Red states try everything but straightforward Medicaid expansion — and the latest is Oklahoma

Red states that opposed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during Barack Obama’s presidency are more likely to implement the 2010 law now, under Donald Trump, albeit with limitations — and Oklahoma is a fine example of this phenomenon.

To the surprise of Obamacare wonks, Oklahoma lawmakers in a key committee passed a Medicaid expansion bill this week — sort of. The bill directs the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to create a “Oklahoma Plan” within the state&#...

Trump’s rollback of the birth control mandate is blocked nationwide

Cost-free contraception for thousands is safe, after Pennsylvania District Judge Wendy Beetlestone temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s rollback of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control mandate on Monday, issuing a nationwide injunction.

The administration aims to allow virtually all employers (including universities and colleges, by way of student health plans) the right to refuse to cover employees’ birth control by citing religious or moral obj...

A eulogy for the most incompetent House majority in modern history

Long before Donald Trump’s second-place finish somehow landed him in the White House, Republicans in Congress promised a package of benefit cuts, privatization, and tax cuts for the wealthy that were so cruel, American voters literally refused to believe they were real. In 2012, a Democratic super PAC decided not to campaign against future Speaker Paul Ryan’s package of Medicare vouchers and upper income tax cuts after participants in a focus group “simply refused to beli...

Anti-Obamacare lawyer tries to defend his court victory, winds up undercutting his own case

Late last week, Judge Reed O’Connor, a former Republican Senate staffer with a history of poorly reasoned opinions striking down Democratic policies, struck down the entire Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, one of the lawyers behind this suit attempted to defend O’Connor’s opinion. It did not go well.

The political-operative-turned-judge’s opinion is widely viewed as indefensible, even by many of O’Connor’s fellow Obamacare haters. The Wall Stree...

There’s no GOP backup plan for the anti-Obamacare lawsuit

Now that a federal judge in Texas has handed down an order striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s individual mandate — and, with it, all 900-plus pages of the health law — what happens next?

That’s the question facing Republican lawmakers whose colleagues are party to the lawsuit, which was filed by 20 GOP-led states.

The lawsuit aims to strike down very popular provisions of the ACA, including but not limited to protections for pre-existing con...

Even the Cato Institute thinks that Republican judge who struck down Obamacare was wrong

A Republican judge’s opinion claiming that the entire Affordable Care Act must be struck down is so poorly reasoned that even the Cato Institute denounced it on Wednesday.

Cato, which was originally known as the Charles Koch Foundation, tried and failed to convince the Supreme Court to strike down the key provisions of Obamacare in 2012. The conservative think tank’s health policy director, Michael Cannon, was one of the architects of King v. Burwell, the last p...

Senate Democrats get a harsh lesson on why they should never, ever play nice with Republicans

Four years ago, President Obama was in the White House and Democrats controlled a solid majority in the United States Senate. At the very least, Obama should have had free rein to appoint federal judges. Yet then-Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) insisted on giving Republicans the power to veto many of Obama’s nominees.

Three years later, in a move that pretty much everyone on the planet who is not named “Patrick Leahy” knew would inevitably play out, now...

Justice Alito cut the legs out of the latest attack on Obamacare — and didn’t even know he did it

Remember Burwell v. Hobby LobbyHobby Lobby is the single most significant court victory ever achieved by America’s religious right. Before Hobby Lobby, religious conservatives could not wield their faith to undercut the rights of other people. After Hobby Lobby conservative religious objections may be used to narrow the rights of third-parties.

Yet a passage in Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion for the Court in Hobby Lobby coul...