Logical Reasonings / 5.4.17

A. Well, they finally did it. Delivering on seven years of promises, the House just passed a bill to repeal and replace major components of the Affordable Care Act. The bill eliminates tax penalties for those without health insurance, rolls back the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid, replaces insurance policy subsidies with tax credits, repeals certain ACA taxes, and lets states petition to charge higher premiums to those with pre-existing conditions. The bill will now move to the Senate. NY Times

B. Meanwhile, Trump signed an executive order that relaxes IRS enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which precludes tax-exempt organizations like churches from participating in political campaigns (read: donate stacks of cash). It also reinforces the Hobby Lobby SCOTUS ruling, which allowed companies to refuse to cover contraceptives for religious reasons. The order does not, however, allow federal contractors to discriminate against LGBT employees, as an earlier draft did. CNBC

C. Nonetheless, the ACLU and other groups are already on prepping their case for that executive order, arguing that by allowing religious groups, but not secular ones, from making political donations, the order violates the Equal Protection and Establishment Clauses of the Constitution. The Hill

D. Elsewhere, France is gearing up for this weekend’s run-off presidential election, between the National Front’s Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Marcon of the En Marche movement. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the polls have the establishment-backed and urban-favored Marcon leading the race by a considerable margin, but some are noting a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the candidate. After this, the French electorate will decide the make-up of France’s parliament, who do most of the governance anyway. Washington Post

E. And in the world of law school, Purdue University just purchased the for-profit, online Concord Law School. Which is sort of weird, because the only place Concord grads can take the bar is California, while Purdue is located in Indiana. Above the Law

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