MUST-READ LA TIMES: TRUMP ADMIN “JEOPARDIZING HEALTH COVERAGE FOR MILLIONS.” Health insurance providers are sounding the alarm after months of “erratic management, inconsistent guidance and seeming lack of understanding of basic healthcare issues” from the White House that now threatens millions of Americans’ health plans. While the GOP touts that the ACA is collapsing, they leave out an important detail: they are driving it’s collapse.  

“The growing frustration with the Trump administration’s management — reflected in letters to state regulators and in interviews with more than two dozen senior industry and government officials nationwide — undercuts a key White House claim that Obamacare insurance marketplaces are collapsing on their own.”

“Health plans and state regulators interviewed for this story said the Trump administration has significantly exacerbated turmoil in the marketplaces in recent months, contributing to rising premiums and the threat of marketplaces exits.”

Bottom line: the GOP is doing everything they can to undermine health care and voters will remember next November.

YOU’RE READING THIS RIGHT: RE-VOTE ON HEALTH CARE POSSIBLE. They’re already “caught on tape” for supporting their toxic health care plan but Bloomberg reports that House Republicans “now face the possibility of having to vote again” on a bill that strips coverage for pre-existing conditions and makes older Americans pay as much as five times more for their care. Hard to imagine that something cobbled together behind closed doors that few understood and were cajoled into supporting might need to be “redone.”

POTENTIAL CHALLENGERS IN A “TRICKY SPOT.” Higher premiums aren’t the only part of the Republican health care disaster putting potential GOP Senate challengers in a “tricky spot.” HuffPost reported this week that the House Republicans who supported this bill – despite promising that they’d cut costs and protect coverage for pre-existing conditions – now find themselves at odds with members of their own party…from their own state:

  • “They need to back repeal, because that’s the party line and it’s what they’ve been promising for years. But they now may also be at odds with what the GOP senators from their state are saying.
  • “Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.), who is running in 2018 against Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), along with Reps. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.), who are considering running, are in similar positions. All three voted for the AHCA and praised it, while Capito continues to say she is “concerned” about rolling back the Medicaid expansion.”
  • “Similar dynamics could play out in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Missouri ― all places where House members considering Senate runs voted for the AHCA and where senators are sounding more cautious about the bill. In other words, the concerns of Senate Republicans could be pitted against the votes and positions taken by Senate GOP candidates in the 2018 cycle if the two chambers don’t come to some sort of agreement.”

GOP AIDE: NEITHER CANDIDATES NOR CAMPAIGNS “ARE ADEQUATE.” Josh Kraushaar reported this week that “it’s not a happy time to be a Republican officeholder.” And if you don’t take it from him, how about the Republican strategist he spoke to: “The one thing that Republicans can control is the quality of their candidates and the quality of campaigns being run. Right now, neither are adequate.” Read the full story: “Dems Flex Muscles on GOP Turf.

DSCC FUNDRAISING IS BEST OFF-YEAR APRIL IN COMMITTEE HISTORY. The DSCC raised $4.6 million last month, its best off-year April in the committee’s history, and has $14 million cash on hand. From Executive Director Mindy Myers: “Senate Democrats remain on the front lines to hold the White House accountable and fight against Republican’s reckless agenda, like a health care plan that will force older Americans to pay as much as five times more for care and strip coverage for pre-existing conditions, while giving insurance companies a big break. The support from our grassroots is a testament to this work and shows Americans across the country are a part of our fight.” 

2018’s NASTIEST PRIMARY? The latest example of the GOP’s primary problems comes from Indiana where Representatives Luke Messer and Todd Rokita are engaged in “early attacks” that show how their competition “could become messy well before the May 2018 primary election.” Read the full scoop from Politico Pro with these key points:

  • Rokita “has used nearly $100,000 in campaign funds to reimburse a limited liability company he co-owns for use of a private plane. Rokita didn’t disclose his ownership of the company, Hoosier Seneca, on congressional personal financial disclosures, but he had permission from the House Ethics Committee to leave it off. There is no evidence Rokita, who’s held a pilot’s license since he was 19, broke any ethics rules or laws. But campaign finance advocates have long questioned the use of campaign funds to reimburse companies owned by members. 
  • “Tim Edson, a spokesman for Rokita, responded by attacking GOP Rep. Luke Messer, another potential Donnelly challenger.”
  • “‘The only story here is that Luke Messer had a very bad week last week,’ Edson said, referring to an Associated Press story outlining how an Indianapolis suburb has paid Messer’s wife hundreds of thousands of dollars for legal work even though she lives in Virginia.
  • “The Messer campaign attacked Rokita for using an ‘ethics loophole’ to avoid disclosing his ownership of Hoosier Seneca. ‘It is common knowledge Congressman Rokita owns an airplane, but it is news to us that he is taking taxpayer money to pay for it,’ Messer political director Matt Humm said. ‘That said, I don’t understand why the Congressman would seek an ethics loophole to hide taxpayer funded income from the public.’”

Get your popcorn ready.

OHIO GOP SHADES MANDEL (AGAIN). State Treasurer Josh Mandel has had a rough time on just about every front – but especially when it comes to winning over members of his own party. Take a look:

  1. The GOP-controlled state legislature issued a budget amendment that “lawmakers quietly acknowledge… is aimed at curbing taxpayer-funded advertising” by Mandel.
  2. Governor Kasich hinted he may not support Mandel’s campaign.
  3. While declaring that he won’t run for Senate in 2018, Rep. Pat Tiberi issued “a none-too-subtle jab at Mandel,” saying that he “does not have the baggage of losing to the current incumbent already.”

MN – Brainerd Dispatch: Klobuchar introduces bill to aid rural hospitals
MO – Springfield News-Leader: McCaskill bill would help consumers in ‘bare’ insurance markets
OH – The Hill: Sherrod Brown looks to defy Trump trend in Ohio
PA – Daily Item: Casey bill would aid grandparents raising grandkids amid opioid epidemic
(MORE) PA – New York Times: Bob Casey Was an Understated Senator. Then Came Trump.
WI – WIZM: Sen. Baldwin speak out on Trumpcare’s impact on opioid epidemic
(MORE) WI – WI-Fox 11: Sen. Baldwin pushes to hold drug makers accountable on cost

TWEET(S) OF THE WEEK. A week this yuge means we’ve got Tweets of the Day. Enjoy the weekend – we’ve earned it.







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