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Michael Hiltzik

Michael Hiltzik Columnist
Boy, these Washington big shots ate well while their healthcare bill was blowing up

One can always count on this feature in the aftermath of any great event that has taken place behind closed doors: the journalistic “inside story.”

It’s known in the trade as a “tick-tock.” And the implosion of the House Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill has thrown off its fair share of examples, notably in the New York Times, Politico, the Washington Post and at CNN.

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A reminder: These Republicans actually had an almost reasonable proposal for replacing Obamacare

NOTE: Back in January, Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) put forth an Obamacare replacement plan that wasn’t perfect, but provided some reasonable bases for compromise with Democrats. With the House GOP repeal plan blown to smithereens on Friday, I’m reoffering the analysis I did at the time of Cassidy-Collins.

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How refineries' greed sank an environmental program that was saving them millions

Just over a year ago, Southern California’s refinery industry was riding high. With a last-minute blitz in December 2015, the refineries had torpedoed a tough anti-pollution plan that had been painstakingly developed by regional environmental officials over the previous 37 months.

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The GOP effort to repeal Obamacare appears dead, for now. But let's remember what they wanted to do

UPDATE: House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has pulled the GOP’s Obamacare repeal bill, canceling a vote that had been scheduled for Friday afternoon. The move appears to signal that the repeal effort is dead, at least for the near future.

We were perhaps a bit too negative when we observed after the election that Republicans could vandalize the Affordable Care Act, even if they couldn’t fully repeal it.

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Another article asks us to feel sorry for a couple earning $500,000 a year

Articles asking us to sympathize with high-income couples barely scraping by or even falling deeply into debt despite income in the high six-figures are staples of the financial press. The idea seems to be that wealth doesn’t buy happiness or even, really, wealth, so we shouldn’t judge these people too harshly.

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The Republican plan to gut essential health benefits is truly disastrous for all Americans

You can add this to the list of proposed conservative “reforms” to the healthcare system that won’t work to lower costs and is a terrible idea in general: gutting the list of essential health benefits required to be covered by every Obamacare plan.

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