As Mitch McConnell allows us filthy peasants to finally see the healthcare bill he's been crafting in secret, we're finding that instead of making the already cruel and sadistic House bill "better", he's made it worse. With deeper cuts to Medicaid, McConnell is counting on the cosmetic "concessions" he's made to moderates and the lies he'll be telling about the bill to keep the rabble from revolting. Fortunately for him, he can absolutely depend on Fox News, AM Hate Radio and Breitbart to convince the Republican base that Soylent Green is delicious, good for them, and not made from people even as Grannie is carted off to the processing plant.
The Washington Post reports:
Like the the House bill passed in May, the Senate version would put big dents in the Affordable Care Act, repealing just about all of its taxes, pulling back on Medicaid expansion and ditching the individual mandate to buy coverage and the employer mandate to offer it.
For 1 out of every 5 Americans, Medicaid is the only healthcare they have and 40% of them are children. At the same time, Mediacaid allows millions of senior citizens to live with some dignity in nursing homes. For many, Medicaid is the only thing keeping them alive. Here's those death panels that Sarah Palin's been looking for all these years. It also keeps around 3 million families out of poverty and a healthier, less poverty-stricken population is something any rational person would want.
But because Republicans are so merciful, they're slowing down the draconian cuts to Medicaid so it won't really start hurting the poor until after vulnerable Republicans can bullshit their way through reelection.
No, seriously, Republicans think their voters are that stupid:
McConnell is also offering moderates an approach to Medicaid he hopes will be more politically palatable to them. It's true the draft proposes even deeper cuts to Medicaid than the House version by tying federal spending to a slower growth index. But that wouldn't kick in for another seven years, well past moderate senators' next reelection battles. And it doesn't fully end the ACA's Medicaid expansion until five years from now, gradually easing down the extra federal payments over three years starting in 2021.
There's more but the most important thing to keep in mind is that Republicans are literally going to send people to their death so they can shower billions in unnecessary tax cuts to the rich. The Koch brothers will be able to buy a few more super yachts while tens of thousands of people die every year because they lost their heath insurance.
Republicans are not doing this because they want to "fix" the system they deliberately broke. They don't actually care about fighting "big government" because they clearly like using oppressive government regulations to their own ends. The GOP doesn't even really care about the detrimental impact on the economy their bill will have outside of giving them a new excuse to cut food stamps for children.
The bottom line is that this entire episode has to do with cutting taxes and making those cuts permanent. Period. End of line. Every other horrible thing that goes along with it (like erasing Obama and savagely hurting the poor) is just icing on the cake. But it's even worse because Republicans will use the "savings" gained by stealing healthcare from 23 million people to "pay" for a second set of tax cuts. So, really, the rich will be getting two separate tax cuts at our expense.
The AHCA is the result of a worldview based on a visceral hatred of the poor and middle class. There really isn't any other way to put it: Republicans despise every American that isn't part of their 1% club. The idea of "forcing" the rich to give back to the country that enables their fantastic wealth is a form of blasphemy in a religion based on pure greed.
At this point, it seems clear that Republicans have so brainwashed their cult-like base that they feel completely immune to electoral pressure. A good guess would be that they know they're going to violently attack voting rights over the next year so it won't matter. After all, if the GOP effectively eliminate the vote for another 4 or 5 million people, it will take years for demographic pressures to catch up and that will give them all the time they need to permanently rig the elections so they will never again lose power.
The new bill still has to pass through the House again and there's no guarantee the slightly softened parts will get passed the rabid ideologues of the Freedom Caucus. They've been demanding the maximum amount of suffering as soon as possible so they might balk at pushing the pain back to protect the Senate. How sad is it that we're reduced to hoping the cruel extremists of the Freedom Caucus save us from the not-quite-as-cruel Mitch McConnell?
There are 501 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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