1. The scene was reminiscent of the initial Tea Party rumblings back in 2009—except this time the protests and the heckling were coming from the left.
Speaking at an MLK Day rally in Spokane yesterday, Eastern Washington’s U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA, 5), the fourth ranking Republican in the house, was booed and drowned out with chants of “save our healthcare” and catcalls like “liar” and “bullshit.”
50,000 Washington state residents would lose their health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
In a statement issued late last week, McMorris Rodgers said: “No one who has coverage because of Obamacare today, will lose that coverage the day it’s repealed — we’re committed to a smooth and stable transition for those currently receiving care.”
The GOP plan to make sure everyone with preexisting conditions still gets affordable health care—a popular component of the ACA—takes people with preexisting conditions out of the general market and puts them in “high-risk pools” to bring down costs for everyone else. The problem is that “high-risk pools” balloon health care costs for the government.
And, by the way, while the GOP estimates about 92 percent of Americans constitute "everyone else" with just about eight percent having preexisting conditions, the Department of Health and Human Services puts the number of Americans who would be eligible for the high-risk pools at more like 23 percent. And they say 51 percent of Americans have conditions that insurers, presently barred by the ACA from denying coverage, would cite as cause to go right back to withholding it in a post-ACA setup.
McMorris Rodgers was reportedly briefly being considered for Trump's secretary of the interior.
2. The Washington CannaBusiness Association, WACA, the lobbying group for legal pot businesses, has a noteworthy item on its 2017 legislative agenda, which otherwise focuses on (I'm sure significant, but otherwise) dense internal industry issues like tier structure for cannabis producers.
WACA wants the legislature to legalize pot lounges, which are currently verboten under state law. WACA's approach would be to allow local governments to write local ordinances that would allow them.