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CBO Says the GOP’s Updated Obamacare Repeal Bill Would Be Worse for the Deficit

On Monday, House GOP leadership released a package of updates to the health care bill in the form of a manager’s amendment. The changes, which included a carve out for New York state legislators and bonuses to states that implement work requirements in Medicaid, were designed to appease holdouts, many of whom are members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers.

The changes aren’t likely to win over many conservative lawmakers, however, because the main effect would be to cut the health care bill’s projected deficit reduction in half. The initial version of the law would reduce the deficit by about $337 billion over a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But according to an updated CBO score released tonight, the new version incorporating the manager’s amendment would only cut the deficit by about $150 billion. And what deficit reduction there is would take eight years to actually kick in, thanks to the way the bill’s tax and spending provisions are timed.

On all the other major measures, the CBO’s estimates remain the same. The bill would still reduce insurance coverage by 24 million, relative to current law, a decade from now. Individual market premiums would still rise by 15 to 20 percent more than they otherwise would between now and 2020, and then fall relative to the trendline after 2020 (at least for younger people).

The manager’s amendment, in other words, made no difference in the CBO’s estimates of the law’s performance, except to make it worse for the budget.

The CBO’s new estimate does not account for other changes Republicans are reportedly considering making to the bill, like eliminating Obamacare’s essential health benefits rules. But it’s hard to imagine that any conservative holdouts will look at the new score and come away pleased.

It certainly doesn’t provide backers of the bill with any useful talking points. When the CBO score for the original bill was released, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan praised it, saying that the CBO score confirmed that the health care bill would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion. The CBO has now confirmed that the latest version of the bill reduces the deficit by a lot less.

With a vote on the bill delayed until tomorrow, and possibly longer, the bill is already struggling to pick up enough support to pass. The CBO’s latest report isn’t likely to boost its chances.

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Illinois lawmakers introduce bill to legalize, tax marijuana – fox2now.com

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Movie Review: Life: New at Reason

LifeRidley Scott’s upcoming Alien: Covenant—the sixth film devoted to the celebrated space monster—is due out on May 19. For those who want an Alien fix right now, though—who just can’t wait—please try a little harder to hold on. Despite its robust cast (featuring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal), the rousingly titled Life is an uncalled-for Alien rip—effective in a rote way, with a few icky shocks, but probably not exactly what you seek.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before (more or less). A team of space explorers discovers a mysterious organism in a cargo of red soil from Mars. One of the crew—the traditional mush-minded science guy (Ariyon Bakare)—hails this discovery as “the first incontrovertible proof of life beyond Earth.” He also announces that “We’re going to learn so much about life.” Much more than he suspects, of course, writes Kurt Loder.

View this article.

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Warning: Universal Music Is Ripping Down ALL Facebook Cover Videos

Warning: Universal Music Is Ripping Down ALL Facebook Cover Videos

Uploading cover song videos to Facebook? You might want to stop doing that. Last year, Universal Music Publishing Group, the largest publisher in the world, started ripping down Facebook cover videos. Long story short: Facebook and UMPG couldn’t agree on a royalty agreement for the songs being covered. So the big guns were pointed at […]

The post Warning: Universal Music Is Ripping Down ALL Facebook Cover Videos appeared first on Digital Music News.

Paul Resnikoff #DigitalMusicNews #MusicNews #IndieBrew
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2017/03/23/universal-music-removing-facebook-cover/

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Ohio troopers find ‘marijuana Kool-Aid’ during traffic stop – WLWT Cincinnati

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Illinois lawmakers propose legalizing recreational marijuana – Chicago Tribune

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Israel looks to leverage tech in $50 billion medical marijuana market – Reuters


Reuters

Israel looks to leverage tech in $50 billion medical marijuana market
Reuters
"In the United States, for example, they use recreational marijuana for medical use – that's like making chicken soup when you have a cold," Landschaft told Reuters. "We're the ones making the antibiotics." The strategy is to create medical-grade

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Bruce Hornsby Teams With Bela Fleck & The Flecktones On This Date In 1997

Bruce Hornsby Teams With Bela Fleck & The Flecktones On This Date In 1997

Listen to a gorgeous one-off performance from Bruce Hornsby with Bela Fleck & The Flecktones that took place on March 23, 1997. Scott Bernstein #Jambase #MusicNews #IndieBrew
https://www.jambase.com/article/bruce-hornsby-teams-bela-fleck-flecktones-date-1997

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House Delays Obamacare Repeal Vote Because There Still Isn’t Enough Support to Pass It

Repeal and re... TAX REFORMThe House was supposed to vote on the bill to partially repeal and replace Obamacare today, but now reports say the vote has been delayed. That doesn’t mean the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is done for. But its chances have always been dicey, and the last minute delay at least raises the possibility that the bill won’t ever clear the House.

Reports surfaced last night saying that House Republicans planned to rewrite the bill overnight and then vote on it today, but so far no new language has been released. And a meeting between President Trump and the House Freedom Caucus, the locus of opposition to the bill, did not produce a deal.

At this point, there’s no official word on when, or if, a vote might happen. The White House is suggesting that it is possible we could see a vote as early as tomorrow morning. It’s also possible that the GOP health care bill dies before it gets to a vote, and that the party goes back to the drawing board, or moves on to other legislative priorities.

It’s as clear as sign as we have seen yet that the bill is in real trouble, and that both GOP leadership and the White House are having trouble making the final sales pitch.

Part of the problem is that appeasing holdouts from one faction can cause yes votes to flip to no in some other faction. It’s a tricky balancing act, and it’s not clear whether Republicans will ever be able to get it right.

If Republicans had the votes to pass the bill, or some modified version of it, we would either see a vote or some sort of timetable. The fact that we have neither suggests that the votes aren’t there, and no one who wants the bill to pass has a good idea how to put them together.

In any case, the GOP repeal plan will have to wait until at least tomorrow, and possibly forever.

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