The Washington Post’s Paul Weldman accurately describes the health care bill passed by Republicans in the House of Representatives that guts funding for states to help those with pre-existing conditions pay for insurance:
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. 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.
The details of the bill are absolutely horrifying and should cause be cause for extreme panic should it become law (it has still yet to pass through the Senate). From slashing Medicaid by $880 billion, revoking the ACA’s expansion of its availability to the poorest Americans, defunding Planned Parenthood, allowing insurers to charge exorbitant premiums to older patients to booting more than 24 million people off of their insurance, it is an astonishingly cruel piece of legislation that will result in thousands of unnecessary deaths. As Jonathan Chait remarked:
Their proposal creates relatively few winners and many losers. Wealthy investors would enjoy lower taxes, and young healthy individuals could have lower premiums, but a far larger number of Americans would suffer the much greater harm of losing insurance altogether.
As bad as it sounds, there is cause for Democrats to be extremely pleased with this as from a political standpoint, the vote is almost certain to backfire down the line. As the Guardian reported:
Republicans burst into applause when the bill passed the 216-vote threshold, a feat that had seemed insurmountable just days before. Democrats too saw a reason for celebrating. After it passed, they sang the 60s hit Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye) – appearing to suggest Republicans would lose their seats if the repeal proved unpopular.
Nevertheless, the real world consequences of the bill if it does become law must not be underestimated. As Bernie Sanders tweeted in the wake of the vote:
Donald Trump and Republicans just celebrated voting to let thousands of Americans die so that billionaires get tax breaks. Think about that. pic.twitter.com/hbOp7k2TQe
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 4, 2017
For everyone who thought Hillary Clinton was “just as bad” as Donald Trump, please leave a comment below explaining how you feel about that now. I’m guessing pretty goddamn stupid.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.