* Robert Pear reports:
President-elect Donald J. Trump and congressional Republicans appear to have accomplished a feat that President Obama, with all the power at his disposal, could not in the past seven years: They have galvanized outspoken support for the Affordable Care Act.
People who benefit from the law are flooding Congress with testimonials. Angry consumers are confronting Republican lawmakers. And Democrats who saw the law as a political liability in recent elections have suddenly found their voice, proudly defending the law now that it is in trouble.
Thousands of people across the country held rallies over the weekend to save the health care law, which Republicans moved last week to repeal with a first but crucial legislative step. A widely circulated video showed Representative Mike Coffman, Republican of Colorado, eluding constituents who had wanted to meet with him to express their concerns on Saturday at a community event in Aurora, Colo. Rallies on Sunday to save the health law drew robust crowds around the country.
* In addition to the video mentioned above of protests at an event with Rep. Coffman, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) felt some heat as well.
The House’s fourth highest-ranking Republican was heckled during a speech at Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally by attendees protesting the GOP’s plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“We may not always agree with one another, but we can come together and find common ground to create change and progress right here in Eastern Washington,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said before being interrupted by chants of “save our health care.”
* Look what happens when you venture outside of your epistemically closed bubble:
The fierceness of the Save Obamacare movement is surprising Republicans and the media.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) January 16, 2017
* Perhaps people are waking up to the fact that they’ll lose their ACA benefits if Congress repeals Obamacare.
New NBC/WSJ numbers: As Republicans prep its repeal, Obamacare has never been more popular. From @mmurraypolitics https://t.co/kR6Z4GVloN pic.twitter.com/8YkvVYM5xQ
— Carrie Dann (@CarrieNBCNews) January 17, 2017
* In the midst of all this, we got an updated CBO report on what happens if Republicans repeal Obamacare.
CBO estimates that, compared to what’s already projected to happen under current law:
* 18 million more people would become uninsured in the first full year after the bill’s enactment — rising to 32 million more people by 2026;
* premiums in the individual insurance marketplaces would soar — they’d go up 20 to 25 percent above currently projected increases in the first full year after repeal, and “would about double by 2026”;
* and access to coverage on the individual markets would plummet — about half of the US population would live in areas “that would have no insurer participating” in the individual market, CBO projects.
* In related news, the abortion rate in the U.S. fell to it’s lowest level since prior to Roe v. Wade.
No…this isn’t happening because Republicans are making it increasingly difficult for women to get access to abortion services.
A more important driver of the declining abortion rate, Jones said, appears to be improved access to contraception, particularly long-acting birth control options like IUDs. She noted that women in the United States have been using the highly effective devices in growing numbers for more than a decade, and said the declining birthrate suggests more women are preventing unwanted pregnancies.
“Abortion is going down, and births aren’t going up,” Jones said.
* While Trump’s approval numbers are at an historical low for a president-elect, the opposite is true for President Obama.
Fifty-eight percent of Americans view President Barack Obama favorably as his second term nears its end. The latest figure, along with the 61% and 62% favorable ratings Obama received in the weeks after the 2016 election, is one of the president’s highest marks since the “honeymoon” period during his first year in office.
* All of that has me playing this Joni Mitchell tune in my head today: