NY Times:

Obamacare Is Here to Stay. Brace for New Health Care Battles.

The era of existential fights over Obamacare has ended.

The Affordable Care Act has survived its third major Supreme Court challenge — what Justice Samuel Alito described in his dissenting opinion as an “epic trilogy.” The law has gone from a 5-4 majority in its favor in the first case to Thursday’s 7-2 split. The decision secures the health law as a major legacy of the Obama era — the largest expansion of health coverage in decades — after years of hard-fought and politically painful battles.

Obamacare enjoys higher-than-ever public support, with most Americans now favoring the law. Enrollment in the health law’s programs is at a record high. Democrats have moved from defending the 2010 law to expanding its benefits. While Obamacare remains a dirty word in some Republican circles, its repeal is no longer a focus of the party or a galvanizing issue among its voters.

ACA is here to stay, it will never die

Guess it had to be that way, but I don’t know why

I don’t care what the people say

ACA is here to stay 

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Andrew Prokop/Vox:

The hidden politics of New York City’s new ranked-choice voting system

Reformers hope it can transform campaigns. Are they right?

What if I told you that instead of voting for just one candidate in the next election, you could vote for several — ranking them in order of your preference?

Registered Democratic voters in New York City are getting that opportunity. Their mayoral primary on June 22 will be the city’s first to use ranked-choice voting — and that race will be the biggest spotlight yet for this system in the United States.

Ranked choice is the reform of wonky activists’ dreams. They believe that more traditional elections, where whoever gets the most votes is simply the winner, can go wrong when there are multiple candidates, as someone most voters oppose can win due to the split of the vote. One famous example is Ralph Nader being the third-party “spoiler,” apparently drawing votes away from Al Gore and tipping key states to George W. Bush in 2000.

Ranked choice can, in theory, avert this outcome, because it asks voters to rank candidates in order of their preference. As votes are counted, the lower-performing candidates are gradually eliminated, and votes for them are redirected to those voters’ backup choices. (In the 2000 example, when Nader gets eliminated, ballots that ranked Nader as first choice and Gore as second turn into votes for Gore, increasing his total.)

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Greg Sargent/WaPo:

A GOP congressman’s snub of a wounded Jan. 6 cop signals deeper GOP pathologies

When 21 House Republicans voted against honoring the police officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6, a number of them offered a wretched but revealing excuse: The measure defined what happened as an “insurrection,” and this must not be permitted.

The Republican effort to rewrite the history of the insurrection has taken many forms, but at its core is something very fundamental. It’s an effort to deny that Donald Trump actually did incite a mob of his supporters to employ intimidation and violence for the express purpose of overturning the outcome of a free and fair election, to seize a second term as president illegitimately.

Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia, one of those 21 Republicans, had an extraordinary encounter with D.C. police officer Michael Fanone in the Capitol on Wednesday that unmasks the deeper pathologies driving that effort to sanitize Jan. 6 in a new and unsettling way.

Nicholas Bagley/Twitter:

Per [Justice] Breyer, the red states and the individual plaintiffs lack standing in the big case involving the Affordable Care Act. The case is dismissed.
The holding here is one that I’ve discussed many times before, but let me walk you through it. supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf…
Let’s start with the individual plaintiffs, two Texas consultants who claimed that they felt coerced into buying insurance because of a $0 mandate.
I argued in Dec 2018, they can’t be coerced by something that … doesn’t coerce them.

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HuffPost:

GOP Voters Believe Trump’s Lie That Arizona’s Sham Audit Could Overturn His Election Loss

A new poll finds that half of Republican voters think Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud could put him back in the White House this year.

The poll, which asked 1,994 registered voters nationwide about a wide range of topics, found that 51% of registered Republican voters think the audit will uncover the sort of information that could change the outcome of the election. The figure is identical among self-identified Trump voters. Another recent Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 29% of GOP voters think it is likely that the audit and others like it will result in Trump’s return to office. The same share of GOP voters believe Arizona-type reviews will definitely lead to a new election result, an outcome that is impossible under the U.S. Constitution.

The Republican Party’s nominal leaders in Washington aren’t questioning the results of the election or promoting the audit in any way. When we asked Republican senators if they planned to attend Trump’s reinstatement ceremony this summer, they laughed and said no. (Except for Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, who said he “hadn’t heard about it.”)

But the idea of a second coming of the Trump presidency is something lots of Republican voters seem to take seriously, and people like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) would rather badmouth Biden than lead their base to the truth.

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Juneteenth is a national holiday, literally as of today. What the states do with it might take longer.

See this piece from last year:

The rocky history of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Arizona

The holiday was observed for the first time in the United States on Jan. 20, 1986.

Then-Gov. Bruce Babbitt signed an executive order in May 1986, declaring the third Monday in January of every year should honor King.

However, just before the holiday in 1987, then-Gov. Evan Mecham made it his first act to rescind the proclamation that he argued was created illegally by Babbitt. The state’s attorney general agreed.

Mecham instead issued a proclamation of his own that said King — along with the entire Civil Rights Movement — would be honored on the third Sunday of every January, meaning workers would not get a paid day off.

That move spurned boycotts of Arizona by major artists and wound up costing the state millions in possible investments.

Despite the negative reaction, Arizona voted against the creation of the holiday in 1990.

But two years later — amid the decision by the National Football League to pull the upcoming Super Bowl because it did not want to deal with potential fallout — Arizona voters went back to the polls and approved a measure to create the holiday.

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EJ Dionne/WaPo:

Biden to Putin: Stability, sure. But democracy matters.

In a classic display of his devotion to whataboutism, Putin defended his regime’s repression by attacking the U.S. record on human rights and brazenly insisting that he is only trying to avoid the sort of disorder the United States experienced in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. …

Watching Putin play defense underscored the good news from Geneva: The Biden-Putin encounter could hardly have been more different from the bizarre get-togethers between the Russian leader and former president Donald Trump. Biden denied the Russian leader a shared podium, and there was, thankfully, no fawning over Putin, no taking Putin’s word over the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies.

On the contrary, when Biden met later with reporters, he derided any link between the jailing of Navalny and the Jan. 6 events as “ridiculous,” and he used his opening remarks to reaffirm the democracy-strengthening purpose of his European journey.

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Jonathan Chait/New York:

Why Republicans Could Never Tell Their Voters the Truth About Obamacare

If the suit was so absurd that liberals deserve ridicule for thinking it stood any chance of success even in a right-wing court, what does it tell us that Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch voted for the plaintiffs? For that matter, what are we to make of the fact that the Trump administration’s Justice Department, joined by the attorneys general for 20 states, signed on to this laughably flimsy case?

The answer is that the passage of Obamacare was a traumatic event for Republicans. The wound it opened in the party’s psyche has not fully healed, and even more than a decade after its passage into law, they cannot reconcile themselves to its legitimacy.

The passage of Obamacare, even though it merely incrementally expanded an existing program (Medicaid) and copied a program designed by a Republican governor (Mitt Romney) was met by unmitigated hysteria on the right. What seemed to unhinge conservatives was less the substance of the bill than the very idea of Democrats using their control of government to … govern. 

The pattern of the anti-Obamacare crusade has continued to define the Republican party elite’s relationship with its base. First, they make a practical decision on the basis of self-interest, then convince their voters the cause is existential, then discover they have no choice but to act as if their own lies are true. So it was with repealing Obamacare, and so it is with supporting Donald Trump. More than a decade after the law was passed, the party still has not freed itself from its own lies. When you calculate how long Trump will own them, ponder that.

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