Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fascism: Welcome to America

“Fascism is a religion. The twentieth century will be known in history as the century of Fascism.” — Benito Mussolini

AND APPARENTLY the 21st century as well — at least in America.


In 2003 political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt wrote an article about fascism for Free Inquiry Magazine. Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, Franco in Spain, Suharto in Indonesia and Pinochet in Chile, Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. 





The 14 Characteristics of Fascism

By Lawrence Britt

1) Powerful and Continuing Nationalism 

Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays. 

2) 
Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause 

Fascist regimes work to whip the public into a unifying frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common foe. Any group will do: liberals, communists, socialists or racial, ethnic and religious minorities

3) Obsession with National Security 

Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses. 

4) Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights 

Playing to distrust of perceived 'others' and the obsession for the need for increased security, fascist regimes convince the public that human rights can be ignored. The result is that public tends to look the other way and even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations and long incarcerations of prisoners.  

5) Supremacy of the Military 

Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized. 

6) Rampant Sexism 

The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, and homophobia and anti-gay legislation are prominent.

7) Controlled Mass Media 

Sometimes media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common. 

8) Religion and Government are Intertwined 

Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology are common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions. 

9) Corporate Power is Protected 

The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite. 

10) Labor Power is Suppressed 

Because the organizing power of labor is a threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely or are severely suppressed. 

11) Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts 

Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts. 

12) Obsession with Crime and Punishment 

Under fascist regimes, police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws, and the general public is often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations. 

13) Rampant Cronyism and Corruption 

Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders. 

14) Fraudulent Elections 

Elections in fascist nations are either a complete sham or are manipulated by smear campaigns against, and even assassination of, opposition candidates. Legislation is used to control voting numbers and redraw political districts, and manipulation of the media is commonplace. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Not like the brazen giant

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” — Emma Lazarus

HOW IRONIC that the first words of the sonnet
Emma Lazarus wrote in 1883 to raise money for the pedestal on which the Statue of Liberty sits and that are engraved upon a bronze plaque mounted inside the pedestal's lower level are: "Not like the brazen giant." Because that's who we have occupying the White House. (Find the entire poem below.)


Friday, January 27, 2017 the brazen giant, the one who thinks he's king, signed an executive order to suspend resettlement of Syrian refugees and temporarily ban people from seven predominantly-Muslim countries from entering the United States





Paul and I are stunned. We're heartsick. This isn't the America its founders sought
, crossing oceans to get here, or the one they fought for. And it's not the one our antecedents, yours and
mine, were seeking when they came here. We are, after all, a nation of immigrants! If you're not Native American, your forebears immigrated.

The irony again, the hypocrisy, is of course that the brazen giant's own mother was an immigrant, as are two of his three wives! And to underscore his heartlessness and ignorance, he signed the order on Holocaust Remembrance Day


Here's the other dark and unscrupulous thing about the action he's taken: no Muslim extremist from any of the seven countries he's targeted — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — has carried out a fatal attack in the US in more than two decades. 

The 19 terrorists in the September 11 attacks were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, but he-who-shall-not-be-named isn't banning immigrants from there.


The difference? HWSNBN only targeted countries where he as no business interests, while he left all the 
Muslim-majority nations he does business with out of the ban and unaffected.


What do you expect from a psychopathic, narcissistic tyrant?


Here's an excerpt from the January 28 New York Times Editorial Board editorial:


“It took just hours to begin witnessing the injury and suffering this ban inflicts on families that had every reason to believe they had outrun carnage and despotism in their homelands to arrive in a singularly hopeful nation.


The first casualties of this bigoted, cowardly, self-defeating policy were detained early Saturday at American airports just hours after the executive order, ludicrously titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” went into effect. A federal judge in Brooklyn on Saturday evening issued an emergency stay, ordering that those stuck at the airports not be returned to their home countries. But their future and the future of all the others subject to the executive order is far from settled.”


In response, spontaneous protests materialized in airports from New York's JFK to SeaTac Airport in Washington state. Here's a brief, on-the-spot description from my trusted, decades-long friend Bill Arthur:


“Came into SeaTac Airport from Boise tonight to chants of ‘no hatred, no fear, immigrants welcome here!’ Several thousand people marching to support freedom and immigration and opposition to Trump and his actions. Damn proud of my community!”




And please, watch the video at at the very bottom of this post.



JFK Airport; New York Times photo


JFK Airport; New York Times photo


SeaTac Airport: Photo courtesy of Bill Arthur




Subscribe to The New York Times

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Liar-in-chief

"That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period." — Sean Spicer, White House press secretary

UNBELIEVABLE. Literally. Pretty much anything that comes out of he-who-shall-not-be-named's mouth or any mouthpiece in his employ is at best suspect! It's a safer bet just assuming it's a lie. 


But why wouldn't he (and they) think it would work? After all, he lied his way into the most powerful position in the world. And if he lies about things that can be so easily and obviously disproved, can you imagine what he's doing that we can't see?! It's terrifying.


You know the story, right? HWSNBN claims that he had the largest inaugural crowd in history. Below are two photos from The New York Times; the one of the left is from President Obama's 2009 inauguration, the one on the right is from HWSNBN's. You be the judge.



2009 inauguration of the left, 2017 on the right

You know what was also bigger than HWSNBN's? Well, a lot of things from what I hear, but we won't go there. Ewwwwww! We SO don't want to go anywhere near there. 


The crowd for the January 21 Women's March in Washington . . . three times bigger, according to crowd scientists Marcel Altenburg and Keith Still from Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. They analyzed photographs and video taken of the National Mall and vicinity and estimated there were about 160,000 people, whereas the Women's March had at least 470,000 people. 


According to The New York Times, "a Metro official said that more than a million rail trips were taken Saturday, the second-highest day in its history after Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009." (Remember, The Times is referring to Saturday, the day of the Women's March, not what's-his-name's inauguration.)


The bonus round:


My friend Dee Congdon from across the pond sent me a video of a guy I've never heard of called Jonathan Pie. I believe he's my new favorite British export. He goes on a rant about HWSNBN that is priceless. I've attached it as a link so that you can watch it. It's been viewed more than five million times, so you know it's gotta have something to recommend it.


But here's the truly stunning thing about it!! It was made and posted BEFORE the inauguration, and in it he makes a prediction that absolutely 100% comes true. Watch it to find out.


PS: Jonathan is a more than a bit profane, but unless you're watching with underage children, I wouldn't let that stop you. (FYI: I never have understood people who are more offended by bad words used to describe bad things, than they are by the bad things.)


Jonathan Pie's priceless rant and prediction


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Marching in DSM and around the world

“Why do people say "grow some balls"? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.” ― Betty White

PAUL AND I marched in Des Moines on Saturday. There were 26,000 of us!!!

It was a challenge because we had driven to Chicago and back (!!) the day before the march in order to make a deadline for a customer. We were home by a little before midnight, but I was too wired or overtired to sleep until 3:00 AM. 


As a favor, the vendor we visited in Chicago gave us some scrap blank substrate to use for our signs, but we still needed to buy the rest of the materials and actually make the signs by morning, so about 2:30 AM, I was despairing. 


My plan was to tell Paul as soon as he was awake that even if it took putting me in a wheel barrow and pushing me, I had to be at that march. But as is so often the case, Paul made it happen for me. He was kind enough to get up an hour before I did and go to the store to get big fat markers and stakes so that I could sleep just a little bit longer.  


And so we got there . . . without having to resort to yard and garden equipment. It made me SO SO SO happy to be part of this historic event.





I'm in awe of every organizer of every march across the USA and the around the globe. It's impossible for me to adequately thank them for what they've accomplished!!

I've heard from friends around the country, and marches everywhere were huge. Organizers planned for X-number and got two and three times that. In Des Moines, planners initially thought we'd have 5000. They upped it the day before the march to 10,000, and in the end we had 26,000. And that's the story from Austin to New York City to Chicago to Seattle to LA.


To those who marched: thank you from the bottom of my heart. I salute each and every one of you.



Des Moines

Below is an encouraging video and some pictures Paul and I took. At least I know we're not alone.











































Thursday, January 19, 2017

The majority of Americans actually knew better

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” — Benjamin Franklin

ON THE EVE of tomorrow, the blackest of black Fridays, this godawful day that I hoped would never come, guess what has happened to he-who-shall-not-be named? His approval ratings have tanked. 

In fact, they've hit an historic low for any incoming president for at least the last 40 years. By contrast, Barack Obama took the oath of office in 2009 with an 84% approval rating. 

Guess what's been rising in popularity while HWSNBN sinks? Obamacare.

Below are excerpts from four publications (in order) Time, Politico, NBC News and Time.




Time:

Donald Trump’s Approval Ratings Have Hit a Historic Low Before He Takes Office
The least popular incoming president in at least four decades

By Madeline Farber  
January 17, 2017     

Donald Trump doesn’t take office as President of the United States until Friday, but his approval ratings have already hit a historic low for incoming American presidents, according to new polls.

Trump’s current approval rating is 40%, the lowest of any recent incoming president, and about 44 points below that of President Obama, according to a CNN/ORC survey. 

And a Washington Post/ABC poll mirrors CNN’s findings: Trump will take office as the least popular incoming president in at least four decades, according to the survey.

Meanwhile, Trump’s approval ratings for how he has handled the transition are 20 points below those of the three Presidents that came before him: Obama took the oath in 2009 with an 84% approval rating, Bill Clinton with 67% in 1992, and 61% approved of George W. Bush’s transition shortly before he took office January 2001, according to CNN.

While Trump’s low approval ratings are due to a variety of factors, his controversial response to Russia’s reported interference in the 2016 election has had a notable impact, according to the Post/ABC poll, with many Americans believing Trump has been “too friendly” to Russia.


Politico:

Polls show Trump with historically low approval ratings
Majorities of Americans view Trump unfavorably — and also disapprove of the way in which Trump has built his incoming administration 

By Steven Shepard
January 17, 2017

The new surveys from CNN/ORC, ABC News/Washington Post and Monmouth University, all released Tuesday morning, are also a major break from recent presidential transitions. Past presidents-elect have been catapulted to the White House by a surge of popular opinion —even those elected under contentious and controversial circumstances.

But any post-victory bounce for Trump has been fleeting. In both the CNN/ORC and ABC News/Washington Post polls, majorities of Americans view Trump unfavorably — and also disapprove of the way in which Trump has built his incoming administration.

The CNN/ORC poll shows 53 percent of Americans view Trump unfavorably, while only 44 percent have a favorable opinion of the incoming president. In the ABC News/Washington Post poll, Trump’s favorable rating is just 40 percent, with 54 percent having an unfavorable opinion.

That, according to The Washington Post, makes Trump the least-popular incoming president of the past 40 years — by a large margin. Eight years ago, ABC News/Washington Post polling showed Barack Obama with a 79 percent favorable rating. Even George W. Bush — who lost the popular vote and was designated the next president only after a protracted recount in Florida — had a 62 percent favorable rating on the eve of his inauguration. Bush’s 36 percent unfavorable rating was the lowest of the modern era, until Trump’s 54 percent score in the new poll.

The Monmouth poll also shows Trump's favorable rating underwater: 34 percent favorable, versus 46 percent unfavorable. (Monmouth offered respondents a "no opinion" option, leading to lower percentages for both favorable and unfavorable than other pollsters.)

Americans also have negative perceptions of the Trump transition. Both surveys show only 4 in 10 Americans approve of the way Trump is handling the transition. In the CNN/ORC poll, 52 percent disapprove of Trump’s transition, and 54 percent disapprove of Trump’s handling of the transition in the ABC News/Washington Post poll.


NBC News:

Trump Enters Office With Historically Low Approval Rating 

By Mark Murray
January 17, 2017

Donald Trump starts his presidency Friday with the lowest-ever ratings for an incoming president, according to results from a brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

A majority of Americans — 52 percent — say they disapprove of the way President-elect Trump has handled his transition and preparations for the presidency, versus just 44 percent who approve, which is down six points from only a month ago.

To put Trump's numbers into perspective, Barack Obama's approval rating was 71 percent before he took the oath of office in January 2009, and Bill Clinton's was 77 percent in December 1992.

(The NBC/WSJ poll didn't measure George W. Bush during his transition; his first job-approval rating, in March 2001, was 57 percent.)


Time

Obamacare Is More Popular Than Ever, Poll Finds
A new CNN/ORC poll found more people favored than opposed the health care law

By Julia Zorthian
January 19, 2017  

More Americans hold positive views about Obamacare than hold negative views for the first time since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, according to a new poll from CNN/ORC.

The results found that 49% of people polled favored the law—slightly more than the 47% who opposed it. The responses show people may not have known what they got until it was (almost) gone, because every previous poll has seen more people oppose the law, CNN reports. It was the first time in at least 18 polls since March 2010 that people favored the healthcare law, according to CNN.

Obamacare’s newfound popularity is coupled with how 82% of respondents believe it is at least somewhat likely that President-elect Donald Trump’s administration will repeal and replace the healthcare law, the poll found. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

March on Saturday, January 21

“Women. Yup, women. They've always been at the forefront of social improvement. Without women, we'd never have any social improvement.” — Paul Bridson, January 18, 2017

THE FIRST words out of Paul's mouth when we initially heard about 
the Women's March on Washington that takes place this coming Saturday, January 21 were, "Let's go. I want to be there." 


I figured I was probably going to have to be the one driving that train in my wish to participate. I was proud of Paul's unfiltered, instinctive reaction.  


Of course I was all in, but work and events have conspired against us. 


The in-hand dates for three large, complicated projects have all collided and landed this week and next. The schedule for installation is such that it's necessary for us to drive to and from . . . yikes!! . . . Chicago in one day on Friday, the day before the Women's March, in order to pick up 20-foot long pieces of extruded aluminum and fabric graphics for installation at six different sites starting the day after the March.


I was still trying to get to DC as of this morning, though. One seat became available on one of the many buses going from central Iowa, leaving Friday afternoon and returning Sunday night, but it was snatched up before I could get online and grab it.





I would LOVE to be there for this historic march. 


According to Wikipedia"As of January 15, 2017, 194,000 people had RSVP'd as going and 255,000 indicated interest. January 16 Foxnews reported that authorities are expecting a crowd of almost 500,000 people. An unprecedented 23 groups have applied for First Amendment permits during inaugural week."


Several sources I've read have reported that there were 200 bus permits issued for the inauguration whereas 1200 have been issued for the protest.


Despite the fact that we can't be there, and odds are that you can't either, we can still be effectively seen and heard!! There are marches taking place in solidarity on that day all over the country and the world. Here is a link to 616 local marches where an estimated 1,364,010 individuals like you and like me will be marching.


Remember boys and girls, the person who will be taking the oath of office on Friday in NOT who the majority of Americans voted for, so do not be cowed. 


Let's face it, you and I know that if the whole damn nation marched in protest, it wouldn't change he-who-shall-not-be-named's mind or attitude one synapse. Come on, he's a narcissistic psychopath. Really. 


That's not why we're marching.


We're not just marching to feel better either, although I certainly hope we will. I have a new friend who says she's suffering from PTSDPost Trump-matic Stress Disorder. (Me too!)


We're marching to make our senators, representatives, governors and local legislators sit up and take notice. We want them to know that we're PISSED, and we WILL vote them out.


The Women's March in Iowa will take place at 11:00 AM on Saturday, January 21, at the Iowa State Capitol. Make signs, create a message shirt; I saw one that I just loved that proudly proclaimed, "What Meryl said!" 


(Brilliant. I want to make my sign say that!) 


And you know what's so cool about this march? It's a truly grassroots movement. Power to the people, baby!!


Here's a little bit about it's inception from Wikipedia:


"The Women's March on Washington is a grassroots movement with a rally scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. the day after the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump. The march aims to 'send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights.' Sister marches will be held in other major metropolitan areas around the world.


"Plans for the women's march were initiated on the day after Election Day in reaction to Trump's rhetoric during the campaign which the organizers believe was divisive, racist and misogynistic.


"November 9, 2016 Teresa Shook of Hawaii created a Facebook event and invited 40 of her friends to march on Washington to protest Trump's election. Similar Facebook pages created by Evvie Harmon, Fontaine Pearson, Bob Bland, Breanne Butler and others quickly led to thousands of women signing up to march."


But cross out thousands and put millions. Ten thousand are expected in Des Moines. Multiply that by 616 locations, and to paraphrase a quote popularly, but probably erroneously, attributed to Everett Dirksen, "Ten thousand marching here, ten thousand marching there. Pretty soon you're talking about a real crowd."


Below is an article from Forbes about the 'celebrities' who're on board for the DC March.


The Celebrities Attending The Women's March On Washington


By Karen Hua

January 18, 2017

On Saturday, January 21—the day after Donald Trump is inagurated as the 45th President of the United States—the Women’s March on Washington will take place.


What began as a grassroots Facebook event quickly blossomed into a national movement, following discontent after the 2016 presidential election. However, the official Women’s March organization, emphasizes a pro-women initiative rather than an anti-Trump one. With Planned Parenthood as an official partner, the march aims to raise awareness of women’s rights to reproductive healthcare, funds, and protection.


Several celebrities—from ages 15 (Rowan Blanchard) to 70 (Cher)—have not only voiced their support on social media, but they have galvanized fans to join them. The Artists Table has also amassed dozens of A-listers standing in solidarity with 200,000 expected to march over the weekend. Here are few of the most vocal.


There’s no one who says “Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation” more persuasively than BeyoncĂ© Knowles. Queen Bey hasn’t officially confirmed her attendance yet, but her sister Solange will be headlining the Peace Ball at D.C.’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on January 19.





The march’s organizers also confirmed performances by Janelle Monae, Questlove, Grimes, and several other coveted artists—what already seems to be a more star-studded lineup than the inaugural acts.


Just in time for the March on Washington, Lena Dunham, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, Hari Nef, Constane Wu, Gina Rodriguez, JJ Abrams, Andrew Rannells, and several others collaborated on a short film chronicling a century of Planned Parenthood history. So far, Schumer has confirmed she will be marching, but the others have just voiced their support.


Katy Perry was perhaps one of the most active celebrities on Hillary Clinton’s campaign trail—not only singing at events but even dressing as the Democratic nominee for Halloween. On Instagram, Perry explained why she donated $10,000 to Planned Parenthood: “Planned Parenthood educated me on my body and my reproductive health, so that I could focus on my dreams and using my voice until I knew the timing was right for me to make a plan to have a family. Since then, I have been able to focus wholeheartedly on bringing messages of strength and becoming a voice for others. Without this education, I may have had a different life path.”


America Ferrera—who appropriately shares a name with this country—was recently announced as the chair of the Artists’ Committee. She along with members Gloria Steinem, Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette, Frances McDormand, Padma Lakshmi, and others have been organizing to march in Washington over the past few weeks.


Ferrera personally intends to bring her husband along, “because male or female, we are proud Americans who will fight for what we know is right for our fellow brothers and sisters.”


Olivia Wilde has been posting about the march for several weeks now, urging her followers, “(We march) to put our bodies on the line, and stand up for the values we are simply not willing to compromise. All are welcome. Men included!”


Comedian Chelsea Handler will be at Sundance Film Festival over inauguration weekend, but she is planning to attend the march in Park City, Utah. She captioned her Instagram post, “My daughter and I will be marching on Main Street at the Sundance Film Festival. Come march with us. 9am!”


Appropriately, in December, Handler wrote an article for Thrive Global in which she stated, “We don’t just have a problem with men supporting women in this country; we have a problem with women supporting women…Ladies, forget the jealousy. Forget the competitiveness. We are stronger together.”


The youngest celebrity to openly address the March on Washington is 15-year-old Rowan Blanchard—who is even speaking at the Los Angeles event. She and her mother have also been working independently to raise funds for Planned Parenthood. “I am proud and excited to be speaking at the @womensmarch Los Angeles (in Pershing Squire in downtown) and I hope to see you there,” she wrote on Instagram.


On the other hand, the march's oldest social media supporter, 70-year-old Cher, has tweeted frequently about the march in her notorious, all-caps approach. Though protesting Trump isn't the march's core mission, Cher has chosen to focus her attention on opposing the new president.


Other celebrities who have committed to marching include Zendaya, Chloe Grace Moretz, Hari Nef, Scarlett Johansson, Debrah Messing, and Jane Levy. Multiple Orange Is the New Black stars Uzo Aduba, Danielle Brooks, Diane Guerrero, and Lea DeLaria will also be making the trip to D.C.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

18 million likely to lose coverage the first year alone

“Today we have a health insurance industry where the first and foremost goal is to maximize profits for shareholders and CEOs, not to cover patients who have fallen ill or to compensate doctors and hospitals for their services. It is an industry that is increasingly concentrated and where Americans are paying more to receive less.” — Dianne Feinstein, senior United States Senator from California

THAT taking away health care for millions of Americans is even being considered staggers the mind and stuns the heart. I'm speechless. Below find an article from today's New York Times.





Health Law Repeal Could Cost 18 Million Their Insurance, Study Finds


By Robert Pear

January 17, 2017

WASHINGTON — Eighteen million people could lose their insurance within a year and individual insurance premiums would shoot upward if Congress repealed major provisions of the Affordable Care Act while leaving other parts in place, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.


A report by the office sharply increases pressure on Republicans to come up with a comprehensive plan to replace the health care law. It is likely to doom the idea of voting to dismantle the 2010 health law almost immediately, with an effective date set sometime in the future while Congress works toward a replacement.




If nothing followed the gutting of President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, the budget office said, 32 million people could lose their health insurance by 2026, and premiums in the individual insurance market could double. Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, showed the unease of some in her party when she said that repealing the health care law and delaying a replacement could send insurance markets into “a death spiral.”


She detected “a growing consensus among members of both the Senate and the House that we must fix Obamacare and provide reforms at nearly the same time that we repeal the law,” she said on the Senate floor on Tuesday.


The new budget office report, issued after a weekend of protests against repeal, will only add to the headaches that President-elect Donald J. Trump and congressional Republicans face in their rush to take apart Mr. Obama’s health law as they try to replace it with a health insurance law more to their liking.


Republicans cautioned that the report painted only part of the picture — the impact of a fast repeal without a Republican replacement. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah and the chairman of the Finance Committee, said the numbers represented “a one-sided hypothetical scenario.”


“Today’s report shows only part of the equation — a repeal of Obamacare without any transitional policies or reforms to address costs and empower patients,” he said. “Republicans support repealing Obamacare and implementing step-by-step reforms so that Americans have access to affordable health care.”


Congress last week approved a budget that clears the way for speedy action to repeal the health care law. The votes were 51 to 48 in the Senate and 227 to 198 in the House.


But Republicans have yet to agree on a replacement bill, and existing Republican plans, like one drafted by Representative Tom Price of Georgia, who was selected as Mr. Trump’s secretary of health and human services, have yet to be scrutinized by the budget office. The office provides Congress with the official projections of legislative costs and impact that lawmakers use to formulate policy.


“No wonder President-elect Trump realizes that repeal without replace is the real disaster,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “No wonder he has admonished the Congress not to do plain repeal.”


Republicans now have two powerful reasons to “repeal and replace” together: They hope to protect about 20 million Americans who have gained coverage under the law. And they want a politically acceptable judgment from the Congressional Budget Office on the effects of their alternative.


Mr. Trump’s statement last week that a replacement plan should go hand in hand with repeal efforts had already ignited a sense of urgency among Republicans on Capitol Hill. Over the weekend Mr. Trump said he was close to completing a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with the goal of “insurance for everybody,” but congressional aides said Tuesday that they had not seen an actual proposal.


Republican congressional leaders are trying to put together a plan that could pass muster with the Trump team and also win approval in the Senate under fast-track procedures that would neutralize the threat of a Democratic filibuster.


House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, met last week with Mr. Price to hash out alternatives, and they have been in close contact with the relevant committee leaders and staff members to begin hammering out ideas that could come into relief at the end of the month, when Republicans have their annual policy retreat.


Stephen Miller, a former Senate press aide and the incoming senior White House adviser for policy, who has been particularly aggressive in presenting himself as the voice of Mr. Trump on all policy matters, has pushed the notion that a plan should move quickly and in tandem with a replacement measure, rather than in a series of smaller bills, congressional aides said.


The repeal legislation analyzed by the budget office would have eliminated tax penalties for people who go without insurance. It would also have eliminated spending for the expansion of Medicaid and subsidies that help lower-income people buy private insurance. But the bill preserved requirements for insurers to provide coverage, at standard rates, to any applicant, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.


“Eliminating the mandate penalties and the subsidies while retaining the market reforms would destabilize the nongroup market, and the effect would worsen over time,” the budget office said.


The office said the estimated increase of 32 million people without coverage by 2026 resulted from three changes: About 23 million fewer people would have coverage in the individual insurance market. Roughly 19 million fewer people would have Medicaid coverage. And there would be an increase in the number of people with employment-based insurance that would partially offset those losses.



The estimates by the budget office are generally consistent with projections by the Obama administration and by insurance companies.


In its report, the budget office said that repealing selected parts of the health care law — as specified in the earlier Republican bill — would have adverse effects on insurance markets.


In the first full year after the enactment of such a bill, the office said, premiums would be 20 percent to 25 percent higher than under current law.


Repealing the penalties that enforce the “individual mandate” would “both reduce the number of people purchasing health insurance and change the mix of people with insurance,” as younger and healthier people with low health costs would be more likely to go without insurance, the budget office said.


The Republican bill would have eliminated the expansion of Medicaid eligibility and the subsidies for insurance purchased through Affordable Care Act marketplaces, after a transition period of about two years.


Those changes could have immediately increased the number of uninsured by 27 million, a number that would gradually increase to 32 million in 2026, the budget office said.


Without subsidies, the budget office said, enrollment in health plans would shrink, and the people who remained in the individual insurance market would be sicker, with higher average health costs. These trends, it said, would accelerate the exodus of insurers from the individual market and from the public marketplaces.


As a result, it said, about half of the nation’s population would be living in areas that had no insurer participating in the individual market in the first year after the repeal of marketplace subsidies took effect. And by 2026, it estimated, about three-quarters of the population would be living in such areas.


While writing the Affordable Care Act in 2009 and 2010, lawmakers continually consulted the Congressional Budget Office to understand the possible effects on spending, revenue and insurance coverage. The current director of the budget office, Keith Hall, who signed the report issued on Tuesday, was selected and appointed by Republican leaders of Congress in 2015.


The latest report was requested by Mr. Schumer and two other Democrats, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Patty Murray of Washington.



From The Atlantic magazine


As a result, it said, about half of the nation’s population would be living in areas that had no insurer participating in the individual market in the first year after the repeal of marketplace subsidies took effect. And by 2026, it estimated, about three-quarters of the population would be living in such areas.


Republicans have complained bitterly about the reduction in health plan choices for consumers under the Affordable Care Act. But the effects projected by the budget office would be much more severe.


While writing the Affordable Care Act in 2009 and 2010, lawmakers continually consulted the Congressional Budget Office to understand the possible effects on spending, revenue and insurance coverage. The current director of the budget office, Keith Hall, who signed the report issued on Tuesday, was selected and appointed by Republican leaders of Congress in 2015.


Chris Jacobs, a conservative health policy analyst who once worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill, said the Trump administration could, by regulation, mitigate some of the effects on insurance markets and premiums described by the budget office.



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