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Needs more glowing blue eyes and speaking in ALL CAPS


Now that the Great Big Tax Cut For Rich Fuckwads bill has done away with the Affordable Care Act's individual mandates, some Republicans figure it's time to go after the law's employer mandate, too, which requires companies with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance or face a fine. Heck, if individuals aren't required to have insurance, why should employers be forced to insure anyone either? We thought that businesses were so overburdened that they needed to have the corporate tax rate slashed, but apparently, not one of them will be able to use that tax windfall to pay for health insurance, because it's not like healthy employees would be of any value in the first place.

Corporate lobbyists are hot for more money they can use on what really matters -- stock buybacks and increased shareholder dividends -- now that the individual mandate is gone:

The individual mandate and the employer mandate are “inextricably entwined,” said James A. Klein, the president of the American Benefits Council, an influential lobby for large companies like Dow Chemical, Microsoft and BP, the oil and gas producer.

“It is inequitable to leave the employer mandate in place when its purpose -- to support the individual mandate -- no longer exists,” Mr. Klein said. “We are urging Congress to repeal the employer mandate.”

Translation: We want to be free to fuck over our employees and make them buy their own damn insurance. Or go without. Fuck them, we can hire someone else.

Also, he's lying about the purpose of the employer mandate. It has nothing to do with supporting the individual mandate; both mandates were there to expand the risk pool for health insurance all around, because if you know anything at all about how insurance works, affordable insurance depends on having more people paying into the system than need to use the benefits. This is why you pay for your car insurance even though you personally do not intend to wreck your car. For some reasons, Republicans like to pretend this is unfair, instead of a basic fact about insurance. So yeah, they were "entwined" in keeping insurance more affordable.

Nonetheless, to be "fair" to businesses that just got a whopping tax cut, congressweasels Devin Nunes of California and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania have introduced a bill to eliminate the employer mandate. And unlike the repeal of the individual mandate, which only becomes effective in 2019, the Nunes-Kelly bill would actually be retroactive, canceling any penalties on employers who didn't insure employees from 2015 through 2018. Nice deal, huh?

Now if you want to get all technical, and we do, because we are nerds, the individual mandate is still in the law: Since the tax cut was passed through the budget reconciliation process and could only address budget-related issues, the bill simply reduced the tax penalty for not having insurance to zero, effectively killing the mandate. Presumably, the same filibuster-proof fuckery would be used again to kill the employer mandate. This has at least one salutary side effect: Some future, saner Congress and president could reinstate the mandate and rescue the ACA simply by changing that tax penalty again to an amount greater than zero, which might be simpler than rebuilding the entire law. Hooray.

That said, if the employer mandate is repealed -- no doubt timed in such a way that the repeal wouldn't kick anyone off their insurance until after this fall's elections to insulate Republicans from the consequences, it would be incredibly expensive for taxpayers. Take away employer-provided insurance from millions of people, and they'll go looking for it in the individual market, which remains in place. And since there's no incentive for younger healthy people to buy insurance, the market will have even more older, sicker enrollees who use services, resulting in sharp premium increases. But, since the ACA was designed to offset premium increases through subsidies, a majority of policyholders would qualify for the subsidies, meaning that the federal government would pick up much of the tab for "freeing" businesses from the mandate.

So far, the Republicans have only managed to attack stuff that makes health insurance affordable, while leaving in place the parts of Obamacare people like, but which drive up rates, like protections for preexisting conditions or annual and lifetime caps on benefits. How those could possibly remain law without bankrupting insurance companies has remained unaddressed, but if Republicans want to implement Medicare for All once those companies are gone, we wouldn't complain. (Just kidding. The insurance companies will not go bankrupt, because those parts of the law will be repealed instead.)

It's hard to say how many businesses would actually drop employee health insurance, since even before Obamacare it was such an attractive recruitment benefit. Top employers would keep it for that reason, so the biggest losses would likely be among low-wage employers that had to be dragged kicking and screaming into providing insurance with the ACA. Of course, no matter how much Republicans scream that the ACA cost jobs, the reality is that since it went into effect, job growth held steady and expanded -- as Donald Trump has been happy to take credit for.

With an election on the way, it's hard to say how much the Republicans want another fight over taking people's healthcare away; some may decide it's not worth it this time out. With this crowd, many may just decide that if they're likely to lose control of Congress anyway, they may as well leave only wreckage for the incoming Dems to clean up.

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click here to send us money for our insurance -- which Rebecca is not going to drop, because she is not an asshole dick.

[NYT / Money]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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