White House: We Are Only In Phase 1 of Making Health Care Great Again

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Apparently we now have an official excuse for why the Republican health care bill is so bad: It’s just Phase 1. Phases 2 and 3 will be coming later and will include all sorts of wonderful things like selling across state lines and so forth.

In related news, Donald Trump has some land in Florida for your purchasing consideration.

You know, if there was a flaw with Obamacare that everyone agreed about, it was this: the insurance pool included too few young, healthy people to balance out everyone else. The problem is that lots of young people who are short of money figured they didn’t really need insurance, so they just skipped it.

Obamacare attempted to fix this by (a) providing subsidies so insurance would cost less, and (b) assessing a penalty if you didn’t buy insurance. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. The subsidies were too small and the penalty was too light. Lots of young people still didn’t want insurance, and either paid the penalty or else did nothing and hoped they’d get away with it.

The answer to this is obvious: increase the subsidies and the penalty until you get to the point where young people decide they might as well just get insurance. So what does the Republican health care bill do? It reduces both the subsidies and the penalty. As a result, the insurance pool will be even more unbalanced, and even more likely to fall into a death spiral.

This is all very obvious stuff. It’s not an accident. It’s just another piece of evidence that Republicans don’t really want their plan to succeed.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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