Quick Takes: Vote on Zombie Trumpcare May Come Tomorrow

A round-up of news that caught my eye today.

* Following the shenanigans on this zombie Trumpcare bill is exhausting. But if you’d like the abridged version, Republicans made some more changes today and seem to have garnered a few new votes. But make no mistake, it’s still a disaster.

* Initially there was some talk about a vote on this bill tonight. But now that has subsided. It almost looks as if the Republican leadership doesn’t want anyone to know when the vote is planned.

* Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office won’t weigh in with their score until next week, setting this up as a very real possibility.

So stay tuned.

* Meanwhile, the law Republicans are so intent on repealing seems to be helping people quite a bit.

As legislators and the executive branch renew their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this week, they might want to keep in mind a little-known financial consequence of the ACA: Since its adoption, far fewer Americans have taken the extreme step of filing for personal bankruptcy.

Filings have dropped about 50 percent, from 1,536,799 in 2010 to 770,846 in 2016…Those years also represent the time frame when the ACA took effect. Although courts never ask people to declare why they’re filing, many bankruptcy and legal experts agree that medical bills had been a leading cause of personal bankruptcy before public healthcare coverage expanded under the ACA. Unlike other causes of debt, medical bills are often unexpected, involuntary, and large.

* In light of the fact that Sec. of State Tillerson recently said that human rights will no longer be a priority for how/when the Trump administration will engage with other countries, this news is even more disturbing.

The White House used to have a senior National Security Council post called “special assistant to the president for multilateral affairs and human rights.” This staffer coordinated, developed, and helped implement government policy related to human rights and humanitarian relief…

Under Trump, the title for this position has been changed to “special assistant for international organizations and alliances.” Note “human rights” has been excised. And the person named to the post by Trump—Garry Hall—has no background in human rights policy.

* This story from Zach Carter tells us something about Republicans. I’m just not sure what.

[H]ere I am, sitting at my desk, writing another story about a budget bill attacking funds for ACORN. It’s right there on page 1,060 of the latest government funding legislation: “None of the funds made available under this or any other Act, or any prior Appropriations Act, may be provided to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, allied organizations, or successors.”

Since ACORN does not exist, it has no affiliates or subsidiaries. “Allied organizations” and “successors” are not legally defined terms. I know because I have written different versions of this story over and over and over again. Every time Congress unveils a new bill to fund the federal government, I do a quick search through the text for “ACORN,” and Congress rarely lets me down.

* Finally, is anyone still “troubled” by this guy using his Cantor Fitzgerald speaking fee + $1.6 million of his own money to fund a summer jobs program for youth in Chicago? If so, you might want to check out this twitter thread from Al Giordano. It ends with a quote from legendary community organizer Jim Haughton, “Take their money, drink their liquor, and organize against ’em!”

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .