With TrumpCare 3.0, Reading the Bill is Out the Window
Remember 2010-they derided the Dems allegedly passing something that nobody read. Actually the Democrats took a much longer time than the GOP is taking here-there has literally been very little debate with Trumpcare.
Trump is really frustrated about so far failing to get his ‘win’ on Obamacare but may soon realize that the only thing worse for him than failing here is succeeding. His poll numbers are currently in the low 40s but if this were to pass they’d be a lot lower than that.
But with Trumpcare 3.0, reading the bill is out. Heck, even doing a CBO score is out, as then a lot of these skittish House members will reconsider walking the plank. Trumpcare 1.0 was at 17% popularity. But each new incantation of it has been worse.
Kevin Drum has the details:
“It looks like Republicans are planning to vote on their health care bill on Thursday. Will it pass? Leadership is saying so, but they might just be lying. Who knows? One way or another, it’s going to be close.”
With that in mind, let’s do a quick wrap-up of the bill:
- There have been no public hearings.
- There’s no final text.
- There’s no updated CBO score.
- It is opposed by virtually every patient advocacy group and everyone in the health care industry.
- Congress is still exempted from the new rules that allow states to waive essential benefits.
- It raises premiums dramatically for older people.
- It removes Obamacare’s protection against being turned down for a pre-existing condition.
- It would steadily gut Medicaid spending for the very poorest.
- It removes coverage from at least 24 million people, probably more.
- It slashes taxes on the rich by about a trillion dollars over ten years.
“This is a depraved piece of legislation. It’s a windfall for the rich and promises nothing but misery for the poor. How is it possible that 90 percent of House Republicans are happily voting in favor of this moral abomination?”
My only answer is there is something seriously wrong with these people, morally, in terms of a-lack of-empathy. They can see a bit like what Jimmy Kimmel related about his newborn son and not be moved.
Still, the writer of this piece, Eric Zorn, makes a good point:
“Kimmel opened his nightly ABC talk show with an often-tearful, 13-minute retelling of the frightening days after son Billy’s birth April 21 when a surgeon saved the boy’s life by performing emergency surgery to repair a defect in his heart.”
“Toward the end Kimmel said, “Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition. And if your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition.”
“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” he said. “I think that’s something that, whether you’re a Republican, or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”
“Well, no. Wrong.”
I understand Kimmel’s desire not to sully his powerful tale with partisanship, but the central difference of opinion in this major battle over insurance coverage is partisan. Democrats generally believe that access to consistent, affordable, quality health care is a right. Republicans generally believe that it is a privilege properly enjoyed by those with the means to afford it, like access to quality restaurants.
“Let’s stop with the nonsense,” Kimmel pleaded. “This isn’t football. There are no teams. We are the team. It is the United States. Don’t let their partisan squabbles divide us on something every decent person wants. No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life.”
Zorn is right. It’s a partisan divide. The idea of separating this from politics is an illusion. In principle the GOP believes if you don’t have the money you and your baby should do without healthcare.
“Walsh, 55, who has a nationally syndicated daily program that originates from Chicago conservative talk station WIND AM-560, helpfully jumped online to clarify.”
“To paraphrase: Life is about choices. And if you choose not to have enough money or a job that provides your children with urgently needed care, it’s not my problem. It’s your sick baby’s problem. Good luck with that.”
“My money was earned by me and should be kept by my family and I (sic),” Walsh tweeted a half-hour later. Then, the next morning, as he was being roasted on social and conventional media coast to coast (and mocked for earlier troubles when he fell behind in his child support payments), he added, “It’s not compassion to forcibly take the money I make & give it to someone else. It is compassion for me to voluntarily help someone else.”
Right, because in Walsh’s mind it’s all about himself and how he feels in helping someone. He only feels good if it’s voluntary. As if our concern is not a child without healthcare but how this fact makes Joe Walsh feel.
But I do agree that describing things as nonpartisan often misses the point.
Meanwhile, many Dems actually think this will be a big win for them if this does pass the House-but fail in the Senate.
House Democrats think they’ve finally found their path back to power: Republicans voting to repeal Obamacare.
“Yes, the best thing to happen to House Democrats since they pushed through the sprawling health care law — and lost the majority as a result — could be the Republican drive to dismantle it.”
“I think the Republicans are playing Russian roulette with this vote,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). “There’s no question in competitive districts where you’ve got a potentially vulnerable Republican incumbent, this could make or break you.”
“Democrats don’t actually want the law repealed. Under their dream scenario, House GOP leaders would muscle through their controversial health care bill only to watch it die a long, painful death in the Senate, where it has already received a lukewarm reception from Republicans. Obamacare would stay intact while the House Republicans who voted to gut the law have a big shiny target on their back heading into the 2018 midterms.”
“I think there will be a political price to pay at the ballot box in 2018,” Rep. Linda Sánchez of California, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, told reporters Tuesday.
Of course, Kevin Drum is also right:
“This bill needs to be decisively put out of its misery. Yes, I suppose Democrats might benefit by forcing vulnerable House members to vote for it, and then killing it in the Senate, but that’s not worth the risk that, somehow, it might actually pass if it gets through the House. You never know. Best to make it crystal clear that there’s simply no needle Republicans can thread on this subject.”
“Then we get to wait and see if President Trump kills Obamacare anyway in a fit of pique by cutting off the CSR subsidies. This is really shaping up to be a great year.”
Obviously, if the Dems had control they’d rather it not pass the House either. But if it does, there is this potential big upside. But the worst case scenario is it actually gets to Trump’s desk.
That would be a huge political opportunity for the Dems as well-but we don’t want that to happen because it’s the human cost we’re trying desperately to avoid.
But Trump may end up realizing he should have quit while he was behind.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.