential Health Benefits requirement.

That provision would repeal a requirement that insurers cover a list of 10 essential benefits, including maternity care. Asked about this on CBS’ “This Morning,” Mulvaney argued that states can still require that insurance companies cover the EHBs.

“If you live in a state that wants to mandate maternity coverage for everybody, including 60-year-old women, that’s fine,” he said.

Co-host Alex Wagner asked Mulvaney about people who do not live in a state that requires maternity coverage.

“Then you can figure out a way to change the state that you live in,” Mulvaney replied.

Hill Republicans say they’re growing frustrated with Mattis

Mattis seems to be hiring people based on qualifications, not party.

Defense Secretary James Mattis’ unconventional choices for top Pentagon posts and his reluctance to aggressively push for dramatic increases in the defense budget have rankled Republicans on Capitol Hill who say he’s burning through political capital he needs as he begins reshaping the Pentagon.

Mattis was widely embraced on both sides of the aisle when President Donald Trump nominated him. Republicans and Democrats alike expressed hope that the retired four-star general would be a moderating force on the volatile commander in chief.

But Republican lawmakers and senior congressional aides said in recent interviews they’re running out of patience with Mattis’ staffing decisions, which have disappointed Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee hoping to see their ideological allies elevated to senior levels in the Defense Department. Others are grumbling about Mattis’ refusal to advocate a bigger increase in the defense budget, which defense hawks believe was gutted disastrously under President Barack Obama.

The Republican health care plan is totally nuts

I really wouldn’t be surprised that it ends up passing the House barely despite it being wildly unpopular with everybody and seemingly doomed to fail because that’s the kind of year it’s going to be:

As of Thursday evening, Republicans have announced a plan to stage a do-or-die vote on the legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a new system. They’re not sure they have the votes to pass the bill, in part because the actual substance of the bill was only coming out at around 9 pm. With the text finalized so late, they won’t have analysis from the Congressional Budget Office before the planned vote.

What we do know is that the bill is unpopular — with a favorable rating of 17 percent according to a Quinnipiac University poll — and that it can’t pass the Senate without either substantial modification or a whole bunch of senators very suddenly dropping major objections to anything that causes so many people to lose their insurance coverage.

But House Republicans are in such a hurry to pass an unpopular bill that won’t become law that they won’t even take the time to figure out what the law does.

CBO analysis of revised health-care bill shows just as many uninsured, less deficit reduction

So, the new and “improved” plan sucks worse than the previous.

Changes that House Republicans have made to their health-care legislation would reduce savings in federal spending by $150 billion over the next decade — far less than for their earlier plan — and would still leave 24 million more Americans uninsured, according to congressional budget analysts.

The estimates by the Congressional Budget Office arrived late Thursday afternoon as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and the Trump administration were scrambling to corral enough support to put the legislation erasing major parts of the Affordable Care Act to a vote.