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Fate Of Latest Attempt To ‘Repeal And Replace’ Obamacare Remains Unclear

congress-healthcare

The latest last-ditch effort by Senate Republicans to ‘repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act hit a significant roadblock yesterday when a bipartisan group of Governors came out against the bill proposed by a group led by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bil Cassidy:

WASHINGTON — Eleven governors, including five Republicans and a pivotal Alaskan independent, urged the Senate on Tuesday to reject a last-ditch push to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

But Republican leaders pressed toward a showdown vote. And they choked off separate bipartisan efforts to shore up health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act, hoping to give Republican senators no alternative but to vote for repeal.

The latest repeal bill, drafted by Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, would undo much of the Affordable Care Act and send tens of billions of federal dollars to the states with vast discretion over how to spend the money.

This is the choice for America, Mr. Graham said on Tuesday: “Socialism or federalism when it comes to your health care.”

Yet some governors, the supposed beneficiaries of that federalism, were decidedly cool to the proposal. New Hampshire’s Republican governor, Chris Sununu, had criticized the proposal on Monday. But it was the opposition of Alaska’s governor, Bill Walker, that might prove most important. He increased pressure on Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, to cast what could be a deciding vote to kill the repeal effort, just as she voted against the last repeal bill in July.

Republican leaders appeared determined to thwart any alternative ahead of a possible showdown vote next week. Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, announced Tuesday that he and Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, would not come forward with the “limited, bipartisan plan to stabilize 2018 premiums” in the individual health insurance market that they had been working toward.

Their bipartisan efforts, which grew out of four days of committee hearings, were overtaken by the resumption of partisan warfare on health care.

“We have worked hard and in good faith,” said Mr. Alexander, the chairman of the Senate health committee, “but have not found the necessary consensus among Republicans and Democrats.”

Ms. Murray was more blunt: “Republican leaders have decided to freeze this bipartisan approach and are trying to jam through a partisan Trumpcare bill.”

The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, accused Republicans of crushing “very, very hopeful sprouts of bipartisanship.”

But the latest repeal legislation was facing significant opposition. The American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and AARP, the lobby for older Americans, all urged the Senate to reject the bill. And 10 of the 12 governors opposing the measure signed a letter urging Senate leaders to scrap it.

The Graham-Cassidy bill “would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage, destabilize health insurance markets, and decrease access to affordable coverage and care,” Dr. James L. Madara, the chief executive of the A.M.A., said in a letter to Senate leaders.

Richard J. Pollack, the president of the hospital association, said the bill “would erode key protections for patients and consumers.”

While the two main insurance associations remained silent on Tuesday as they pondered how they planned to respond to the legislation, Centene, one of the few insurers that has aggressively expanded its presence in the individual market for next year, voiced misgivings.

“From a public policy standpoint, it is not a good piece of legislation,” Centene’s chief executive, Michael F. Neidorff, said in an interview. He urged lawmakers from both parties to work together to avoid passing a law before understanding its full impact. States may not be able to plan, given the uncertainty over their funding, he said. “You could end up with 50 different plans,” he said.

“This is unlike anything I have ever seen,” Mr. Neidorff said. “They have to sit back and think through what they are doing.”

Within hours after the bipartisan group of governors sent their letter opposing the repeal bill, Senator Cassidy provided a letter from 15 Republican governors supporting the concept of “adequately funded block grants to the states.”

By Tuesday evening, Ms. Murkowski appeared to be the key vote.

At least two other Republican senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, are likely no votes. With Democrats united in opposition, Republican leaders cannot afford to lose any other votes.

As things stand, reports are indicating that the bill could come up for a vote sometime next week, with early test votes (i.e., the cloture vote to open debate and voting on various proposed amendments to the bill) could come as early as next Wednesday, but that is entirely unclear at this point. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is on the record as saying that he would not commit to bringing the bill to the floor unless he was sure he had the fifty votes he would need to pass the votes. As things stand right now, he’s right on the precipice as he has been several times before on this issue since both Senator Rand Paul and Senator Susan Collins have already come out against the bill. For Senator Paul, the opposition is based on the fact that he believes that Graham-Cassidy doesn’t go far enough in repealing the Affordable Care Act and instead merely changes the manner in which its paid for while getting rid of a few provisions such as the individual and employer mandates. For Senator Collins, the opposition is essentially similar to the reasons that she’s been against the previous proposals, including the fact that the program would place undue burdens on states that took advantage of the PPACA’s provisions that allow states to expand Medicaid coverage as well as its bar on any Federal funding for Planned Parenthood. This means that one more no vote would kill the bill. Right now, that has placed attention on Senators Lisa Murkowski and John McCain, both of whom were among the no votes that killed the last attempt at passing a ‘repeal and replace’ bill at the end of July.

As things stand, then, it’s unclear what’s going to happen with this latest attempt by Republicans to live up to a promise that they’ve campaigned on for the past seven years at least. The only thing we can be sure of is that this latest effort has a definite drop-dead date given the fact that the Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that the period within which the Senate can take advantage of the relaxed budget reconciliation rules ends on September 30th, just ten days from now. If they’re not able to act before that date, then any future effort on health care reform would require sixty votes to invoke cloture, which simply isn’t going to happen. The only way to reset the clock on reconciliation would be to pass a new Budget Resolution for the Fiscal Year that would begin on October 1st 2018, but that’s not likely to occur until sometime next year that will likely be far too close to the mid-term elections for consideration of a bill like this to be considered. Thus, this is likely the last chance Republicans have to repeal and replace the PPACA until 2019 at the earliest. Whether they succeed is a question that cannot be answered at this point.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Bob@Youngstown says:

    The republican cabal is more anxious to “get er done” than even try to get it done right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  2. reid says:

    If you haven’t seen the video of Jimmy Kimmel, seek it out. Calls out the liars and BSers, in particular the doctor who is so heartless or deluded as to have sponsored this horrible thing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  3. Moosebreath says:

    Meanwhile, we have Republican senators like Grassley saying that he is going to support it regardless of its merits because Republicans promised to:

    ““You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” Grassley said of the legislation sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

    “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.””

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  4. DrDaveT says:

    So let me get this straight — they admit that the logic here is “don’t improve healthcare markets in your state, because Obamacare works fine when you do that” ?

    Once again, the GOP proves that doing things to Americans that would get you locked up for life if you did them as an individual are reasons to boast if you do them through Republican-sponsored legislation…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  5. James Pearce says:

    @reid:

    If you haven’t seen the video of Jimmy Kimmel, seek it out.

    Jimmy Kimmel?

    We’re screwed….

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 20

  6. Facebones says:

    The calculus is simple.

    Republicans need to repeal Obamacare to get those big tax cuts through.

    Every repeal bill has been deeply unpopular. (12-15% support for the last one)

    Literally no one but the GOPs donors want this. And it will actively hurt the GOP’s voter base.

    But, they’re going to try and ram it through anyway because they know that most of them are in super safe seats and no matter how badly they screw their constituents, they’ll still vote Republican.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce: Republicans have the House, the Senate, and the White House and they hijacked the Supreme Court. Face it, you’ve been screwed since election day.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  8. al-Ameda says:

    … and the current draft bill proposes to redistribute health care funding from populous Blue States to Red States, many of which declined the Medicaid expansion that was a feature of ACA.

    It’s going to take a decade (or for a start back, a great mid-term election result) for this country to recover from the radical Republican takeover of the federal government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  9. James Pearce says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Face it, you’ve been screwed since election day.

    Downvotes every time I point it out too.

    I’m not worried, though. Jimmy Kimmel’s got this, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  10. Mister Bluster says:

    I thought that when I won I would go to the Oval Office, sit down at my desk, and there would be a healthcare bill on my desk-to be honest.” Republican President Pea Brained Pud.

    Damn Donnie.
    If this is true how come no one leaked:
    “Trump can’t find healthcare bill on his desk!”

    The man is an utter moron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Facebones: They may or may not vote Republican, but if they do it won’t be in 2018. There are not a lot of Republicans up for reelection in the Senate that year. But I think that this is a gamble for them that they may well lose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. Terrye Cravens says:

    @James Pearce: I would not snub my nose at Kimmel. After all, the star of the Apprentice is President. People will probably respond more positively to Kimmel than they would to a politician.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  13. Facebones says:

    @Mister Bluster: Trump is a moron, but to be fair the Republicans have been promising an Obamacare replacement for seven years. I would certainly expect them to have a bill ready to go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Mister Bluster says:

    @Facebones:..Trump is a moron, but to be fair…

    To be fair to who, Trump?
    The same Trump that promoted the anti-Obama birther falsehood?
    The same Trump who promoted “Lock Her up!” as a campaign slogan?
    The same Trump who encouraged his brownshirt goons to beat up citizens that opposed him by stating he would pay their legal fees?
    The same Trump who is venerated by the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan despite his milquetoast protests of their support.
    The same Trump whose top White House Guru attempted to finesse the Republican caucus with this ultimatum. “Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill,”
    Trumps tactics need to be exposed for the vile machinations that they are.

    Besides what does “fair” have to do with anything in life anyway?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce: Not sure why you feel the need to denigrate Kimmel’s voice. A lot of people listen to him. Enough to sway the Repubs? BWAHAHAHAHAHA….
    Of course not, but that is because they are soulless creatures bound over to Mammon, not because of anything Kimmel says or not.

    And for the record, I want to take note that the GOP recognize the power of his voice. That’s why they keep invoking the “Kimmel test” and lying about how the G-C bill measures up against it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  16. KM says:

    @OzarkHillbilly :

    And for the record, I want to take note that the GOP recognize the power of his voice. That’s why they keep invoking the “Kimmel test” and lying about how the G-C bill measures up against it.

    Considering Americans have elected entertainers twice in the last 40 years, Kimmel might well be the future President. And before anyone comments on how unlikely it is – three words: Donald freaking Trump.

    Kimmel’s doing more for the cause then Pearce is by making this something the GOP vocalizes. He’s not God – he’s an entertainer doing his best.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  17. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    Kimmel’s doing more for the cause then Pearce is by making this something the GOP vocalizes.

    When this bill passes, and Trump signs it into law, we’re going to regret sending out Jimmy Kimmel, of all people, to fight this battle.

    Well, some of us will anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  18. al-Ameda says:

    @James Pearce:

    When this bill passes, and Trump signs it into law, we’re going to regret sending out Jimmy Kimmel, of all people, to fight this battle.

    Well, some of us will anyway.

    I’m not sure I see Kimmel as a ‘front man’ as a problem, after all our minority-elect president was a television celebrity too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “When this bill passes, and Trump signs it into law, we’re going to regret sending out Jimmy Kimmel, of all people, to fight this battle.”

    “Sending out?” You think Jimmy Kimmel is under orders from the DNC or some vague “left”? Are yo incapable of imagining that some people act on their own initiative for their own reasons?

    Kimmel’s been pretty clear about why he’s speaking out — his newborn has needed multiple heart operations and he realized that if the child had been born to someone who wasn’t a multi-millionaire he would have died without a strong system of available health insurance.

    Idiot Republican Senator Cassidy then claimed he was adopting this “Kimmel rule” as he designed his new bill. Only it does just the opposite.

    Kimmel was annoyed that Republicans were using his name — and his child’s! — to pass a bill that would take health care away from millions of Americans, and he called them out on it.

    No one “sent” Kimmel out to do this. No one anointed him a spokesman. This is a man who has something to say and a platform to say it from, and he’s using it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  20. Neil Hudelson says:

    @wr:

    From what I can tell, Pearce believes ‘the left’ is a wholly organized corporation, with the ability to control what anyone in ‘the left’ says, and when and where they say it. That even extends to commentors here, hence his tirades about what commentors should and should not discuss on this forum, and how it will or won’t help ‘win.’ All the while, he likes to think of himself as the only rational one here.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  21. reid says:

    @James Pearce: Nobody “sent out” Kimmel. He’s a regular guy who has become familiar with the horrible health care system (unfortunately because of his very sick kid) and the politics involved. He’s sincere and can only help the cause, maybe opening some people’s eyes. I don’t understand why you’re being so unpleasant about this.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  22. KM says:

    @reid:

    I’d wager it’s because he sees Kimmel as symptomatic of “the Dem’s problem”. After all, Kimmel’s a lib, works for the “mainstream media”, gets hated on by idiot cons and isn’t saying what he wants. Much like the alt-right is picking on mother!‘s box office bomb and blaming Jennifer Lawrence liberalism for it, Kimmel’s not popular with Trumpkins so anything he says will be held against the cause solely because he said it. Pearce thinks the packaging is the problem and is trying to shoot the messenger.

    Kimmel didn’t say anything untrue. He didn’t say anything that a reasonable person wouldn’t conclude on their own. Furthermore, you’d have to be some kind of heartless monster to wish ill babies and children no healthcare or help. But since it came from a late night talk show host instead of an approved spokesperson, somehow it’s now a bad thing. That’s how insane politics and tribalism are getting in this country: someone who tells bad jokes for a living says the bleeding obvious fact that ill babies shouldn’t die for lack of healthcare and Pearce is snarking we’re screwed because of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  23. wr says:

    @KM: “Much like the alt-right is picking on mother!‘s box office bomb and blaming Jennifer Lawrence liberalism for it”

    I don’t disagree with you on Kimmel, but there’s another reason why the alt-right hates Jennifer Lawrence. When her phone was hacked and all the alt-right creeps were jerking off to her nude pictures, she called them disgusting losers instead of saying how proud and honored she was. And since then they have been screaming that she’s a failure, she can’t act, she can’t open a movie…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  24. michael reynolds says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    He’s got a terrible case of Dunning-Kruger. Back in the bad old days when I was mean and snarky I’d refer to people like him as “one-tens.” Meaning an IQ at the upper end of average who thinks he’s a genius. But I don’t say things like that anymore. As you can see.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  25. James Pearce says:

    @al-Ameda:

    after all our minority-elect president was a television celebrity too.

    He still is, only now he’s also POTUS.

    @wr:

    This is a man who has something to say and a platform to say it from, and he’s using it.

    It’s hard to express just how unimpressed I am with relying on celebrities using their “platform” to speak out on their pet issue.

    Thank you, Jimmy Kimmel, for spending a few minutes on your show talking about this very important story. We’re still going to need a team of folks working on this full time. And they exist, guys. They just don’t have TV shows to make it seem like they’re “doing something” when all they’re doing is adding a little content to the monologue.

    @reid:

    I don’t understand why you’re being so unpleasant about this.

    I’ve had it with the Care Bears method of politics, where we all hold hands and the hearts and rainbows shooting out of our chests heal the world.

    It’s going to take hard work, sweat, elbow grease, money, a lot of time, some failure, and all of that gets thrown out the window the second we get a celebrity with a “platform.”

    They have a celebrity with a platform too. The difference is that theirs resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  26. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    It’s going to take hard work, sweat, elbow grease, money, a lot of time, some failure, and all of that gets thrown out the window the second we get a celebrity with a “platform.”

    Sooo…. you’re complaining celebrities are stealing the limelight like this is new? Again, your point is somewhat obtuse. We all know its going to take hard work and there are currently people working that. You don’t know their names but come on James, when did you ever? The behind-the-scenes people are just that, behind the scenes. Every day, lawyers, lawmakers, activists, nonprofits, volunteers and everyday Joes are trying to turn this around. They are never going to get the credit or attention they deserve no matter who’s currently in the limelight.

    It’s utterly weird you’re acting like nothing’s being done because people at looking at the shiny and not noticing the people behind the curtain. You’re not supposed to notice them – they’re *working*, not showboating. What proof do you have that what you want isn’t happening while Kimmel’s gracing the front page? As you said, it will take time so why are you so convinced the process hasn’t already started? To get back on topic, it looks like they are helping to derail this monstrosity of a bill so I’d say somebody’s fighting the good fight right now in front of your eyes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  27. reid says:

    @James Pearce: Well, I disagree about anything getting thrown out. I don’t see why that would be the case. Kimmel speaking out only adds to the education and cause. Your cynicism seems to be out of control.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  28. Unsympathetic says:

    Pearce:

    You’ve “had it” with the Care Bears method of politics? I’ve had it with the “care bears” method of access journalism. You are the problem – not the solution, “buddy.”

    You aren’t working to solve anything other than how to funnel more money to corporations. Yes, you, personally.

    Kimmel is doing MORE than you are. The truth hurts, snowflake.

    Cenk Uygur and Phil Donahue and Chris Hedges and Ed Schultz were all fired from their mainstream media jobs [MSNBC, MSNBC, NYT, MSNBC] because they actually spoke truth to power —– and were offered multimillion-dollar packages to shut up, but turned those dollars down because they actually have a backbone.

    If it’s going to take hard work to accomplish actual progressive gains, spending even one minute working at a mainstream [translation: corporate establishment mouthpiece] media organization is antithetical to your stated objective.

    MSNBC is owned by Comcast — Go ahead, state one policy item that Comcast supports which is not precisely in line with Republican policy. I won’t wait up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  29. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    they’re *working*, not showboating.

    I’m a one-ten, so…you know, only “kinda” smart, but sounds like you might agree with me that we’d be better off with a team working on this fulltime and out of the spotlight than Jimmy Kimmel spending a few minutes on it in the spotlight.

    Also, mother! bombed because people don’t go to the movie theater to see challenging art flicks anymore. (They’d rather be catered to than challenged, and that’s true of the religious audiences that don’t want dead cannibalized babies in their allegories, and the liberal ones who don’t want to watch a bunch of violence against women in their “mother earth is being abused” diatribes.)

    Might the film’s financial failure have more to do with Aronofsky’s creative choices than tabloid drama or politics?

    @reid:

    Your cynicism seems to be out of control.

    Donald Trump is president. I assure you, if anything’s out of control, it’s not my cynicism.

    This Kimmel thing is already heading in a very unhelpful direction.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  30. James Pearce says:

    @Unsympathetic:

    MSNBC is owned by Comcast

    Disney owns ABC, the network that employs Kimmel. Disney also owns ESPN, the company that just told all their people to shut up about politics after a bit of controversy.

    I know, I know, Trump and the Republicans would be much too ashamed to ever apply political pressure to Disney, and Disney, being a profit-motivated organization whose name was built on an aversion to controversy, would never give in.

    He might have already received the memo….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  31. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    but sounds like you might agree with me that we’d be better off with a team working on this fulltime and out of the spotlight than Jimmy Kimmel spending a few minutes on it in the spotlight.

    i’m unclear as to your ultimate point: that no one should be in the spotlight for fear of bad PR and everyone devoting 110% to the cause or that Kimmel is somehow stealing (attention? publicity?) from the cause and preventing such a team from being created and best utilized. Either is moot because it’s not an AND/OR proposition and he’d not be on this Dream Team in the first place.

    Frankly, it sounds like you just want people to “shut up and go away” because they are inconvenient to your messaging. As these last few years have shown, that doesn’t work and just gives them a big platform to preach from. Let Kimmel speak, let the workers work and in the end, we’ll see what had the most effect. Remember, they’ve only got a few days left to polish this near-universally hated turd – time will do what we can’t right now and cut them off at the knees.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  32. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “e’d be better off with a team working on this fulltime and out of the spotlight than Jimmy Kimmel spending a few minutes on it in the spotlight.”

    Why is it an either/or? How is Jimmy Kimmel stopping the good folks from doing their jobs?

    Seems to me I remember reading that Abraham Lincoln credited one person with doing more to end slavery than all the politicians in Washington — the Jimmy Kimmel of her day, Harriet Beecher Stowe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  33. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    Disney, and Disney, being a profit-motivated organization whose name was built on an aversion to controversy, would never give in.

    Funny thing, that. They haven’t been caving in for quite some time. See, Disney knows where it’s bread is buttered and it’s not redneck America. They’ve been screaming about Disney for gays, minorities, foreign workers, liberal tendencies, being overpriced for the “average family” to afford, etc….. and nothing’s been done to assuage their concerns. The world’s a lot bigger then rural America and the money’s not there.

    ESPN’s not firing Jemele Hill and they’re not going to fire Jimmy Kimmel over speaking up about children’s healthcare. Outrage over insulting Republicans < outrage over firing a man's heartfelt plea to save dying babies. Outrage over calling President white nationalist < outrage over firing woman pointing out President sides with Nazis regularly. Again, Disney knows where it's bread is buttered. Liberals have children too. Liberals watch ESPN, ABC, go to Disney properties and spend an awful lot of money on Disney merch. Iger already quit Trump over climate change so this is nothing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  34. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “Also, mother! bombed because people don’t go to the movie theater to see challenging art flicks anymore. Might the film’s financial failure have more to do with Aronofsky’s creative choices than tabloid drama or politics?”

    Actually, mother! bombed because the studio spent far too much money making it so that they were compelled to go with a wide release to have any hopes of making the $120 million or so at the box office they’d need to break even. And that required an advertising campaign that sold it as a wild, far-out horror movie, which it wasn’t, thus pissing off all the horror fans who responded to the ads.

    At 5 or even 10 million the movie would have been a gamble — the kind that sometimes pays huge dividends and sometimes disappoints — but it could have taken a platformed release which would have allowed them to try to build an audience. In this case, since the film is so polarizing, the best bet probably would have been to “sell the controversy” — you know, these people love it, these people hate it, you have to see it for yourself. But the 30 mil budget — and that’s the reported budget, so you can probably add another ten to it easily — wouldn’t allow for that.

    That said, what the hell does this have to do with anything?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. KM says:

    @KM:
    Upon reflection, maybe we *should* be pushing the Disney thing. If the GOP protests like they always do, park attendance will drop and I won’t have to listen to the family whine about wait times next year (damn Fasspass changes. Thanks WDW!!). Maybe even get a price drop out of it just in time for the new Star Wars land if I’m really lucky…..

    Go Kimmel go! Save the babies and make the line for Space Mountain shorter!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  36. wr says:

    @wr: It’s hard to believe the studio didn’t know this going in, They’re going to run comps on similar films, and the closest thing to mother! in recent days was probably The Neon Demon. But that film cost only $7 million, and while it only grossed half that at the box office, it was made by Amazon, which means it was intended all along for a long history as part of their streaming library — and as a signal to ambitious filmmakers that the studio was a place to take their projects.

    And since it was fairly cheap, they could afford to gamble on several small art films, knowing that if one like this failed to hit, the next one could well erase the losses — as happened with Manchester By The Sea, which had a worldwide gross of $75 million on a $9 mil budget.

    All of which I find fascinating, but still have no idea what any of it has to do with health care or Jimmy Kimmel or why liberals suck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. KM says:

    @wr:

    My bad – I brought it up as an example of misblaming and shaming further upthread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. James Pearce says:

    @KM:

    i’m unclear as to your ultimate point:

    It’s the same as always: The diligent and dedicated will beat the complacent and lazy at every turn.

    Letting Jimmy Kimmel take the lead on this….does that strike you as “diligent and determined” or is that more on the “complacent and lazy” spectrum?

    @wr:

    the Jimmy Kimmel of her day, Harriet Beecher Stowe.

    Right, because Harriet Beecher Stowe used to be on a show where she drank beer and oggled the “Juggies” bouncing on their trampolines.

    She has a killer Karl Malone impression, too, you know, cuz she was the Jimmy Kimmel of her day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  39. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “Right, because Harriet Beecher Stowe used to be on a show where she drank beer and oggled the “Juggies” bouncing on their trampolines.”

    Chapter Five: In Which James Pearce Pretends Not to Understand What an Analogy Is.

    Stowe was writing an entertainment, which conveyed a political/moral message more powerfully than could be done in a lecture, because audiences are more emotionally open to stories than lectures. Kimmell is using a late night monologue.

    And you, of course, have skipped right over the main question of how Kimmel is stopping anyone from working to save health care.

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  40. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    I’m gonna hate having to add Pearce to the list of people I no longer read posts from here; Bunge, JKB, Sockpuppet Bob because Pearce used to say things that challenged my thinking and were points to consider and worth reading. Recently, not so much, but it will still make me sad.

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  41. James Pearce says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’nint cracker:

    Recently, not so much, but it will still make me sad.

    Don’t give up on me yet. I recognize the dip in my popularity, and yet…it appears that if this bill doesn’t pass, we’ll have John McCain to thank for it, not Jimmy Kimmel.

    @wr:

    And you, of course, have skipped right over the main question of how Kimmel is stopping anyone from working to save health care.

    He’s not stopping anyone, but you know how this works. “Now that Kimmel’s on the case, we can go watch our shows.”

    That’s not unfair to activists working on this, or the “slacktivists” who aren’t.

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  42. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “He’s not stopping anyone, but you know how this works. “Now that Kimmel’s on the case, we can go watch our shows.”

    I don’t know what kind of losers you’re hanging out with, but I don’t know anybody with that mindset. What I hear is much more along the lines of “woo-hoo, Kimmel is making people aware of what’s going on — now let’s build on that!”

    Of course, I happen to know real people, and it seems you are only acquainted with a set of straw men you build in your living room. Maybe they’re different.

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  43. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    I don’t know what kind of losers you’re hanging out with, but I don’t know anybody with that mindset.

    I believe you probably do know someone with that mindset.

    I know people who couldn’t tell left from right if their life depended on it. I know people who don’t vote and don’t care either way. You probably know people like that too.

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  44. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “I know people who couldn’t tell left from right if their life depended on it. I know people who don’t vote and don’t care either way. You probably know people like that too.”

    I live in NYC, where everyone has an opinion about everything. I teach grad students, I work with academics and writers, and the doormen in my building come from Puerto Rico and haven’t heard from their families since Tuesday. My sisters are a retired university lecturer in science communications and a staff attorney for a California state judge. My mother is a retired psychotherapist. My friends mostly work in the arts; my wife’s friends mostly work in money. Which of these do you think don’t vote and don’t care either way?

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