Health care palooza

Paul Waldman:

I won’t mince words. The health-care bill that the House of Representatives passed this afternoon, in an incredibly narrow 217-to-213 vote, is not just wrong, or misguided, or problematic or foolish. It is an abomination. [bold are mine] If there has been a piece of legislation in our lifetimes that boiled over with as much malice and indifference to human suffering, I can’t recall what it might have been. And every member of the House who voted for it must be held accountable…

It is no exaggeration to say that if it were to become law, this bill would kill significant numbers of Americans. People who lose their Medicaid, don’t go to the doctor, and wind up finding out too late that they’re sick. People whose serious conditions put them up against lifetime limits or render them unable to afford what’s on offer in the high-risk pools, and are suddenly unable to get treatment…

Perhaps this bill will never become law, and its harm may be averted. But that would not mitigate the moral responsibility of those who supported it. Members of Congress vote on a lot of inconsequential bills and bills that have a small impact on limited areas of American life. But this is one of the most critical moments in recent American political history. The Republican health-care bill is an act of monstrous cruelty. It should stain those who supported it to the end of their days.



The cliché about Republicans is that they’re heartless and cold and don’t care about the weak and the poor and the defenseless. And today, in passing this abomination of a health-care act, Republicans in the House of Representatives proved that life is simple and the cliché is true.

But wait—they’re proving even more than that. Because the legislation they passed won’t merely hurt the weak and poor and defenseless. It’s going to hurt plenty of middle-class people, plenty of people they’d call good, normal Americans; people who voted for them

But that last clause describes a Republican Party of 30 years ago. Today’s GOP has been completely overtaken by rage at the people Republicans feel aren’t pulling their weight. So much so that sick people are now basically seen as Moochers — it’s their fault for getting sick.

The Mo Brooks quote above is one example of this thinking, but there are numerous others, most famously from Speaker Ryan himself, who called it “the fatal conceit” of Obamacare that healthy people have to pay for sick people.

Fatal conceit?! That’s insurance!! Healthy people pay for sick people. ..

There are things wrong with Obamacare, and there ways to fix those things if people want to in good faith. But that’s not what this Republican Party wants to do. It wants to punish people. I’m sure a lot of them don’t really think this way; certainly not in their personal lives, when a loved one or friend gets sick. But they legislate this way.

And for the rest of us, that is all that matters.

Seth Masket on why this may actually be a logical vote for GOP members by worrying more about primary challenges than the general.  Oh, I sooooo hope they are wrong.  But we’ll just have to wait and see.  Whatever actually happens on this, Democrats just need to pound and pound and pound on the message of this abomination of a bill for the next 18 months.

Meanwhile, Ezra writes about the health care hot potato that led to Republicans passing this.

Yglesias points out that Trump basically lied about everything in the bill.  But who cares I guess.  And a longer Yglesias on how the law just breaks promise after promise after promise Republicans have made.  But that’s okay, they’ll just keep brazenly lying and Fox and Rush et al., will just keep pretending otherwise.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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