As the drama crests this week surrounding possible Senate passage of an extraordinarily punitive health care bill, we should ask, why is the GOP so heartless? Why are Republicans bent on cutting access to care for the most vulnerable people, especially the poor—including the white working-class voters who were said to be a pillar of Trump’s base?
The CBO, a nonpartisan agency that analyzes the impact of proposed legislation, estimates that the Senate’s proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare would leave 22 million more Americans without health insurance. That’s 1 million less than the 23 million the CBO estimated would be uninsured under the House health care bill passed in May—not exactly the softer, kinder approach President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans had promised.
Democrats badly need a little cognitive therapy to challenge negative patterns of thought. So they lost special elections in South Carolina, Kansas, Georgia and Montana. These were all conservative strongholds. Suppose Republicans had just failed to win in California, Massachusetts, New York and Washington. Would anyone have deemed such outcomes an omen of doom?
On June 22, Senate Republicans released their proposed health care reform bill, titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). The bill was drafted in secret by a small group of white Republican men without input from women, minorities, Senate Democrats, or even the majority of Senate Republicans.
Despite Trump appearing to suggest he had used the word “mean” to describe his own party’s healthcare bill, the president appeared more concerned with outlining who coined the description. “Well he used my term, mean,” Trump said during an interview with Fox and Friends on Sunday.
“I have very serious concerns about the bill,” Republican Senator Susan Collins told ABC’s This Week in a Sunday interview. “It’s hard for me to see the bill passing this week.” And Senator Ron Johnson, from Wisconsin, who is among the five members who has already stated they will not be supporting the bill, said in a Sunday interview with NBC’s Meet the Press it was too early to hold a vote on the matter.
“The Obama administration should have done a lot more when it became clear that not only was Russia intervening, but it was being directed at the highest levels of the Kremlin,” he told host Dana Bash. Schiff added: “I think the administration needed to call out Russia earlier, needed to act to deter and punish Russia earlier, and that was a very serious mistake.”
What it means is that if the government does something that costs money, some human somewhere will bear the expense. “Free” public schools, “free” parks and “free” roads all have to be paid for by the citizenry. Collectively, we can’t get something for nothing. This useful insight has long been offered as an objection to costly government programs. But it applies as well to measures that extract savings from costly government programs.
As Senate Republicans unveil the draft of their health care proposal, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, media have already taken to framing the Senate GOP’s attempt at destroying the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as “more moderate” than a similar bill passed by the House last month. But comparing the Senate bill to the House bill whitewashes the portions of the proposal that are in fact at least as extreme as the previous one and the immense harm they would do to American people if this bill became law.
Over six weeks after the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on May 4, Senate Republicans finally publicly introduced their health care proposal on June 22. The Senate committee that drafted the bill was roundly criticized for its “almost-unprecedented opacity” and lack of diversity. Leading up to that introduction, cable news coverage of the bill didn’t fare much better. And when cable news did cover the bill prior to its release, the guests were almost always white men.
Republicans in the Senate are about to radically overhaul former President Obama’s landmark Affordable Healthcare Act but you’d hardly know it watching American media. The sheer size of this shift involved in the American Health Care Act (AHCA), both in moral and economic terms, cannot be overstated. 23 million Americans stand to lose their health insurance, and according to one study, 18,000 to 28,000 people will die as a result of the GOP bill by 2026.
The Senate health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act would likely cause millions of Americans to lose their Medicaid and private insurance marketplace coverage. It also could make coverage more expensive for many sicker, older and low-income individuals.
“This is repealing and replacing Obamacare, everybody doesn’t get what they want,” Ryan opines in the ad before he’s interrupted by Randy Bryce, a Wisconsin ironworker, military veteran and union organizer placing health care at the center of his platform.
“What I’m seeing this year are women who aren’t waiting to be asked,” Walsh said. “You know that line, ‘If we aren’t at the table, we’re on the menu’? Well, a lot of women feel they’re on the chopping block. What they care about is in jeopardy, and they’re not sitting on the sidelines anymore.”
You’re right, however, that we Americans are seeing truly “amazing results” from your six months on the job: We’re amazed that in such a short time your so-called presidency is mired in conflicts of interest, constitutional quagmires, erratic behavior, ideological arrogance, tweeted ignorance, lame policy proposals and — let’s admit the obvious — your own incompetence.
The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
“The ACA is not repealed,” tweeted Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicaid and Medicare for the Obama administration. “Health care for poor people, kids, the disability community and seniors is. The ACA income based tax credits stay—due to Senate rules. They just get bulldozed. More accurately, the people receiving the help do.”
It is a cruel bill that will leave millions of people without access to medical care while delivering a substantial tax cut to the wealthy. In other words, just like the version of Trumpcare that came from the House, the Senate version is a reverse Robin Hood: It takes from the poor to give to the rich.
The body is still warm, though President Trump is gleefully pronouncing it dead. We are talking about President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act. And part of this is personal. Repealing Obamacare, dealing a lethal blow to Barack Obama’s legacy, is truly the best part of the Republican fun.
Hours after a draft of the GOP Senate’s new health care bill was released, protesters from across the country began staging sit-ins and die-ins in response to its draconian measures. “No cuts to Medicaid,” chanted members of ADAPT (Americans Disabled Attendant Programs Today) outside Mitch McConnell’s office on Thursday.
“The Senate bill is crammed full with just as many tax cuts as the House bill; tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, tax cuts for wealthy investors, tax cuts for giant companies, but all those tax cuts don’t come cheap,” she continued. “Senate Republicans had to make a choice how to pay for all those juicy tax cuts for their rich buddies. I’ll tell you how—in blood money.”
You’d think a bill that revamps a sixth of the American economy and stands to strip 23 million Americans of their health care might warrant a debate, a public comment period, or god forbid, a public release. Unfortunately, this is Donald Trump’s America, where the most exclusive club is wherever Mitch McConnell and his gang of 13 white men are hiding the latest version of the health care bill—from fellow Republicans, Democrats, the press, and the public.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a summary of the latest Obamacare repeal legislation late Wednesday, ending a Washington waiting game after secret drafting sessions, but depicting a bill that will have dire consequences for much of America.
In a long-awaited, much-watched runoff seen across the country as an early verdict on Trump’s presidency, youthful Democrat newcomer Jon Ossoff failed to beat veteran Republican officeholder Karen Handel in the race for Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District.
The most conservative senators want a quicker, more decisive end to the Affordable Care Act. Those from centrist states prefer a slower unraveling — preferring to keep Obamacare’s federal funding that allowed them to expand Medicaid to more residents.