Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Actual Headline

Bangor Daily News:

Sen. Collins’ view on Obamacare funding, shutdown is probably the same as yours

Monday, September 23, 2013

Quote of the Day

Jonathan Chait (via Andrew Sullivan):

[T]he new stop-Obamacare plan now entails filibustering the defunders’ own bill. They can do this with just 41 votes in the Senate, if they can get them.

But consider how terrible this situation is for the Republicans. If they fail, it will be because a handful of Republicans joined with Democrats to break the filibuster, betraying the defunders. This means the full force of the defund-Obamacare movement – which is itself very well funded by rabid grassroots conservatives eager to save the country from the final socialistic blow of Obamacare — will come down on the handful of Senate Republicans who hold its fate in their hands.

The old plan at least let angry conservatives blame Democrats for blocking their goal of defunding Obamacare. Now the defunders can turn their rage against fellow Republicans, creating a fratricidal, revolution-eats-its-own bloodletting.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tall Tales

MPBN buried the lede, but this is actually a pretty big deal:

In a weekly GOP address last month, Collins warned that the Affordable Care Act's definition of 30 hours would result in reduced employee hours and fewer jobs, and she cited the Bangor School Department as a prime example.

"A school system in my state of Maine is already preparing to track and cap the number of hours that substitute teachers can work to ensure that they don't work more than 29 hours a week," Collins said. "Fewer hours means less money in the teachers' paychecks, and more disruption for their students."

But the Bangor School Department's director of business services, Alan Kochis, says that in reality, not that many employees in the school ssytem [sic] would be affected.

"We have tutors and substitute teachers who fall into this class, and there aren't a lot now that are working over 30 hours," Kochis says, "and if they are, it's not on a permanent basis."

So Collins gives a national address outlining a supposed Obamacare flaw and trots out a Maine-based example to make her case.

But even that hand-picked example falls apart when you actually look into the details: Bangor just doesn't have a platoon of permanent 30-40 hour substitute teachers on the payroll. (And why would it?)

I actually have no idea whether it makes sense for Obamacare to draw the line at 30 hours or 40 hours for part time work. But Collins's willingness to cut factual corners makes you think twice about what her motives are in proposing a "fix."