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‘More People Will Die’: Everything About The GOP Obamacare Repeal Is Nuts


‘More People Will Die’: Everything About The GOP Obamacare Repeal Is Nuts

The worst disaster to hit the U.S. after 9-11 is unfolding before our eyes. An unpopular president and a House Republican leadership team with a seemingly weak grasp of its own members’ priorities is preparing to rush through legislation that would trade 24 million people’s health coverage for a huge tax cut on wealthy households and health care corporations.

This cruel plan goes by the name of the American Health Care Act (TrumpCare), a dull title that belies not only the havoc it could wreak on the health care system but the chaos it’s creating within the Republican Party, from the White House to Capitol Hill to the monied interests that fund the GOP’s agenda.

If the Republicans take away health insurance for 24 million people, there are only two roads ahead: 1) health centers and hospitals won’t get paid for the treatments they give – and they’ll pass along the costs to everyone else, or 2) even more people in America are going to go bankrupt, lose their homes, their savings, and everything else they have built up. Oh, and more people will die without health care.

The Republican health care reform bill has sparked protests across the country, and would have disproportionately harmful effects on the older, poorer and rural voters often credited with President Donald Trump’s electoral victory while having disproportionately positive effects for well-off urbanites.

Their misguided effort doesn’t solve the Affordable Care Act’s problems, it makes things worst. The CBO concluded tens of millions would lose their health insurance.

As one person said Wednesday, “Simply put, this bill does not meet the standards of what was promised; it is not as good or better than what we currently have.” That person was 11-term Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo (N.J.).

As noted by The Huffington Post:

To understand how a bill with such little apparent political upside could actually be this close to becoming law, one must first understand the driving dynamics of the modern Republican Party. It is, fundamentally, a party that’s inoculated by congressional districts drawn in its favor, and that’s driven by process as much as policy.

There is a zeal to exact revenge on former President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party and to fulfill its promises to “repeal and replace Obamacare” that could overwhelm any other consideration. And there is also a belief that a legislative “win” ― even for a piece of legislation this universally disliked ― is as important as the policy outcome it produces.

“Right now the Republican base is holding solid, and most of these House members are from solid districts,” said former Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) “So if the base holds, the members will be fine. Most of them. But if they don’t do this, the Republican base gets pissed. They start to not have faith in their own members and that’s when you see these big problems.”

“The worst thing that can happen is it goes down,” Davis added. “That is a worse result for you because at that point your base collapses. I don’t think there is any way they can not pass something and the majority survives.”

This view is shared not just by former members but by current ones as well. The prevailing wisdom on Capitol Hill is that if health care reform doesn’t pass, the Republican Party’s entire agenda may be imperiled.

That’s one of the reasons why Trump has fully embraced the bill and why Ryan remains determined to force this bill to the floor Thursday ― the seventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act’s enactment ― after forcing it through four committees in two weeks, in the face of strong opposition within his conference the entire time.

Republicans don’t care that the majority of Americans and the health care sector almost uniformly rejects this legislation. The health insurance industry is delicately balancing its support for short-term funding that would benefit them with its anxiety about longer-term cuts to Medicaid and health insurance subsidies that would harm them. Consumer groups like AARP and the March of Dimes are marshaling their forces against it.

A last-minute attempt by President Donald Trump to corral conservative votes for his health care overhaul have fallen short, HuffPost reported.

“There aren’t enough votes as of 1:30 pm,” said the House Freedom Caucus Chair, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). The Caucus is a band of conservative lawmakers who has opposed the bill because it still has some “Obamacare benefits for the poor.”

Should the Freedom Caucus continue to oppose the bill, it would put its fate in serious jeopardy. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) can afford to lose no more than 21 votes. And with conservatives opposed the number of House members unwilling to back the bill looks to be well above that total.

Republicans made promises on health care they couldn’t keep, and it might finally be catching up to them. If the bill fails, their years of promises of repeal will have been exposed as empty. If this bill passes, their voters will find out what it does: More people will die.

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