* Here’s some more good Obamacare news, and it should really warm conservatives’ hearts:
The growth of federal spending on health care will continue to decline as a proportion of the overall economy in the coming decades, in part because of cost controls mandated by President Obama’s health care law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.
The budget office said in its annual 25-year forecast that federal spending on major health care programs would amount to 8 percent of gross domestic product by 2039, one-tenth of a percentage point lower than its previous projection.
With the latest revision, the budget office has now reduced its 10-year estimate for spending by Medicare, Medicaid and other health programs by $1.23 trillion starting in 2010, the year the health care law took effect. By 2039, the savings would amount to $250 billion a year in today’s dollars.
Since Republicans are so concerned about spending and deficits, I’m sure they’ll be lining up to thank Barack Obama and the Democrats for passing the Affordable Care Act, thereby saving the American taxpayer a quarter of a trillion dollars a year. Right?
* If you want to see that in graphic form with some more explanation of what it means, Louise Sheiner and Brendan Mochoruk of the Brookings Institution have got you covered.
* And while Obamacare might not be particularly popular, it doesn’t look like it’s actually hurting Democratic candidates in high-profile races. Jonathan Bernstein explains why.
* Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes raised $4 million last quarter, setting a Kentucky record and outraising her opponent, Mitch McConnell, for the third straight quarter. And we still haven’t seen what will happen when Dems seriously engage on the air.
* We’ve now seen the first bill to make it easier to quickly deport kids arriving from Central America, courtesy of GOP Senator John Cornyn and Dem Rep. Henry Cuellar. It’s called the Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency Act, or the HUMANE Act, which ought to raise everyone’s suspicions immediately. Immigration advocacy group America’s Voice explains what’s wrong with the policy, and why it should probably be dubbed “John Cornyn’s Biggest Barefaced Lie Yet.”
Tribe believes the speaker will lack standing to even bring the suit because there is “no injury to the House of Representatives as an institution.” He sees “no clear violation of any federal law anyway (given the flexible language of 7805(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, which has been used by other administrations to permit brief transition delays in implementation).” He says there is “no way to get around the political question doctrine making plain that the federal courts won’t intervene in battles between the two political branches where no injured private party brings suit.” And Tribe notes that the suit would be “an end-run around the 1985 precedent of Heckler v. Chaney.” In that case, Tribe told me, the Supreme Court deferred to agency interpretation of ambiguous legislative provisions.
Capehart believes that the lawsuit will end up leading to impeachment because Boehner has no control over his caucus. And if the suit is tossed out of court or just drags on, it could lead to a buildup of pressure on the right to impeach. This just might not work out as planned.
* Senate Republicans are actually introducing a bill saying that your employer can’t follow you down to the CVS and stop you from buying contraceptives, just to show that they’re really on women’s side. That sounds like a joke, but it’s what their bill says (OK, not the part about the CVS, but just that “no employer can block any employee from legal access to her FDA-approved contraceptives”).
* The last three presidents came into office promising to heal partisan divides, but all ended up being president of only half the country. Ron Brownstein has a great look at the larger forces that have produced that outcome over and over again.
* At the American Prospect I explained how an appeals court ruling on atheists performing weddings should show us that the government has no business meddling in the sanctification of unions. And that’s something liberals and conservatives ought to be able to agree on.
* Republicans likely to vote for Mitch McConnell are apparently fond of the Fox show “Bones” for some reason. As the Wall Street Journal explains, that’s the kind of thing campaigns can now figure out.
* And surely you are dying to know what sales of men’s underwear can tell us about the state of the economy. Right?