Jul. 29th, 2017

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The latest GOP attempt to repeal and (maybe) replace Obamacare has flopped yet again, for pretty much the same reason as every other attempt since the Trump Era – the GOP seems absolutely positively incapable of writing a replacement bill that won’t make things even worse, and their only solution to this dilemma seems to be drafting secret bills and rushing them out at the last minute.

I guess a few comments are in order:

1. Like a lot of people, I think this latest round confirms beyond all doubt that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan do not care about creating a “better” healthcare policy for America as much as they care about getting rid of the current one. They want to scrap the ACA so badly that they literally do not care what the replacement bill is. And the only reason they want to scrap the ACA is because (1) Obama gets credit for it, and (2) it’s an affront to their narrow ideology (as is everything to do with Obama in general).

2. That may or may not explain the constant procedural clusterfucks that every bill and subsequent vote went through. You have to wonder just what was going on in McConnell’s head – dead of night votes, closed-door sessions, asking Congresspeople to vote on something they haven’t even read, etc. Maybe we’ll never know. FiveThirtyEight’s take sheds a little light. But you know something’s gone horribly haywire when you have GOP senators on TV trying to get assurances from the House that the law they're voting for won’t actually become law. (Put another way: “We want to be on record as repealing Obamacare, but we want to do it without actually repealing it.”)

3. We have the GOP to thank that there is now such a term as “skinny repeal”.

4. As for good ol’ John McCain, it’s kind of funny to me that no one on the left wants to give him credit for killing the latest bill. I understand why – he’s not the only senator to vote against it, and sure, GOP senators Susan Collins and Linda Murkowski were more consistent in their opposition to it. And it has to be grating that McCain is getting the headlines for what was arguably a group effort.

On the other hand, we already knew how Collins, Murkowski and all of the Demos were going to vote – McCain was the wild card, which made him the one to ultimately determine its fate.

It doesn’t matter to me that Collins and Murkowski were consistently against Trumpcare. I’m fine with giving them recognition for it – not least because of all the bullying and crap they took from their own side. But keep in mind too that both of them (like McCain) would also very much like to dump Obamacare – just not to the point that they’ll vote for any crappy old useless bill that McConnell slaps on the table. So I wouldn’t get too carried away with celebrating them as heroes of Obamacare or anything.

5. Which is another thing to keep in mind – I seriously doubt that we’ve seen the last of Trumpcare. I don't see McConnell giving up on this (or Ryan, or Trump, for that matter). With any luck, the next attempt will see them taking their sweet time, doing it properly and crafting a bipartisan bill that actually makes some kind of sense. That seems unlikely, though – the GOP has major problems right now, and they can’t all be blamed on Trump. And thanks to the Ryan/McConnell Clusterfuck, Obamacare is more popular now than when the GOP first tried to repeal it.

So, yeah, good luck with that.

Back to the drawing board (again),

This is dF

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