As encouraging as watching the American Millionaires Bailout Act aka TrumpCare expose the fissures within a coaliton that is less a political party than a contagion intent on wiping out the poorest among us, I’m still not optimistic that Mitch McConnell says eh fuck it. Too many promises, too many threats; a restless base, a base base wants appeasing. Before Trump left for Vladimir Putin’s parlor last week, Republican senators had dalready resorted to lying. Brian Beutler reports that Trump and his minions, infuriated by the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of the Senate bill, will find hacks of his own to rubberstamp the bill:
There is one neutral, in-house scorekeeper, run at the moment by a Republican economist, who was hand-picked by Trump’s own health and human services secretary, and it found that Trumpcare will leave tens of millions of Americans uninsured relative to current law. The gainsaying of CBO’s findings with dressed-up right-wing propaganda is, like the Cruz amendment deceptions, an attempt to lie Trumpcare into law. To the extent that 50 Republican senators play up the false view that Trumpcare won’t leave millions of uninsured, citing bogus think tank “studies,” or hyping opioid slush fund dollars, or pretending their bill won’t gut pre-existing conditions protections, it is a sign that movement toward passage of the bill continues.
But here comes the part about the fissures:
The good news is these last-ditch efforts to muscle the GOP health care bill into law are beginning to flag and work against each other. The same Post story notes that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will task Cruz himself with pitching his amendment to the rest of the GOP conference. It will be up to Cruz in some sense, then, to stop Republicans from breaking ranks.
And as anyone with a splinter’s worth of Beltway knowledge can attest, Ted Cruz is as popular among colleagues as a copy of Das Kapital. Why ceding the bill’s future to this tub of guts adduces McConnnel’s strategic smarts is beyond my capacity to understand. Maybe people who use the phrase “three-dimensional chess” know.
Keep up the pressure, beloved readers; otherwise, imagine fifty states with Kentucky’s health care system, from which the poor and old get booted but those who pay along will get free glasses and bridgework every few years.