* Some useful candor from Paul Ryan about what Obamacare repeal would really mean: He now says that once the goal of repeal is achieved, it will be just too expensive to reinstate some of the law’s most popular provisions, like banning denials for pre-existing conditions and letting people under 26 stay on their parents’ plans. At least you can’t say he’s telling people what they want to hear.
* Since the law went into effect, the White House announced today, three million more people have gotten Medicaid. Jonathan Cohn has a good piece explaining the meaning of the announcement, noting that the increase is 8.3 percent in the states that accepted the ACA’s expansion of the program, but only 1.6 percent in the states that didn’t. That means millions of low-income Americans left out.
* Harvard professor Theda Skocpol reminds us that when Social Security was passed, Republicans demanded its repeal and Democrats were skittish about how strongly to support it, just like they are today with the Affordable Care Act. But things are moving faster this time:
In politics, losses always worry people more than abstract future gains entice them. Now, every vote to repeal or eviscerate Obamacare risks offending millions – and the potential to arouse pushback will only grow. This story isn’t like Social Security, where most potential beneficiaries saw few gains for two decades. Affordable Care is already a massive presence in U.S. health care. It cannot be rolled back and those who keep championing that Lost Cause will do so at rising political peril.
Loss aversion is a powerful human tendency, and it scuttled many a reform effort in the past, as the Obama administration realized (hence “If you like your plan…”). But now that the ACA has been implemented, that same force is going to work in the administration’s favor.
* Breaking: young people have a tendency to procrastinate. Data coming in from state exchanges show that the proportion of young people signing up for health insurance went way up in the days just before the deadline.
* Interesting point from Brian Beutler: While the Koch brothers are virulently opposed to the ACA, they’re quite happy with a similar system, one in which the government subsidizes and regulates health insurance in which people of varying ages and levels of health are pooled together to spread risk. It’s called employer-based insurance, and if you work for Koch Industries, you get it.
* Speaking of Koch Industries, employees recently got an email, obtained by Talking Points Memo, urging them to share Charles Koch’s recent Wall Street Journal op-ed with as many people as they can:
“Following is an op-ed by Charles Koch that is published in today’s Wall Street Journal,” the email read. “In it, Charles emphasizes the importance of a free society and responds to many of the outrageous attacks that have been made by some politicians and their media allies.”
“Please feel free to share this with whomever you think might benefit from hearing the truth about our company, our culture and the Koch family,” the email continued.
Sure, feel free. No pressure though.
* Over at the American Prospect, I took a look at how campaign finance works in other advanced democracies. Short version: spending limits make all the difference. If a parliamentary candidate can only spend $50,000 on her race, there’s little incentive to corrupt her with a big fat check.
* The Senate is poised to pass an extension of unemployment benefits, but everyone assumes it will die in the House. Now a group of House Republicans are urging Speaker Boehner to allow a vote on the bill.
* Is Barack Obama really the “deporter-in-chief”? Mother Jones has a comprehensive explainer to help you understand this administration’s policies and record on deportation.
* A federal judge in Ohio has announced that he will strike down the state’s same-sex marriage ban, but the ruling will only apply to the state’s recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states. It’s been a while since the opponents of marriage equality won one, hasn’t it?
* Meanwhile, the Alabama House of Representatives has passed a resolution calling for a constitutional convention to ban same-sex marriage. That’s what you call standing athwart history, yelling Stop.
* And finally, to prepare you for this weekend’s season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones, here’s a super-cut of every on-screen death that occurred in the first three seasons, all 5,179 of them. But that includes almost 5,000 of Stannis’ troops killed with wildfire in the Battle of Blackwater Bay. So really, it’s just a couple hundred.