WE THE PEOPLE Are Being Crushed Under The Senate’s Heel

In May, when the House of Representatives passed an unconscionable health care bill, I noted that the bill would not stand a chance in the Senate.  I must retract that statement at this time, for it appears that the Senate has no more conscience than the House, and plays an even dirtier game of pool.

Nobody can say for certain what is in the Senate’s version of the bill that promises to repeal ACA (Obamacare) and replace it with … who knows?  It is apparent that the main goal is simply to repeal ACA, to pander to Trump’s narcissistic desire to erase President Obama’s name from every and anything and replace it with his own.  Never mind that ACA has worked fairly well, despite its entirely fixable problems.  Never mind that the House bill would rob some 24 million U.S. citizens of their ability to even have health care. The goal of the GOP members of Congress has nothing to do with We The People, and everything to do with tax cuts for big corporations.

Republican Senate leaders are now trying to ram through their own version of the the bill the House passed last month, one that, all reports suggest, will differ only in minor, cosmetic ways. And they’re trying to do it in total secrecy. It appears that there won’t be any committee hearings before the bill goes to the floor. Even the senators have not received so much as a draft of the text of the proposed bill.  Some have seen a PowerPoint presentation, but the “slides are flashed across the screens so quickly that they can hardly be committed to memory.”

“Clearly, the goal is to pass legislation that will have devastating effects on tens of millions of Americans without giving those expected to pass it, let alone the general public, any real chance to understand what they’re voting for. There are even suggestions that Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, might exploit loopholes in the rules to prevent any discussion on the Senate floor.” – Paul Krugman, New York Times, 19 June 2017

Recently Vox asked eight republican senators what, exactly, the bill is intended to do, what problems it will solve, and who stands to benefit.  Let us look at two of these interviews:

Tara Golshan, Vox and Senator John McCain:

Goldshan: Generally, what are the big problems this bill is trying to solve?

McCain: Almost all of them. They’re trying to get to 51 votes.

Golshan: Policy-wise. What are the problems [in the American health care system] this is trying to solve — and is the bill doing that right now?

McCain: Well, it’s whether you have full repeal, whether you have partial repeal, whether you have the basis of it. It’s spread all over.

Golshan: But based on the specifics of the bill you have heard so far, is it solving the problems [in the health care system]?

McCain: What I hear is that we have not reached consensus. That’s what everybody knows.

Golshan: Right, but outside of getting the votes. From what you hear of the actual legislation being written, is it solving the problems you see —

McCain: It’s not being written. Because there’s no consensus.

Golshan: But generally speaking, what are the big problems it is trying to solve?

McCain: You name it. Everything from the repeal caucus, which as you know, they have made their views very clear — Rand Paul, etc. And then there are the others on the other side of the spectrum that just want to make minor changes to the present system. There’s not consensus

Jeff Stein, Vox and Senator Chuck Grassley:

Stein: I want to ask a very broad question: What do you think this health care bill will accomplish that will improve America? What’s the positive case for this bill?

Grassley: Well, I can tell you what it’s going to do for Iowa. We are one of those states that in a couple of weeks if [the insurer] Medica pulls out, we’ll have 94 of our 95 counties won’t have any insurance ,even for people who have the subsidies. That’s what we have to concentrate on now.

Stein: How do you think the bill will fix that problem?

Grassley: Well, by bringing certainty to the insurance market. They don’t have that certainty now.

Stein: By bringing certainty to the insurance market. What certainty?

Grassley: What?

Stein: What do you mean by certainty?

Grassley: Well, they can’t even file. They have to check the rates real high if they don’t know what the government policy is. And so the certainty is that passing a bill gives the health insurance companies certainty.

Stein: Wouldn’t not passing a bill also do that?

Grassley: No, it … well, yeah — it gives them certainty that you’ll have a lot higher rates than if you pass the bill.

Stein: So you’re saying [the bill] will lower the rates?

Grassley: Um, if you’re talking about lowering the rates from now down, no. The rates could be way up here. [Points to sky] And if they — if we get a bill passed, it maybe wouldn’t go up or would go up a heck of a lot less than they would without a bill.

Stein: By “rates,” are you talking about premiums?

Grassley: Yeah, premiums. … I’m sorry I have to go.

There is more, but obviously I cannot replicate the article here … to read the full article click this link.

Both McCain and Grassley came across as having the intellect of a high school sophomore … how did they even get elected in the first place? And these people are the ones who will vote for a bill that they do not understand, simply in order to maintain their standing with a so-called president who also does not understand health care, and to rob the American people of the opportunity to seek medical care when they need it.

One of the biggest problems in health care today stems from the greed of the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Many health insurers could see significant tax cuts if ACA is rolled back. Repealing ACA’s taxes on the industry, plus the anticipated corporate tax cut, could save health care companies upward of $200 billion over the next decade, by some rough estimates. If anybody still believes that “trickle-down economics” actually works and that the insurance companies will somehow share that $200 billion with people in need of healthcare, then I have a beautiful bridge I will sell you cheap!

health-care-2The senate bill will likely, if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has his way, come for a vote very soon.  If passed, it then goes to the House, then to Trump.  If this bill is allowed to go all the way and become law, more people than ever in this country will die because they cannot obtain medical treatment.  It is that simple, folks.  All that is required is for three republican senators to find their conscience and vote against this bill … just THREE!  What can we do?  We can e-mail and call our unconscionable senators and make it very clear that if they vote for this bill, they will be out of a job next time they come up for re-election, either in 2018, 2020, or 2022.  Tell them that we have longer memories than they believe and they will not receive our vote.  If we do not use our voices, WE LOSE!

28 thoughts on “WE THE PEOPLE Are Being Crushed Under The Senate’s Heel

  1. The Congress seems to be building on a weak foundation. It may all fall down like a house of cards the next election. It will especially be bad news when the voter base of Trump finds themselves without health insurance. Somewhere along the line, it seems many in the government have lost brains. 😦 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does seem they have lost their brains, but also their hearts, souls and consciences. They have forgotten for whom they work, who gave them their jobs and who pays their salary. I, too, have high hopes that the majority of the republicans in the House will get the boot next year, but … first off, that is yet another 17 months, and sooooo much damage can be done in that time. Secondly, those who support these buffoons still think everything is wonderful, and they buy into the claim by republicans that if things aren’t so wonderful, well it must be those darned democrats that are to blame! I am cautiously optimistic about the mid-terms, but we all have to keep making our voices heard to remind people, to shine a light on the policies being made that hurt each and every one of us. Sigh. Gonna be a long 17 months …

      Like

    • Agreed … I am amazed sometimes, listening to our elected representatives speak. Most of these people actually have law degrees, and yet my granddaughter is more literate than they! Well, then we must consider the ringleader himself, who could not string an entire sentence together if his life depended on it. No, the carriers will not die, but they seem determined to reduce the population of the nation … perhaps so there will be more resources for them? Hmmmm … that’s a thought … kill off the old, the infirm, and then there will be more money in the budget to grant themselves huge salary increases!!! Brilliant, don’t you think? 🙃

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, the vacuous responses from the senators you quote are embarrassingly indicative. As with the “mean” AHCA as termed now by the President after his White House victory party last month, the Senate is doing the same clandestine effort to come up with a new bill. This stuff is too complex to be done in secret and without scheduled debate in Committee or on the floor. This is extremely poor stewardship which needs to be highlighted. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree … the secretiveness disturbs me as much as the likely content … this is not supposed to be a clandestine operation! And it is obvious to me that these senators do not have a clue what the bill is even intended to do, let alone what it will do. Plus … obviously they will not be waiting for an analysis by the CBO … wouldn’t you think they would have learned something from the House fiasco??? Sigh. Yes, my friend, it is extremely poor stewardship … I wonder how they sleep at night?

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      • Jill, Mitch McConnell promised the utmost of transparency when the GOP assumed the majority in the Senate. He lied again. I grow weary of politicians taking us for granted. Their statements are recorded – the President fails to recognize this as well. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • I share your weariness, Keith. It just never ends. I read tonight that McConnell is apparently doing most of the writing of the health care bill himself with only a couple of other senators present. He is the prime argument for term limits.

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          • Jill, one of the dilemmas the GOP faces is some key staffers who had a clue have left. McConnell’s writing may be indicative. What is lost on these folks is a key concern not being considered. If you throw people off health care insurance, this will have a dilutive effect on the economy. Quite simply, the full, unnegotiated cost will now be borne by consumers, so it will often not be spent or take dollars from other budgeted items. When this is coupled with the compilation of other dilutive steps taken or caused by this President, thr economy may be pushed toward a recession. Yet that is not discussed at all. Keith

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jill, I posted emails to my two senators and Mitch McConnell. I suggested gleaning input from others in committee, floor and CBO as this is too complex. To do otherwise is poor stewardship. Keith

              Liked by 1 person

            • That is an excellent point. I also read that the medical community is against it, because they envision treating more and more patients who have no insurance and cannot pay for their services. Frankly, I don’t imagine there are many outside of the insurance industry who are actually in support of the bill.

              Like

  3. Dear JILL,

    This is why this week’s Jon Ossoff’s election for GA. 6th district’s congressional seat vacated by Tom Price, the HHS Secretary. The republicans’ AHCA Act has been an important part of his campaign.

    If this longtime republican held seat turns democratic, this will send a message that will make US House republicans a lot more hesitant to act on this extremely unpopular bill.

    This is especially true as Jon Ossof is not the poster democratic candidate for this district.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you find 3 dissenting republican senators Jill but so far the odds aren’t good. Its going to take a lot of republican voters to be hit by the replacement to ACA to get them angry but the odds aren’t great on them voting out their senators next time either. Just enough I hope to at least sway the balance in the house though so anything they want doesn’t see the light of day. Justice will be nice.
    xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t get it at all – and not only because I’m Canadian. The most bizarre exchange so far, to me anyway, was Senator Claire McCaskill asking Senator Hatch if there will be more hearings, and when he couldn’t answer, an aide had to whisper an answer to him in his ear. As John Oliver said, how pathetic! (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/john-oliver-ahca-republican-senators-healthcare-bill-1014659) They all deserve to lose their seats, and it can’t be soon enough!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing that link! I love John Oliver, but had not seen that one. Yes, I would love to see them all lose their seats, and I only wish the mid-terms were this year instead of next! This is all the stuff that ulcers are made of … but wait … I cannot afford to get ulcers for I will have no insurance by the time the bozos in Washington are done! Oh Woe!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. While, as a UK resident and citizen, I cannot influence anything by writing to a Republican Senator, I do think it would help for you good Americans to do so. For goodness sakes, your healthcare access is being manipulated by moronic conspirators who do not even know what it will accomplish! They are like children pushing each other off a race track without knowing if the winner at the end will even get a prize or a beating! It is completely ludicrous!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Agreed! And we will be writing and calling … but I am never quite sure if anybody is listening, and it does get discouraging to either get back what is obviously a form letter, or worse yet, no response. But I am not a quitter, and I am very angry over this one, so i have already sent letters to both senators of my state. This madness must stop!

      Liked by 1 person

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