What's in Plan B, Anyway?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 20 2012 6:08 PM

What's in Plan B, Anyway?

My colleague Matthew Yglesias characterizes the "sequester replacement" Plan B bill as a "Christmas tree" for conservatives, packed with stuff they can't get any other way. You can read the bill at this link, a few hours before Republicans try to pass it. (Remember when there was going to be 72 hours to read every new bill? Oh, the halcyon days of 2011.)

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

This is basically true, though because this sequester replacement is largely identical to the one passed in May, not many people noticed. Among the highlights:


Ending the co-ops created by the Affordable Care Act. This was a sort of replacement for the beloved "public option," money available to private insurers willing to create new affordable programs.

Ending the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act. Like it sounds.

Ending the Home Affordable Modification Program. This was the big federal attempt to bail people out of bad mortgages; Republican say it failed, and it should go.

Tort reform. It folds the GOP's model for this, the HEALTH Act, into the budget cut.

Cutting funding for job retraining. It falls from $90 million to $79 million.

As Yglesias says, the main importance of this stuff is to highlight what Republicans will demand in the next, real round of negotiations. How do you buy off the votes? With cuts to social services, unspooling Obamcare, things like that. I asked outgoing Rules chairman David Dreier which of these things might be negotiable, and he didn't name any right away. "These are items that Democrats have supported in words, if not in votes," he said. Indeed. The May version of this bill got only 218 total votes, losing most Republicans.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.