Seema Verma Edges Higher in 2018 Brass Balls Sweepstakes

Bill Clark/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA

Last December Republicans eliminated Obamacare’s individual mandate, which had required everyone to buy individual insurance. “By repealing the individual mandate at the heart of Obamacare,” Paul Ryan said, “we are giving back the freedom and the flexibility to buy the health care that’s right for you and your family.” However, repeal of the mandate also had a drawback. According to the CBO:

Average premiums in the nongroup market would increase by about 10 percent in most years of the decade…relative to CBO’s baseline projections.

A few weeks ago, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill that restored the individual mandate for the state of New Jersey. Today, Donald Trump’s administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma, tweeted her approval:

I know this is no longer a politically correct phrase, but can you even fathom the brass balls it takes to say this? Republicans repealed the individual mandate, which increased Obamacare premiums by about 10 percent. The Democratic governor and legislature of New Jersey restored the mandate, which eliminated the premium increase and maybe even reduced it a bit. And then the Republican CMS administrator responded by tweeting her congratulations for “addressing the failures of Obamacare.”

Brass. Fucking. Balls.


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.