The Senate GOP Version of Trumpcare: Deeper Cuts but Phased in More Slowly
We knew it was bad-after all, rather than talk about it the Republicans would rather body slam reporters-but this is probably even worse than imagined:
REVEALED: Senate bill kicks millions off healthcare and contains deeper cuts to Medicaid, just phases them in more slowly. No thanks. https://t.co/xMKcaiwSFL
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 22, 2017
No wonder Mitch McConnell won’t let anyone see it.
“At 11 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, the Senate will release its long-awaited health care plan. But the Washington Post obtained a draft version of the bill before its release. Here’s what the Senate plan would do:
• Reduce Medicaid funding in the long term
• Continue to provide subsidies to help people purchase insurance
• Eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood
• End the requirement that all Americans have health insurance
• No longer require companies with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance
“Much of that is similar to the House bill, though there are notable differences. The Senate version, championed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), would cut Medicaid more slowly than the House version, but the cuts to the program for low-income people would be more dramatic. It provides subsidies to people based on income, not age. The Senate bill would not cut taxpayer funding of abortions.”
“Both the Senate and House bills face stiff resistance from Democrats. In the Senate, the opposition is exploring how to delay any vote on the bill before the July 4 recess. Democrats could introduce an unlimited number of amendments to the health care bill, all of which would require an up-or-down vote, to stall the Senate legislation.”
The good news is some GOP Senators are saying they won’t support it-McConnell can only lose two of them.
“But Democrats may not have to go that far. Several Republicans are already suggesting they will not support the Senate bill. Several have said the timeline is too short (McConnell wants to vote on the bill next week) while others complain the bill does too little or too much. Conservatives like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are concerned the bill does not go far enough to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. But Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), who is more moderate, said she’s displeased with the Medicaid cuts and lack of funding to fight the opioid crisis.”
Greg Sargent for his part continues to press the point that GOP secrecy is working.
Republicans don't care if media attacks them over secrecy of health bill.
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) June 22, 2017
Brian Beutler makes the same point:
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) June 22, 2017
And I guess there’s some truth in this-after all, even John Dean says that had Nixon destroyed the tapes he’d have outlasted Watergate.
“…the secrecy adopted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is explicitly designed to shield the Senate GOP health-care bill from as much debate and public scrutiny as possible. The text of the bill will be available for all of one week before it is likely to be voted upon, after having been drafted in such secrecy that even Republican senators complained that they were being kept in the dark. There have not been, and apparently will not be, any hearings before the vote.”
“What’s more, lawmakers and the public may have only two or three days to absorb the details and significance of the CBO’s conclusions. Given that this will be the most rich and detailed empirical analysis available of the bill’s likely impact on tens of millions of people and one-sixth of the U.S. economy, you’d think this document would be deserving of extensive consideration in all its complexity.”
No doubt, this is because Mitch McConnell worries the bill might be too popular.
But this rolling scandal doesn’t end there. This compressed schedule is not only designed to limit debate on the bill. As the Journal reports, the vote is being rushed for the express purpose of getting it done before the July 4 recess, because the failure to do so “could open Republican lawmakers up to pressure from constituents,” some of whom might be “concerned about losing their health coverage.” Thus, the schedule is also explicitly designed to shield lawmakers from public exposure and questioning about the immense human toll the measure they are considering could have — before they vote on it.
In other words, with as little debate as humanly possible.
Another find: the GOP Senate will debate for fewer hours than the number of days the Democrats debated ACA.
SENATE WILL DEBATE HEALTH BILL FOR 20 HOURS: This is a clever juxtaposition from the New York Times:
Before Congress adopted the Affordable Care Act, Democrats held numerous public hearings, and the Senate debated the measure on the floor for 25 days. Senate Republican leaders plan to push through their repeal bill under arcane budget rules that would limit debate on it to 20 hours.
So there will be fewer hours of public debate on the GOP bill than there were days of debate on the ACA.
Yet Mitch McConnell called that ‘ram through.’
UPDATE: Kasey Hunt on MSNBC just reported from the train station-they’re not allowed to be at the Capitol!! I mean you wonder what an authoritarian state looks like…
P.S. So the Gravis poll against Peter King NY2 and it has good news-almost too good to believe.
In my March poll I trailed King by 11 and thought that was very good news. Now Gravis has me up by 10? Still, the moment of truth is next week when Gravis writes up the press release.
I can use any help I can get at this point-volunteers or supporters who live in NY 2. Donations whatever your zip code. These days we can’t just support a local Dem we need a Dem Congress. Which is why I’ve donated few hundred to Jon Ossoff.
Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House-$5 or $10 can do so much.
If you feel that you can’t I, of course, understand-who is rich these days? But please do me one favor: ask yourself privately, mentally, if you really can’t spare $5 dollars. If you can honestly say you can’t, no worries.
We can have a Dem Congress, we must have a Dem Cogress, and we will.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.