Republicans are trying to ram their Obamacare replacement bill down the throat of Congress as quickly as possible. The bill was only introduced on Monday, and already the House Ways and Means committee was kept up until 4am (that’s 18 hours) so they could approve the bill. Which they did, even though the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) hasn’t even scored the bill. Very strange!
Why are they in such a rush? One big reason is because they don’t want anyone looking at the bill too closely. It is likely that the CBO will discover that the new bill will cause around 10 million people to lose their health insurance, while at the same time costing more money than Obamacare and also increasing the deficit. That’s supposed to be an improvement?
Another reason is to get the bill passed before the opposition can get organized. How’s that working out for them? It is only Thursday, but already the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the US Catholic Health Association, the Children’s Hospital Association, and the AARP (American Association of Retired People) have come out against the new bill. The AARP is even running a TV ad against it.
It seems like the only significant organizations that are for the bill are the US Chamber of Commerce and Grover Norquist’s anti-tax group, the Americans for Tax Reform. They like it because it offers large tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthy, which caused a Democratic Congressman to ask “Is this health care, or is this a tax-cut bill?”
Even press secretary Sean Spicer is having problems defending the bill. Spicer is claiming that the bill is a “full repeal of Obamacare”. When a Breitbart reporter responded to him that it was hardly a full repeal, Spicer said “I don’t care”.
Also attacking the bill are conservative commentators Laura Ingraham, who complained that the bill doesn’t increase “transparency in pricing” or “competition across state lines”, and by Ann Coulter, who remarked “Who wrote this piece of crap Obamacare replacement bill?”. The bill was even attacked by Fox News, with host Eric Bolling noting “You’ve had six years to come up with a replacement. Fix it!”
Even Donald Trump doesn’t seem sure about the bill. Even though Trump officially supports the bill, he seems to be hedging his bets already. In a White House meeting with conservative groups, he told them that if the bill doesn’t pass, then Plan B is to let Obamacare fail and blame it on the Democrats. The only problem with this is that Obamacare isn’t actually in any danger of failing unless Republicans find some way to purposely sabotage it, in which case it would be obviously hypocritical of them to try to blame it on Democrats.
Also published on Medium.