As promised, Republicans are going to get rid of Obamacare. | Sponsored by ExxonMobil
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As promised, Republicans are going to get rid of Obamacare. Or are they?

They introduced a plan Tuesday that is coming under fire on the left for not doing enough and under fire on the right for doing too much. Add it all up and the new legislation has the potential to be a really big, politically embarrassing and even politically dangerous mess for Republicans and President Trump. Here's your cheat sheet to it all:

What Republicans' Obamacare replacement plan changes

1) You wouldn't have to have health insurance: Under this plan, there's no tax penalty every year you go without it. BUT if you try to buy insurance at the last minute, you'll pay a fee.

“It's a little bit like you don't get to buy fire insurance for your house when the roof is on fire,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), one of the architects of the bill.

(Darla Cameron and Leslie Shapiro / The Washington Post )

(Darla Cameron and Leslie Shapiro / The Washington Post )

2) Medicaid is limited: One of the underpinnings of Obamacare was to encourage states to expand health care for lower-income residents mostly on the federal government's dime. This plan still allows states to expand Medicaid with federal help, but much less help.

Nonpartisan health care experts say that could leave states on the hook if the cost of health care suddenly spikes — say there's an epidemic or a new life-saving drug — which is one reason some GOP governors and senators are skeptical of the plan.

(Darla Cameron and Leslie Shapiro / The Washington Post)

(Darla Cameron and Leslie Shapiro / The Washington Post)

3) It would also defund Planned Parenthood. The nonpartisan health care clinic, which also performs abortions, has been in conservatives' crosshairs for more than a year now.

What the plan doesn't change


Also, people will get help to pay for insurance: Under Obamacare, it was tax credits. Under this plan, it's also basically tax credits, but low-income people are likely to get much less help while the wealthiest one percent as well as companies like tanning salons and medical device makers will see big tax breaks.

Who supports it

These guys:

epaselect epa05821858 Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) applaud as US President Donald J. Trump (C) delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017. Traditionally the first address to a joint session of Congress by a newly-elected president is not referred to as a State of the Union.  EPA/JIM LO SCALZO / POOL

Vice President Pence, President  Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) (EPA/JIM LO SCALZO)

Who opposes it

Quite a few factions.

1) Democrats. (They generally like Obama, so they have little interest in substantially changing Obamacare. Also that Planned Parenthood defund thing is a non-starter.)

2) The American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association: They're concerned the cuts to Medicaid funding will hurt “our most vulnerable populations.”

3) Midwest/Western GOP senators: They also are concerned the bill doesn't do enough to help states pay for Medicaid, putting their constituents on the hook.

4) Conservatives: They think the bill goes too far in helping people get health insurance and looks too similar to Obamacare. Leader of this movement: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a.k.a. the politician who went on a quixotic search for the bill last week and dragged along a portable copy machine. It was weird, but he got his point across.


Can this bill pass?

Likely not as it stands right now.

Republicans control both chambers of Congress. But assuming all Democrats oppose the bill, Republicans can only afford to lose two GOP senators and 21 GOP House lawmakers. Right now I count them potentially losing nine GOP senators and nearly as many House lawmakers.

It's put up or shut up time for Trump

Trump got elected as a dealmaker, and this is the ultimate deal. “If this bill goes down,” writes Fix Boss Chris Cillizza, “it's a major political problem for Republicans. Not only would their base be demoralized/angry, it could also alienate independents who voted for Trump believing he might, maybe, actually be able to change things.”

Trump's got a long road ahead. But here's some news he'll like.

For the first time ever, a key poll places his approval ratings above Hillary Clinton's. Yes, we know the election is over. But this data point is fascinating. It suggests that people have had time to digest the election and, writes The Fix's Aaron Blake, “Americans don't seem to have buyer's remorse.”

Chaser: On nearly every issue, a Quinnipiac University poll finds, more Americans oppose Trump's agenda than support it.

Your happy hour talking point argument: Is it okay to call the president a “liar”?

YES: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) apparently thinks so.

Screen Shot 2017-03-06 at 1.16.47 PM

NO: “To say someone's lying suggests that you know they don't believe what they're saying,” I wrote in response. “It's possible Trump believes the allegations he's making.” To use the “L” word further deteriorates our political discourse.

YES AGAIN: In response to my argument, Sanders fired back in a Medium post: “What should a United States senator, or any citizen, do if the president is a liar? Does ignoring this reality benefit the American people? Do we make a bad situation worse by disrespecting the president of the United States? Or do we have an obligation to say that he is a liar to protect America’s standing in the world and people’s trust in our institutions?”

Your thoughts? As always, I love to hear them. And I'll include a few in an upcoming newsletter.

We'll end not with a GIF but with how Trump is celebrating International Women's Day — by reminding people how much he respects women, as chronicled by The Fix's Blake.

WomensDay1 WomensDay2

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