Happy Lincoln’s Birthday

Today we celebrate the 208th anniversary of the birth of one of our greatest, if not the greatest, President Abraham Lincoln.  The FEHBlog is old enough to remember when Lincoln’s birthday and Washington’s birthday were separate holidays. Then in 1968, Congress dropped Lincoln’s birthday as a federal holiday but created a Monday holiday for Washington, who is a close competitor for greatest President in the FEHBlog’s view. Wikipedia explains that advertisers pushed in the 1980s for renaming Washington’s Birthday as Presidents’ Day.  Fascinating. The FEHBlog views President’s Day as the beginning of the great holiday drought which does not end until Memorial Day at the end of May when FEHB benefit and rate proposals are due.)

When the FEHBlog certainly digressed. Congress remains in session on Capitol Hill this week. The Senate is expected to confirm Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary tomorrow. That will mean that two members of the ACA triumvirate will be set. The third, Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder “will appear Feb. 16 before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee” according to a USA Today report. Here is a link to the Week in Congress’s report on last week’s activities on Capitol Hill.

Kim Strassel, the Wall Street Journal columnist, had a fascinating story in last Friday’s paper about

One Nation Health [which] is a clearinghouse, a place for conservatives to meet, share notes, craft messages for the public, and unite on talking points. It will facilitate progress between Congress and the White House. The model was used successfully in 1993-94 by former Sens. Phil Gramm and Paul Coverdell in the fight against HillaryCare, leading to moments, like the Harry and Louise ads, that tipped the scale.

One Nation Health does not appear to have a website, but according to Ms. Strassel

The coalition includes everyone from health policy gurus like the American Enterprise Institute’s James Capretta and the Heritage Foundation’s Bob Moffit to advocacy groups like the American Action Network, which is already running $1 million worth of TV ads, in 15 House districts, arguing for an ObamaCare replacement. Congressional leadership is on board. Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, addressed the group’s inaugural session. Mr. Hoppe says people are joining so fast that his biweekly conference calls are ballooning.  What they all understand: “We’ve got to explain to Americans that the end of ObamaCare doesn’t mean going back to the old system,” Mr. Hoppe says. “It’s about creating a whole new, better system.” That message might help buy Republicans some time to get a reform in place.

It’s an encouraging article.