It’s the billionaire donors, of course
Graham-Cassidy — the latest version of Trumpcare — looks to be within one or two votes of passing the Senate with 50 votes by the September 30th deadline mandated by the budget reconciliation process. There’s a momentum and urgency to the bill that suggests that this really could happen, though no Republican can make a clear case what problem the bill actually solves, except giving Republicans a legislative win that would allow the party to do major damage to Medicaid.
Susan Collins says new bill has some of the same probs as old one … as well as "some additional flaws" on pre-ex conditions
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) September 19, 2017
Susan Collins admits the bill is worse than the last one she opposed with a bullhorn but she hasn’t yet come out as a nay.
What gives? Why are Collins and John McCain keeping this bill alive even though it flies in the face of clear principles he defined in the speech he gave when he cast the deciding vote to stop the last Trumpcare atrocity.
The simple answer, as Michael Linden told us on this week’s The Sit and Spin Room, is usually: tax breaks. Republicans tout them as the solution to everything from 9/11 to hurricanes.
But the bill actually keeps most of the Obamacare taxes, which is the one reason to believe Rand Paul might actually vote against it.
Here’s a simpler answer: It’s the billionaires.
From The Guardian, in June:
At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.
One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.
“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”
Watching Bill Cassidy and Dean Heller abandoning their few seconds of nobility to champion a bill that doesn’t just fail the Jimmy Kimmel test but fails to make even basic sense, you’d almost believe that Donald Trump has some special powers to make people humiliate themselves with shameless frisson.
But it’s just about the money.
The Koch network helped save the Senate for the GOP in 2016 after helping them take it in 2014 — and key Senate wins in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin may have even helped push Trump over the finish line. And the closing of its piggy banks isn’t just a threat, it’s an existential threat to many Republicans’ careers. That’s why they’re willing to vote on a bill before the CBO will even tell them how many Americans they’re about to uninsure. They’re so desperate that they don’t care whom they hurt.
What can you do about it?
You can now make calls to try to sway the key votes that will decide if we’re going to uninsure up to 32 million and end Medicaid as we know it no matter where you live through this great tool from the Indivisible Team.
And in general raise a ruckus and remind all your normal friends on Facebook that they need to be making calls too.