House Republicans plan to keep their ‘repeal and disgrace’ plan secret until the last possible moment
First, the good news:
- Showing up and getting all up in your Representatives’ grills, especially during Congress’ recess, left elected officials “blown away.”
- Republicans still can’t agree a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act because, according to Politico, “the process has been bogged down by policy disputes over issues such as whether there should be refundable tax credits, whether a Medicaid expansion is going to be repealed and how to pay for it.”
- The ACA keeps getting more popular and even most Republicans don’t want to repeal it until a replacement has been announced.
- By forcing the GOP to come up with a replacement, we see the cruelty of what the GOP is proposing — massive giveaways for the wealthy and abject cruelty for the sick, poor and older Americans, especially “individuals ages 55 to 64, whose costs would increase by $5,118 per year.” Okay, that’s terrible news but it’s good we know it.
Now, the bad news:
- Republicans are determined to go through repeal anyway.
- They cannot back down because their donors want the massive tax breaks, $7 million a year for the richest 400 Americans, and their base, 81 percent of all Republicans, want the bill gone.
- They can still pass a bill with only Republican votes as long as they do not lose more than 24 votes in the house and 2 votes in the Senate.
- Just 3 conservative Senators can kill the bill and Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are saying they will not vote for anything less than full repeal. So if a bill passes it will be probably the worst possible outcome for America — the least generous approach to health insurance possible. Like 2009 but with 20+ Americans about to be stripped of their coverage.
So we have them on the run.
Like, literally. They’re hiding the bill.
For now, according to Bloomberg, leaders are planning to make the bill available only to committee members, who will have to view a printout in a dedicated reading room. No copies will be allowed out of the room.
Committee rules call for making legislation public no less than three calendar days before hearings, which means that Republicans will have to post a version by 11:59 p.m. on Monday if they want markup to start sometime on Wednesday. But Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), who sits on the committee, told Bloomberg that the vote might take place before the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation get a chance to produce formal estimates of the bill’s effects on insurance coverage and the federal budget.
They’re going to vote on it without any details on the damage it will do to Americans or the deficit or the health care industry, all things Republicans have recently pretended to care about.
We have to note what a case of “fuckery” this is.
You know “fuckery,” right?
You can’t miss it these days. It’s Donald Trump deporting moms and dads while hiring guest workers to work at his winery and resorts. It’s guys who wanted to lock Hillary Clinton up for imagined crimes lying to the FBI. It’s Paul Ryan pretending to have a human heart.
The Urban Dictionary defines “fuckery” as “absolute bullshit; utter nonsense; something rather suspicious that can bring forth uneasy, angry and irritated feelings.” Shawn Hamilton succinctly notes, “It makes a mockery of the very idea of truth.”
The House GOP plan absorbs every complaint the GOP made about the passing of the ACA and enacts it as perfect parody designed to reveal how little Republicans care about the words that ooze from their mouths.
Luckily, the bill still has to pass the Senate, where Democrats have some control and Republicans have very thin margins.
That’s when the debate and the real trouble for Republicans begins, Paul Waldman explains:
Right now they can’t agree on what a replacement should be, and the disagreements aren’t minor at all. It isn’t as though one group of Republicans thinks there should be a $4,000 tax credit for people to buy insurance, and another group thinks it should be $5,000. The disagreements go much deeper.
Basically the disagreements come down to “How much to we screw the poor and blow the rich?” And you know which side they’ll come down on.
So get your pitchforks ready.
- Stay in your Reps’ faces and keep calling their local offices — this site makes contacting your reps easy as hell.
- Democrats need to start focusing on three-to-four huge messages to preserve this law so we can get on to the important work of actually insuring the rest of America. I favor pointing out that repealing the ACA gives the richest 400 Americans a $7 million tax break a year — because it blows my bean brain every time I hear it.
- Don’t ever lose sight of this fight, not even for a day, as Andy Slavitt explained.
We need to focus on all of the wrongdoings of Trump’s GOP but even as we focus on his potential collusion with Russia we have to note the bigger point.
What is that point?
Glad you asked.
I think it was me who once said, or wrote, that Trump is “A minority president with a negative mandate under a cloud of inscrutable suspicion is pursuing a largely unpopular agenda with possibly irreparable consequences.”
He must be stopped.
[Image by Ted Eytan | Flickr]