THE LEAD AUTHOR of the Senate Republican tax plan, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah, said that the federal government no longer has the money to fund the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP.“The reason CHIP is having trouble [passing] is because we don’t have money anymore,” Hatch said. “We just add more and more spending and more and more spending, and you can look at the rest of the bill for the more and more spending.”CHIP is an $8 billion program. The Senate bill passed in the early hours of Saturday morning includes $6 trillion in tax cuts, financed by $4.5 trillion in tax hikes elsewhere. Hatch, though, promised CHIP would still pass. “We’re going to do CHIP, there’s no question about it in my mind. It has to be done the right way,” he said.
SENATE DEMOCRATS AND their progressive allies spent the last week-and-a-half in a full-blown mobilization against an existential threat to the Affordable Care Act.Now that it has fizzled out, the lead author of the measure, known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, has an admission to make: He had no clue what he was doing.“It’s been the most amazing journey of my life. I’ve taken the eye off the ball on terrorism, I’m just amazed the whole planet hasn’t crumbled because I wasn’t on it,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said of the weeks he’s spent leading the health care repeal effort.
Less than six hours after its passage by the Republican-controlled state legislature, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law this week a measure that, effective immediately, allows candidates to raise unlimited sums of money for super PACs, which can then promptly spend that money supporting those candidates—or attacking their rivals.It also allows consultants to simultaneously work for a campaign and a super PAC at the same time, making a joke of the supposed independence of the two groups.
LOUISIANA REPUBLICAN SEN. John Kennedy plans to use the most recent effort to repeal and replace portions of the Affordable Care Act to push an amendment that would bar states from enacting their own single-payer systems, he told reporters on Monday.When asked by The Intercept on Tuesday about the status of his legislation, Kennedy said that the bill’s co-sponsors, Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., told him that the measure already bans single payer, but that he was welcome to offer his amendment either way.“I don’t think states should have the authority to take money from the American taxpayer and set up a single-payer system,” Kennedy said. “Now some people think that that’s inconsistent with the idea of flexibility. But that’s what the United States Congress is for. I very much believe in flexibility, and I know the governors want flexibility. But it’s our job to make sure that that money is properly spent.”