FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
May 8, 2012

Ahead of President Obama's May 5 visit to Ohio State University's Value City Arena, a whiteboard reminds university employees that "the president of the United States and the first lady will be joining us," and urges them to sign up for extra hours to work the event — which officially kicked off Obama's re-election campaign. "If people ask you what this campaign is about, you tell them it's still about hope," the president said to a crowd of 18,000, "you tell them it's still about change." The Week Staff

2:41 p.m. ET

As the Republicans' ObamaCare replacement was sending ripples of alarm and anger through the Democratic ranks — and some of the GOP ones, too — conservative health-care wonk Avik Roy was reading. And reading. And reading.

After finishing the 142-pages of the "Better Care" act, Roy — who served as Mitt Romney health care policy adviser during his 2012 campaign — reached this conclusion:

Not all Republicans will be so pleased, though. Read nine ways the bill breaks with promises President Trump has made at The Week, here. Jeva Lange

2:24 p.m. ET

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) took to the floor Thursday to passionately attack the Republican Senate's ObamaCare replacement, the "Better Care" act. "Senate Republicans wrung some extra dollars out of kicking people off tax credits that help them afford health insurance," Warren said. "They raked in extra cash by letting states drop even more protections and benefits, like maternity care or prescription drug coverage or mental health coverage."

"And then they got to the real piggy bank," Warren added. "Medicaid. And here, they just went wild."

Warren noted that 1 in 5 Americans is on Medicaid, and that the program serves 30 million children. "These cuts are blood money," she said. "People will die. Let's be very clear. Senate Republicans are paying for tax cuts for the wealthy with American lives." Watch below. Jeva Lange

2:15 p.m. ET

Hours after Republican Senate leadership released a proposal for replacing ObamaCare, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) announced they would not support their party's bill.

"Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation," the senators wrote. They added, though, that "it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise made to Americans: to repeal ObamaCare and lower their health-care costs."

The GOP cannot lose the support of more than three senators for the bill to pass, as no Democrats or independents are expected to back the plan. A vote is expected next week. Jeva Lange

2:12 p.m. ET
iStock

A 92-year-old from Washington state has finally graduated from her old high school. Mary Matsuda Gruenewald was an honors student at Vashon Island High School in 1942 when, like some 120,000 other Japanese-Americans during World War II, she was sent to an internment camp. Matsuda Gruenewald graduated from the camp's makeshift school and went on to become a nurse. But she always wanted her diploma from Vashon. When the school's principal heard her story recently, he invited her to walk in the class of 2017's commencement. "This eliminates all the heartaches," she says. Christina Colizza

1:14 p.m. ET

President Trump confessed Thursday on Twitter that he does not have tapes of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey. In May, shortly after firing Comey, Trump tweeted a threat: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Comey then called the president's bluff during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying, "Lordy, I hope there are tapes."

On Thursday, Trump finally came clean:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), a friend and ally of Trump's, told The Associated Press earlier Thursday that he thought Trump's threat was simply "his way [of] instinctively trying to rattle Comey."

"He's not a professional politician," Gingrich said. "He doesn't come back and think about Nixon and Watergate. His instinct is: 'I'll out-bluff you.'" Jeva Lange

1:09 p.m. ET

University of Minnesota graduate student Victoria Fiorentino pinpointed a particularly alarming line in the Senate Republicans' health-care replacement bill, which was unveiled Thursday:

Medicaid covers roughly 50 percent of all births in the country. Jeva Lange

12:50 p.m. ET

The Senate Republican health-care bill was released Thursday, revealing its steep cuts to Medicaid and slashing of essential health benefits to the American public. The bill's drafting had been shrouded in secrecy for weeks, to the point that even several Republican senators had expressed frustration with the process.

Shortly after the bill was released, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.) admitted to MSNBC that he had only "started to read" the bill, but he nonetheless offered a rather unflattering assessment: "In some ways it's more evil, in some ways it's even dumber than the House proposal," Murphy said, adding the Senate's bill "largely mirrors" the House's version, but scales up cuts to Medicaid. The House bill passed with a razor-thin margin early last month.

Murphy also noted the Senate bill's lack of an individual mandate, which he said "makes any protection for people that are sick meaningless," and said the bill "logistically" didn't make sense. "I just think it's an absolute monstrosity of a bill," he said.

Watch below. Kimberly Alters

See More Speed Reads