May 3, 2017

During today's White House press briefing, Sean Spicer objected to the AARP's findings on the high cost of health care for people with preexisting conditions by saying, "there are so many variables that are unknown that to make an analysis of that level of precision is almost impossible."

You heard it right.

Sean Spicer admitted that since nobody knows what's actually in the Republican healthcare bill which House members are being whipped to vote on today, -- how could anyone make a competent analysis?

So this begs the question. What the f*ck is the House voting on?

Republicans are chirping about an 8 billion dollar GOP compromise amendment that helps subsidize high-risk insurance pools that will cover all Americans who have preexisting conditions if a state opts out to that coverage.

Where did Republicans come up with the 8 billion dollar number?

ABC News' Rick Klein tells us, "It represents something that has been plucked out of thin air."

Back to Spicer's press conference, a reporter asked, "An analysis from AARP showed that the sickest patients will pay nearly $26,000 a year in premiums under the new health care law and $8 billion is not enough to lower those costs."

He continued, "So I'm wondering, how does that which would be a major premium hike on the sickest patients square with the president's promise to lower premiums and take care of those with pre-existing conditions?"

Spicer replied, "there are so many variables that are unknown that to make an analysis of that level of precision is almost impossible."

"Will people with pre-existing conditions pay higher premiums than they currently do?"

And then Spicer began to spin like an MMA fighter on crack, "I think everything we've done, including the additional 8 billion this year, has everything that I've seen shows that the costs goes down for them in a lot of ways so if you have pre-existing conditions -- and remember what a small pool that is. if you have a pre-existing condition currently, the bill protects you."

There are millions of people who have preexisting conditions so it's not a "small pool."

Spicer continued, "The only factor would be if you live in a state that asks for a waiver and then subsequently you're granted it and you've gone 63 days without continuous coverage. If you have continuous coverage, it will never, ever be a factor. The president has to work to make sure in every single scenario, pre-existing conditions are covered and the costs continue to bend down."

Sounds like a lot of gobbledygook to me.

Later on CNN's Jim Acosta kicked the Trump administration in the teeth when he asked Spicer, "Why even monkey around with pre-existing conditions? That's the most popular thing in Obamacare. Why are you guys spinning your wheels messing around with pre-existing conditions?"

Spicer got ticked off that Acosta said what everybody else has been thinking so plainly.

"I wouldn't call it messing around..."

Acosta said, "Right now people with pre-existing conditions are covered. They are not discriminated against."

"Hold on.."

Acosta continued, "You're changing to a system where 'who the hell knows what's going to happen. It depends on what state they live in, that governor may seek a waiver and all of a sudden they are thrown into a system where that fund is going to cover their pre-existing conditions. It is a big change for people who live with those kinds of illnesses. Is it not?"

Spicer admitted he has a very different view of this and so he does. He's forced to force a square peg into a round hole.

The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin wrote a great article on the Republican health care debacle that you should read in its entirety. Who knew we could agree on so many things lately?

She wraps it up by saying:

Sorry, Republicans, but it is no longer politically viable to offer merely theoretical access. Public expectations have changed, and politicians are not willing to face the onslaught of ads featuring parents like Kimmel. That means they cannot remove the federal government from the health-care equation or do away with actual protection for preexisting conditions. They could — but they’d lose their seats. They know that, which is why it becomes more unlikely every day that we’ll see something approaching a repeal of Obamacare.

Republicans now are watching from a defensive crouch the real debate about health care play out: Are we as a society willing to say the federal government should not be guaranteeing coverage for just about everyone? Judging from the reaction to Kimmel, the answer is no. Republicans have been preaching something that was unattainable and unwanted for seven years. Maybe it is now time to move on to tax reform.

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