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Don't you talk about reforms, you bastard.


Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price did his level best to sabotage the Affordable Care Act while he was running HHS. But now Price has decided, with the luxury of perspective, that he sure thinks it was a bad idea for Republicans to have slipped the repeal of the ACA's individual mandate into their Big Fat Tax Cuts For Rich Fuckwads Act of 2017. In a speech to the World Health Care Congress in Washington DC this morning, Price said he is of the opinion that the repeal of the mandate would lead to an unhealthier population in the risk pool for plans on the exchange, and would drive up premiums. You know, just like every healthcare expert has said all along.

That would be the very same Tom Price who used the budget for promoting the ACA to produce videos insisting Obamacare was failing and that it was ruining people's lives, who cut the outreach budget and open enrollment period for the 2018 plan year, and who even prohibited HHS regional directors from taking part in efforts to promote signing up. That Tom Price. He's worried repealing the mandate may have had unfortunate results.

Price was quitfired from the Trump administration in September of last year. Funny he didn't offer any opinion on killing the individual mandate when Republicans suddenly added it at the last minute to the tax bill. You might think he could have said something.

The pleasant surprise, of course, is that Obamacare has turned out to be significantly more resilient than anyone thought; it's still working even after the Trump administration has aimed several sledgehammer blows at it. But as Dylan Scott points out at Vox, the repeal of the mandate and other attacks on the ACA have indeed done damage:

Right now, Dave Dillon with the Society of Actuaries is projecting a 2.5 to 7.5 percent increase for 2019 rates because of the mandate’s repeal. The Urban Institute, combining the mandate’s repeal with President Trump’s expansion of skimpier short-term plans, estimates that premiums will rise by nearly 20 percent on average nationwide.

Worse, research by the Commonwealth Fund shows that, after dropping sharply during the Obama administration, the uninsured rate is starting to sneak back up again, hooray, because health insurance is tyranny.

Goddamn it, Democrats, you'd better run all-out on healthcare this fall. But please, don't feel any obligation to ask Tom Fucking Price to offer his support.

Update: Also Bloomberg health reporter Steven Dennis reminds us on the Twitters that in a June 2017 interview on ABC, Price said almost exactly the opposite of what he said today:

Martha Raddatz: OK, what about the individual mandate? Is the president considering directing his agencies not to enforce it? Have you ruled that out?

Tom Price: Well, the individual mandate is one of those things that actually is driving up the costs for the American people in terms of coverage. So what we're trying to do is make it so that Obamacare is no longer harming the patients of this land. No longer driving up costs, no longer making it so they've got coverage but no care. And the individual mandate is one of those things.

Dennis added in another tweet:

I mean, seriously. I want a debate between 2017 Tom Price and 2018 Tom Price.

In conclusion, Fuck you Tom Price, goodnight.

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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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