November 15, 2017 Last Updated 7:57 am

Republicans look to drive nail into ACA by ending mandate; Twitter’s likely won’t address issues until forced into court

Morning Brief: While Italy and The Netherlands mourns, US soccer capitalists look to take advantage, as talk of an NIT-like tournament grows, though few fans think it is good idea

The fact checking website PolitiFact looked into the level of popularity for the ‘individual mandate’ that is associated with the Affordable Cara Act, or Obamacare. It forces healthy, mostly younger people to buy health care. This feature of the ACA is important because by having healthy people paying into the system it lowers premiums for everyone.

Insurance is something that a lot of people, especially Republican politicians don’t see to understand. For the most part, people that pay in — whether to insure their car, house or health — don’t use that insurance most of the time. A payout on the part of the insurer costs money, so that cost is covered by all of those that don’t pay into the system.

Many states require drivers to own insurance. Mortgage companies require homeowners to have insurance on their house. With the ACA, to control costs just about everyone must pay some sort of insurance premium, either their their employers, or themselves.

Public opinion regarding the individual mandate has shifted, but understanding this is important to understanding why today the Republicans control all branches of the Federal government.

Initially, most public opinion polls found the mandate unpopular. It was the Tea Party that used the mandate as a rallying cry, and why repealing the ACA was the most important issue in many Congressional races. The House has acted over 70 times to try an repeal the ACA, and the mandate is the GOP’s biggest stick.

Including the individual mandate was vital to making the ACA work, but initially it was married to another important feature: the public option. The two went together in two important ways. First, if you force an individual to get insured, the public option would be a low cost alternative to commercial insurance. Second, by having a lost cost public option, this would force insurers to moderate their prices.

Pulling the public option from the ACA was one reason why I was against passage of the final bill, despite being someone who supports universal health coverage and single payer. The other reason why I was against pulling the public option was because I saw keeping the mandate, without the public option, would be political suicide. It was, and is.

Now, Senate Republicans are about to include eliminating the mandate from their tax bill. I think this time they will succeed, and it will be the end of the ACA. And voters will not punish them for it (though they may for other elements of the bill).

PolitiFact, Jon Greenberg:

How unpopular is the Obamacare individual mandate?

The polling shows that it is the least popular of the Affordable Care Act’s changes, but how people feel about it depends on how you frame the question.

When asked simply if they like or don’t like the mandate, as many as two-thirds of the people say they don’t. A Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll found that 63 percent had an unfavorable opinion in November 2016. An Associated Press/NORC poll in January 2017 came back with 36 percent in favor, 13 percent who didn’t care one way or the other, and 50 percent who opposed it…

…Public opinion became more complicated around the time Republicans started voting on bills to repeal and replace Obamacare. As that process moved forward, more pollsters began asking people if they thought the individual mandate should stay or go.

CNN, Lauren Fox:

By combining Obamacare with taxes, GOP goes for it all

For Republicans, the benefits are tempting. If they can pull it off, it’s a two-for-one victory. They will have overhauled the US tax code and taken a bite out of former President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, even if it falls short of the “root and branch” health care repeal many had vowed to see through.

But if they fail, Republicans will enter the midterm election year with their message muddled, without a victory on tax reform, and having spent a year’s worth of time trying and repeatedly failing to dismantle Obamacare with nothing to show for it but bad headlines.

Let me beat a dead horse: Jack Dorsey should either get serious about cleaning up Twitter, or the board should replace him.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, knows that Twitter is filled with troll farm fake accounts and bots. Yet, the only thing Twitter has done to fix the problem is the give the trolls and bots more characters to play with.

The other solution is for someone damaged by Twitter to sue the hell out of the company.

The Daily Beast, Betsy Woodruff, Ben Collins, Spencer Ackerman and Joseph Cox:

Troll Smearing Roy Moore’s Accuser Stole Dead SEAL’s Identity

The rightwing blog The Gateway Pundit pushed a single-sourced rumor from the anonymous Twitter account @Umpire43 that claimed one of Roy Moore’s accusers was offered $1,000 by The Washington Post to go public with her claims…

…But the source for that viral accusation is a serial fabulist who has been using the identity of a Navy serviceman who died in 2007, records show.

Umpire43, also known as Doug Lewis or DJ Lewis, has repeatedly invented stories in the past—particularly about his own background. Lewis said he was a 22-year veteran of the Navy, a pollster at Ipsos/Reuters, an expert on rigging voting machines, a source who was feet away from Reince Preibus whose family has connections in the Clinton campaign, a man who speaks six languages, a beleaguered soul who needed time off after 9/11 when he saw Muslims “dancing on rooftops,” the owner of a polling company who claimed Trump had a sustained lead in California, and an actual baseball umpire with 50 years experience. Oh, and he worked at the American consulate in Calgary, where he claimed to obtain proof of a forged birth certificate for Ted Cruz’s father.

The Hollywood Reporter, Jeremy Barr:

After 10 Months of Pleading, Google Finally Fixes an Error

Patrick Lee is relieved. As he tells it, the author has spent the last 10 months trying to get Google to fix an error that he claims has made him concerned for his family’s safety.

Lee shares the same name as a billionaire Chinese businessman. Those who Google Patrick Lee, the author, have been shown his correct photo, Wikipedia description and age, but have been told incorrectly that he’s worth $5 billion, based on a Forbes page for the Chinese paper magnate.

The Guardian: Russia used 419 fake accounts to tweet about Brexit, data shows
Quartz: Add to Jack Dorsey’s growing list of problems: a serial killer who prowled Twitter for victims
HuffPost: Twitter Slams Donald Trump For Tweeting Condolences About The Wrong Mass Shooting

A few weeks ago the US National Men’s Team blew a tire and lost a match to Trinidad and Tobago, what USA Today called the biggest sports embarrassment in US sports history. It meant that the US would not participate in the World Cup, and with it, Fox Sports and many sports businesses would see a major investment loss.

Still, few American sports fans could care less about soccer, and so the loss came and went and on to the World Series and American football fans went.

But in Italy, oh my, their loss to Sweden in a home-and-home playoff is a national disaster. And there, people actually care.

A nation mourns: The saddest reactions to Italy’s World Cup flop

Italians are still reeling from the Azzurri’s failure to make the 2018 World Cup, the first time in 60 years that Italy hasn’t qualified.

Nearly 15 million Italians tuned in on Monday night to watch their team crash out in a 0-0 draw with Sweden, who went through on their 1-0 victory in the first playoff.

The result led to tears, tantrums and recriminations in Italy, where football is a matter of national pride.

USA Today: ‘Apocalypse’: See how Italian newspapers reacted to Italy’s World Cup humiliation The Demise of Dutch Football
SB Nation: Oh no, U.S. Soccer is really starting a World Cup NIT, isn’t it?

Photo: Doctor’s Visit by Laure Smith, used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

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