Is The Much Worse Care Reconciliation Act on Brink of Defeat?
In case you’re wondering, I’ve slightly tweaked the name of Senate Trumpcare from the Better Care Reconciliation Act to the Much Worst Care Reconciliation Act. I spoke about it on Twitter-hopefully you know I’m Mike Sax.
Well it's just a small change. McConnell calls it The Better Healthcare Reconciliation Act
— mike sax (@mikesaxny2) June 27, 2017
I call is Much Worse Care as it raises the insurance costs of most people.
— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) June 26, 2017
True ‘average premiums’ over time will go down, but that’s just sleight of hand as deductibles will go through the roof. Average is a very misleading term; the rich can get richer while the poor get poorer and yet average income may well go up and up.
Median as opposed to average in economics at least a somewhat better metric.
You can spin it this way if you like but if the bill passes people will find out this is just higher deductibles & copays. https://t.co/SvxQgte8BL
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 26, 2017
In any case The Much Worse Care Reconciliation Act is reportedly in some trouble.
“Senate Obamacare repeal on brink of defeat.”
“At least four Republicans could oppose a key procedural vote to call up the bill. And the party remains deeply divided after a CBO report estimating 22 million fewer Americans would have insurance under the plan.”
“Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal effort is on track to blow up before it even gets started.”
“The GOP is well short of the votes needed to bring its bill to the floor, and party leaders and President Donald Trump are kicking into overdrive to save their imperiled health care overhaul.”
“At least four Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Dean Heller of Nevada and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, have signaled they could oppose a key procedural vote that will occur either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday. A number of other senators, like Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Marco Rubio of Florida, are undecided.”
Still, despite this rosy headline, by no means can we celebrate too early. It’s never over till it’s over-and it’s not over by any means.
I'm going to prove how savvy I am by saying you should never underestimate McConnell and also he's going to cut (magic word here) DEALS
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) June 26, 2017
I think Sargent is sort of being ironic here but by no means do you ever want to underestimate Mitch McConnell-he’s an evil but clever turtle. He’s like Donald Trump in his contempt for democracy, but unlike Herr Trump he has great patience and discipline.
As for Ron Johnson, his argument makes sense-they really should have you know, some actual debate before plowing through with this. But his motivations are very sketchy.
This Ron Johnson thing is baffling.
Reeks of false flag operation of some kind.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) June 27, 2017
GOP leaders said ultimately that even lawmakers who oppose the bill in its current form could be persuaded to allow the debate over the party’s long-sought Obamacare rollback to begin.
“I would hope … our members would at least let us get on it,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 3 GOP leader. “Everybody wants to exert whatever leverage that they can, where they can get the most leverage, but I would expect we’d be able to get on the bill.”
I love this indignant-I would hope.
And hope is different than confidence that they will:
“Simply overcoming the hurdle is becoming a massive headache for Republican leaders, and the Senate GOP seemed more divided than ever after the release on Monday of the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis.”
“Senators from Medicaid expansion states huddled on Monday evening, hoping to persuade McConnell to pour more money into Medicaid and opioid treatment, but budget hawks are eyeing an opportunity to pocket the savings and decrease the deficit.”
“We’re trying to accommodate [senators’] concerns without losing other support,” Cornyn said.
“Trump and GOP leadership are doing all they can to tamp down criticism of the legislation and a voting timetable that will provide perhaps just a couple of days for senators to review the final product before a vote.”]
But here’s the rub. Trump is trying to get involved and making things worse.
“But those efforts have been complicated by the Trump-linked super PAC America First Policies and its plans to attack Heller and four conservative senators for balking at the bill.”
“Sources close to McConnell said they were concerned the effort could backfire and jeopardize the entire bill by angering Heller, Johnson, Paul and Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah.”
“It’s certainly not helpful,” said one of the sources. The second source called the effort “buffoonish.”
On Sunday Jon Cornyn had said of Trump-‘We’re trying to hold him back.’
Despite all this, the big worry is we celebrate before we’ve won anything-and we haven’t. Paul Waldman has it right:
Who’s pretending to be opposed, who can be swayed, and what really matters.
1. Don’t believe hard-line conservatives who say they might vote no.
“This is all a pose. If you think that Ron Johnson — who once called the Affordable Care Act the “greatest assault on freedom in our lifetime” in an interview with an organization devoted to spreading the philosophy of Ayn Rand — is going to pass up an opportunity to stick a knife in the ACA, you’re dreaming. The same is true of the other conservatives. They’ll hold out for some changes to make the bill even crueler than it is now, and then once they get something they can point to in order to argue that they made the bill better, they’ll vote for it. If they’re asked about their prior complaints about the secrecy and speed of the process, they’ll say, “It wasn’t how I would have designed it, but in the end it was the best chance we had to kill Obamacare.”
2. Don’t count on “moderates” to do the right thing. Ask yourself this: Can you recall a significant piece of legislation on which Republican moderates in the Senate, concerned that their GOP colleagues were taking an extreme position, joined with Democrats to swing the vote? It doesn’t happen. If they break with their party, it’s only when their votes aren’t decisive. When it really matters, the alleged moderates always line up with the GOP. So if you’re thinking that Susan Collins is going to make a noble, courageous stand to save millions of Americans’ health care, you’re going to be disappointed.”
3. Republican senators’ fear is the only thing that will defeat this bill — and their fear is dependent on the volume and intensity of opposition. The whole point of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s strategy of writing the bill in secret and then quickly pushing it through is to minimize public attention and opposition. There are senators who right now are what we might consider “worried maybe” votes — they’ll vote yes if the risks don’t seem too great, but they could bail out if they can be made to fear a public backlash. Senators like Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia know that their states will be absolutely brutalized by this bill, but as of yet they haven’t been convinced that their constituents know that.”
“There are now 10 Republican senators who have either said they oppose the bill “in this form” — which means they could switch to support once some changes are made — or have publicly expressed their doubts about the bill without saying they oppose it.”
Our job is to convince these roughly 10 GOP Senators that their constituents do know that.
Bottomline? The next few days are crucial and decisive:
5. This right here — the next three days — is the endgame. For a time, it was assumed that even if the Senate passed a bill, it would be less harsh than the House’s bill, and then there would be a dilemma for the conference committee charged with reconciling the two versions: Write a compromise bill that was too vicious and it might not hold Senate moderates, but write a bill that wasn’t vicious enough and House conservatives would vote no.”
“As of now, though, there’s little chance that there will actually be a conference committee, because that just allows more time for the public to understand what they’re doing and risks more members of Congress fleeing. So if it passes, Paul Ryan will probably just take the Senate’s bill and put it up for a vote in the House. Members of the Freedom Caucus will decide that while they’d prefer if it would throw even more people off their coverage and make life even more miserable for the poor and the sick, they’ll take what they can get, because this is their only chance. It will pass, President Trump will sign it, and the results for Americans’ health care and economic security will be catastrophic.”
“What that means is that everything depends on this week. Republicans don’t want to defend their bill publicly, they’re lying about it desperately and they’re hoping they can wrap up the whole thing before the public realizes what’s happening. They can be stopped — but only if they’re feeling heat from the public.”
Everything depends on this week. The next 2-3 days. We must fight like our lives depends on it-because it does.
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.