Republicans

The Cassidy/Graham bill, the GOP’s latest attempt to repeal Obamacare is godawful. So vile that few Republicans have spoken well about it. And the few that have, had to lie to support their laughable point of view. There is little evidence that the majority of Republican Senators even know what’s in it. Certainly, there has been no debate in Congress. And no public airing of who it hurts and how.

And that’s just fine with Republicans.

They are up against a September 30th deadline to get the thing done with a simple majority. And ‘done’ they want it — if only to fulfill their campaign promise. The political calculation here is that not repealing Obamacare is worse politically than repealing it — no matter how punitive the replacement is.

Pundits chatter about the damage done to the electoral fortunes of marginal Republicans by this piece of cruelty. But conservatives calculate that losing a few seats is a small price to pay for protecting themselves against onslaughts by an enraged far-right. Most Republican politicians don’t have to worry about a Democrat in the general. They have to worry about a challenge in the primary.

One Republican excuse for this inexcusable cruelty is the claim that the people elected them to repeal Obamacare — so damn it, that’s what they’re going to do. But that argument is crap. They ran on replacing Obamacare with something better. Trump himself promised “We’re going to have insurance for everybody. We’re going to have a healthcare that is far less expensive and far better.” 

The Cassidy/Graham bill provides neither “far less expensive”, nor “better” healthcare. The best guess is that 32 million Americans will lose their health insurance. And pre-existing conditions will be priced out of the market.  Exactly how bad the bill is is unknown. The CBO hasn’t been given enough time to ‘score’ it.

Why not, you may ask? Two reasons. Republicans don’t want people to know the awful truth — and they are also up against that September 30th deadline.

However, that is apparently too much for John McCain. Already in the books for stopping one attempt at repeal, he has announced that he can’t support another rush job that ignores ‘regular order’. Or the usual debate and amendment process that attends a bill’s passage.

With McCains ‘thumbs down’ the pundits suggest the bill is dead. Maybe. But it ain’t over until it’s over. And when it comes to hurting people the GOP is indefatigable. Expect more attempts down the road.

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