The American Health Care Act's first full day on Capitol Hill drew ire from all sides. Liberals and conservatives alike railed against the bill, including key House and Senate Republicans who could torpedo the legislation's advance. A sampling of the backlash against the plan supported by the White House and congressional Republican leaders:
House Conservatives: "This is Obamacare by a different form," Rep. Jim Jordan, a co-founder of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, whose members are critical of offering tax credits in place of insurance premium subsidies, said. Another block of conservatives in the House criticized the preservation of Medicaid expansion for three years. One Republican said the House leadership does not have the votes to pass the bill in the House. Freedom Caucus members said they will introduce their own measure for a full repeal of Obamacare.
Republican senators: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky called the bill "dead on arrival." (Trump tweeted that Paul "will come along with the bill in time.) Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said it was a "step in [the] wrong direction." As Republicans hold a majority in the Senate by only two votes, losing Paul and Lee would spell doom for the bill. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said as much on Tuesday, telling a radio station in Kansas City that the plan may not get the majority necessary to pass Congress.
Some Republican senators believe the bill goes too far. Four said Monday they would not support a plan that cut Medicaid — and threatening to defund Planned Parenthood could prevent moderates like Sen. Susan Collins from supporting it.
Conservative groups: Key conservative groups in Washington signaled full-throated opposition to the Republican health care proposal. The Heritage Foundation said the bill "does not help the population most harmed by Obamacare." The Club for Growth demanded a "full and immediate repeal" of the ACA. FreedomWorks will spend six figures to attack the plan in districts across the country and is mobilizing 1,000 people on Wednesday to demonstrate opposition to the bill. Politico reported that conservative health care experts were largely disappointed in the plan put forward by House Speaker Paul Ryan, a conservative policy leader they have long supported.
Health care groups: Powerful lobbies in the health care space have expressed opposition to the plan. AARP said it will increase insurance costs for older Americans by at least $7,000 annually. The American Hospital Association will not support the plan. So far, the group that represents American health insurance companies has been quiet, as has the group that represents doctors.
Democrats: Some Republicans suggested the bill will only pass with considerable Democratic support, which seems unlikely to happen. Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the plan will bring "higher cost for less health care, plain and simple." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called it the "make America sick again" act.
What this opposition means
It is difficult to see how this health care plan, in its current form, can move forward, but Republican leaders will undoubtedly keep fighting to advance it. GOP leaders in the House want to push toward committee votes on the bill this week, before a nonpartisan government analysis can determine what the bill would cost. If the bill makes it to the House floor, Republicans can lose no more than 21 members, assuming all Democrats oppose the bill. Even if the bill passes the House, it is doubtful Republicans have the votes in the Senate to pass it in its current form there.
How the AHCA's supporters responded
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Tuesday that the bill would decrease the cost of health insurance premiums. He also promised that further reform — including selling insurance across state lines — would come in later phases. Ryan called the bill an "act of mercy" that would reduce health insurance costs. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his chamber will immediately consider the bill if it passes the House.
More from the health care bill you need to know
Multiple analyses and widespread backlash have built an early consensus: This plan will not lower costs for many Americans — and it could cause millions of people to lose their health insurance.
• New data points: A new Standard & Poor's analysis of the Republican bill could cause 6 million to 10 million Americans to lose health insurance. An analysis published in Vox said the bill, if implemented today, could increase average health insurance costs by an average of $1,542 — and $5,269 for people who are 55 to 64.
• Giveaway to insurance companies? The bill would allow health insurance companies to deduct the entire amount of their CEO's salary. Current law caps the tax write-off at $500,000. (Mic)
• The proposal will make insurance more expensive for poorer Americans: Mic's Andrew Joyce explains why the GOP shift from subsidies based on income and location to one-size-fits-all-ages tax credits will hurt poorer Americans. (Mic)
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The death of the AHCA?
• Today: The outrage from the left, moderate right and far right directed at the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act crescendoed on Tuesday. We recap the highlights.
• More: New analysis shows the plan would cause millions to lose coverage while increasing costs by thousands of dollars.
• Even more: March 8 is International Women's Day. Women's strikes are expected across the country.
• Trump's agenda today: Meeting with the wife of the late Steve Jobs. Holding a lunch to discuss American infrastructure. Meeting with Rep. Elijah Cummings, followed by senators from Alaska and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. An early evening gathering to discuss health care, then dinner with Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife, Heidi.
Trump's staff distance themselves from his wiretapping claim
"President Trump has no regrets. His staff has no defense." That searing New York Times lede sums up the last two days of pivots Trump's team has tried in response to the president's allegation that then-President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower during the campaign. Press secretary Sean Spicer again directed reporters to Congress for further information on Trump's allegation — even though the president could quickly ask intelligence agencies to determine if the wiretap happened or not. The White House has still offered no proof of a wiretap on Trump.
Meanwhile, the president's tweeting has led to a falling out with Obama, who isn't happy about the allegation, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Today is International Women's Day — and a #DayWithoutWomen
Thousands of women are expected to strike on Wednesday to rebuke Trump and demonstrate women's value in society. Here are 14 protests and rallies Mic is tracking across the country. Mic will be live in New York City and Washington, D.C., throughout the day. Two of the largest school districts in the Washington area are closed Wednesday after large numbers of teachers and staff requested the day off.
The 3 takeaways from the Wikileaks news
1) The Wikileaks dump of CIA files was larger than what Edward Snowden released. The 8,761 documents demonstrate the massive hacking capacity of America's top foreign intelligence agency. (Independent)
2) The documents show the CIA can monitor you through use of everyday devices. The agency can log onto your computer at night, watch your TV and monitor your movement through the computers in some cars. (Guardian)
3) Samsung, Apple and Microsoft said they are already working to protect their customers from many of the CIA's capabilities. The companies added they will continue to look for entries into hardware and software they manufacture, trying to block hacking of users' private information. (BBC)
Job market riding high
The private sector added 298,000 jobs in February, exceeding analyst expectations by more than 100,000 positions, according to new employment data released Wednesday. (CNBC) The report measures the period of Trump's first full month in office. Though referencing a different report, the president was tweeting early Wednesday about strong jobs growth. Some Trump critics noted it is difficult to credit a president for job creation after four weeks in office, though consumer confidence has spiked since Trump's election.
News and insight you cannot miss:
• Rod Rosenstein spent Tuesday on Capitol Hill. The confirmation hearing for Trump's nominee to be the deputy attorney general focused on whether Rosenstein would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations about Russia, Trump's campaign and the 2016 election. Rosenstein said he would not commit to a special investigation; Democrats said they would stall Rosenstein's nomination. (USA Today)
• Al Franken is no longer mincing words: The Minnesota senator says Attorney General Jeff Sessions committed perjury. (Mic)