Going the Other Way

Wednesday, April 19, 2017Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 09.42.40

Good Wednesday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
— The First Draft Team
Public Health

Bare Market: What Happens if Places Have No Obamacare Insurers?

By MARGOT SANGER-KATZ
President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at a White House event this month. Uncertainty is growing as the administration sends negative signals about the future of the Obamacare markets.

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at a White House event this month. Uncertainty is growing as the administration sends negative signals about the future of the Obamacare markets. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The Obamacare marketplaces can be thought of as a government-run store. The government gives many customers subsidies, like gift cards, that they can use to buy insurance. But what happens if no companies want to sell their products in the store?
That is the problem that could face Obamacare customers if no insurance carriers show up in a given area, a risk policy makers call the bare-market problem. That risk is growing as the administration sends negative signals about the future of the market. If all the insurers start leaving some stores, consumers there will find their options dwindling, and then their subsidies will become worthless. Most would end up uninsured. The problem could affect as few as dozens of customers — or spread more broadly to affect a substantial fraction of the approximately 11 million people currently enrolled in Obamacare coverage.
The markets created by the Affordable Care Act have always relied on the voluntary participation of private companies. If the government set up the right conditions for the market, the thinking went, insurers would want to jump in. But, as Sarah Kliff at Vox.com has reported, the law contained no real backup plan if that vision didn’t work out.
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How ‘Hire American’ Order May Affect Tech Visas

By VINDU GOEL

No immediate changes are expected. But the order asks various federal agencies to recommend changes.

Trump Raised $107 Million for Inauguration, Doubling Record

By NICHOLAS FANDOS

Tens of millions of dollars came from wealthy donors and large corporations, which is likely to intensify questions about the president’s commitment to his populist positions.

New York Politicians Offer Tax Returns and Pokes at Trump

By J. DAVID GOODMAN

Mayor Bill de Blasio garnered more than $100,000 in rents, and Andrew M. Cuomo made more from his poorly selling book than he did as governor.

Fox’s Leaders Are Starting to Sour on Bill O’Reilly

By EMILY STEEL, MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT AND JIM RUTENBERG

The position of the No. 1 host in cable news grew more tenuous as support from the Murdoch family showed signs of eroding, according to people briefed on discussions about his future.

Russian Bombers Fly Near Alaska; U.S. Scrambles Jets

By ERIC SCHMITT

The United States has intercepted Russian warplanes near American airspace several dozen times over the past decade, the military says.

U.S. Isn’t Saying How Much Damage Bomb Did in Afghanistan

By MUJIB MASHAL AND FAHIM ABED

There are conflicting reports about whether any Islamic State militants were killed by the 11-ton “mother of all bombs” dropped on a cave complex in Afghanistan on Thursday.

Ad by Pro-Trump Group Attacks the Club for Growth

By MAGGIE HABERMAN

The 45Committee, a major Trump backer in 2016, accused the club of having “saved” Obamacare and faulted its favored congressional candidate in Georgia.

Justices Appear Reluctant to Close Debt Collection Loophole

By ADAM LIPTAK

Consumer groups say a gap in a federal law allows some collectors to engage in abusive tactics, but the law doesn’t address the activities of businesses like banks or credit card companies.

As Trump Moves From Populism, His Supporters Grow Watchful

By PETER BAKER

The president has demonstrated that while he won office on a populist message, he has not consistently governed that way in the nearly 100 days in the White House.

Policy Advisers Urge Trump to Keep U.S. in Paris Accord

By CORAL DAVENPORT

Support for keeping the United States in the landmark Paris climate deal of 2015 seems to be gaining traction, experts say.

Hand of U.S. Leaves North Korea’s Missile Program Shaken

By DAVID E. SANGER AND WILLIAM J. BROAD

Whether an American program to sabotage North Korean test flights is behind a string of failures, it has led Pyongyang to hunt for spies and ways to combat such attacks.

Health Insurers Make Case for Subsidies, but Get Little Assurance

By REED ABELSON

Insurers have been closely watching as the president and congressional lawmakers debate the future of subsidies that help lower deductibles and co-payments.

Right and Left: Partisan Writing You Shouldn’t Miss
Read about how the other side thinks. We have collected political writing from around the web and across ideologies.
From the Right
• Peter Skerry in The Boston Globe:
“Multiculturalism has become a more powerful force within the Democratic Party — and American society — than labor solidarity.”
Peter Skerry, a Boston College professor and a fellow at the Brookings Institution, argues that today the left sees any attempt to constrain illegal immigration as racist. But one need not look too far into the past to see when the left’s labor movement favored limits on mass immigration. Today’s liberals, Mr. Skerry argues, have come to value multiculturalism at the expense of economic harm to the working class. Read more »
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From the Left
• Alyssa Battistoni in Dissent:
“The prospect of pushing for basic income in the United States right now — when the right controls everything — should be cause for alarm.”
Alyssa Battistoni looks at the growing interest in a universal basic income — a policy sometimes explained as “paying people for being alive.” People from across political ideologies support the idea, including Trump-supporting venture capitalists like Peter Thiel and “fully automated luxury communists” like Peter Frase. A proponent of the policy herself, Ms. Battistoni warns that the left “should proceed with caution” in its embrace of a basic income. Put into effect in the Trump era, the program might become a vehicle to dismantle the welfare state entirely. Read more »
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