Two GOP Senators Just Killed Trumpcare (For Now)
The GOP has been frothing at the mouth since 2010 over The Affordable Care Act, more affectionately known as Obamacare, and they've made no secret of this reality. The last seven years has seen the majority of Republican politicians using the health care initiative as a soap box, promising the American people an alternative that they'd be lucky to have, if only the right were in power.
Well, now they are, and their new plan has gone over like a lead balloon full of small pox blankets and infant-sized placebo inhalers.
On Monday, two more Republicans pulled their support of the American Health Care Act, leaving it effectively dead in the water. Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas, have expressed that they can not vote for the newest inception of the bill, and now Mitch McConnell has virtually no hope of shoving this toxic measure through.
It's very likely that the decision of Sens. Lee and Moran is completely political. According to a Gallup poll, before Trump was elected, the ACA had an approval rating of 42%. While that figure represents a considerably large portion of a minority, it's still a minority. It gave the GOP some wiggle-room to plant those seeds of doubt in the minds of those on the fence as to the efficacy of the program. But after the Republican health care plan was announced, Obamacare's approval rating jumped to 55%, it's first majority approval since it was passed nearly seven years prior. All of the critically ill protesters who camped out in front of McConnell's office likely had an effect as well, but I digress.
More than half of the ACA recipients (6.3 million people) live in Republican controlled districts. This means that Republican lawmakers have to answer to their base on a literal life or death issue. So, even if Joe the plumber (Google it, kids) isn't using Obamacare, his close friend, Betsy the baker might be. While Joe is a lifelong Republican, and doesn't go a day without wearing his deer piss covered MAGA hat, he doesn't want Betsy to die because she lost her coverage. Maybe there are some unrequited feelings there. Maybe Joe has been trying to work up the courage, ever since the divorce, to ask Betsy out. Sure, she's out of his league. Hell, she's even disgusted by his politics. But there's a kindness behind his misguided views of Muslims, and his steely blue eyes hide a passionate and wild mystery that betray his conservative values. If he only had the courage to take her hand, and say “Betsy. I may be nothin' more than a folksy plumber. But, you and me, I think we can bake up somethin' real nice together,” then both of their lives could change forever.
But they can't do any of that if Betsy dies from a treatable illness that she can't afford to tend to. Therefore, Joe votes against the guy who voted for the bill that will likely kick her off of her health care. It's really that simple.
Moran's argument is that it doesn't actually repeal the ACA, and he and Lee seem in agreement that it doesn't go far enough in delivering on the Republican's promise to eviscerate the law. It's debatable whether or not any of these people will realize that the majority of Americans are now in favor of Obamacare now that they've stared down into the dark and cavernous depths of a conservative health care plan, leaving them spinning in disbelief at the absolute uselessness of it. The ACA has it's issues, and needs to be reworked in a major way. But the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the new plan would leave 23 million people uninsured. Since roughly 20 million people have gotten insured under Obamacare, the CBO estimate means that we would actually have less people insured than if we had never done anything at all.
It should be no surprise that this bill is dead (for now). Given the numbers, it's more amazing that any party would be brazen enough to propose such a dumpster fire of an idea in the first place. It's almost as if Republicans are afraid to be outdone by the Dems losing streak, and are bound and determined to show their counterparts that they're just as capable of butchering their own future campaigns as they are.
Either way, bye for now AHCA! We'll see you after your next makeover!