Mar 24th 2017 by DDpolitico • 18 Questions • 962 Points
Hey redditors! I'm Dan Diamond, the author of POLITICO's daily health care column and host of our weekly health policy and politics podcast. And I'm at the Capitol today, covering the health care debate.
Things are moving quickly on Republicans' plan to change the health system, and many readers have told me they're nervous about what it means for them. I've also interviewed congressmen, had extensive conversations with current and former White House officials, and sat down with experts and patients around the country.
I'm happy to take questions on anything — but I'm especially ready to talk the state of play for the GOP health bill, myths vs. facts on the ACA, and bigger issues for the U.S. health care system.
Update: I've been AMAing with one eye and working with the other, but given the breaking news, I need both at this point! Thanks so much for making this so interesting. And the r/politics folks invited me to do an AMA next Friday 3/31, and I'm looking forward to coming back.
If the AHCA is passed as currently drafted, who is the biggest winner and who is the biggest loser?
(For bonus points, same question if bill is brought to a vote and not passed.)
So many ways to answer this question!
Republicans, in some ways, could be short-term winners and long-term losers. They get the credit for passing a bill ... that will reduce coverage for lots of people and shake up the insurance market yet again. So they could get punished in upcoming elections.
But the insurance industry and certain businesses (i.e., restaurants) are probably best positioned to be the winners — the AHCA relaxes taxes and regulations that they hate.
Loser: Poor, unhealthy Americans who depend on various Affordable Care Act expansions and protections.
What are the political implications of this bill either failing of passing in the House? To what extent will this hurt President Trump, or confirm his status as the leader of the Republican party?
Bonus question: if this vote fails, will Ryan still be Speaker?
One of the big questions of the day around the Capitol... here's one way to think about implications of failure.
Meet a president who failed to pass health reform in his first year, despite big talk: Bill Clinton. He went on to serve two terms and strike tons of deals with the Republicans.
Meet a president who kept asking Congress to do health reform, but they wouldn't agree to his timeline: Barack Obama. Not only did he eventually get it done, ditto on the two terms yadda yadda
Now if the bill somehow passes in current form, we're in a new ballgame where the Senate parliamentarian will determine if the bill can even comply with budget reconciliation rules. Given state of play today, not sure it's worth going into political implications on that yet.
Re the bonus Q — NO IDEA. But the conservatives — who made the most trouble for Boehner, and are now agitating against AHCA — may be happy if Ryan finds a way to spin a dead bill as respecting their wishes.
I don't know if you're in a position to comment on the media side of things, but a quick look at Brietbart will tell you that over the last few days, stories increasingly critical of the bill have been on its frontpage. Do you think this indicates some type of pivot meaning that the "Trump wing" doesn't think this thing is going to pass and wants to preemptively do a sour grapes kinda thing/distance themselves from it? Or do you think there's no particular insight to be gleaned from the observation?
It's a good observation.
I read Breitbart every day now — which isn't something I would've said a few weeks ago — and it's amazing how critical the site has been of Republicans' health plan and specifically Paul Ryan's role.
I don't think it's been a recent pivot because the bill's odds have plunged, though. They've hated the bill since it was first being drafted, because in the eyes of Breitbart (and conservatives) it doesn't do enough to repeal the ACA right away. And Breitbart has always looked for ways to zing Ryan, who they don't trust.
It varies by the day, but there are a few constants.
My number one job is to write the daily PULSE newsletter, which comes out at 5:45 a.m. For everyone's sanity, I usually start collecting "string" (a newsroom term for notes, quotes, thoughts, etc.) the afternoon before and try to have PULSE mostly done by 9 p.m. that night. I then dip back in around midnight to make sure nothing's missing.
For the weekly podcast, there’s an ongoing mix of scheduling with guests, doing as much prep as possible, conducting the interview, and then helping produce it.
I also do other things for POLITICO — like write feature stories and quick hits or moderate panels — and try and work those in when possible.
I probably spend too much time on Twitter. But I learn so much and have so much fun doing it.