“It’s a good first step if you’re into cliffs.”
That’s how Mark Levin described the latest go-round of the alleged “repeal” of Obamacare on his Thursday radio broadcast. Levin said if the ‘Ryancare’ version was 90% bad, the ‘McConnellCare’ version is 95%.
Only five Republican senators voted against the bill, which, according to Levin, Mitch McConnell shared with DC lobbyists before showing to his fellow GOP senators.
“There is no ‘red and blue team’,” Levin said, “there is only blue and light blue.”
Daniel Horowitz said the only ‘cuts’ were via Medicaid, but that won’t happen for approximately 8 years and of course anything can happen within that time frame.
Even Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare, bragged on CNN that this is not a “repeal” bill at all and “not as bad as the House bill”:
And in an article entitled ‘6 Things You Need To Know About The Senate’s Obamacare-Lite Bill‘ Ben Shapiro wrote,
So, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done precisely what everyone expected: he has unveiled a watered-down version of the already weak House Republican Trumpcare bill. The bill is actually so weak that even Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber is chortling that it doesn’t actually repeal Obamacare.
That’s because it doesn’t.
That doesn’t mean that every provision is bad. It does mean that the bill does little or nothing to lower premiums, undermines the solvency of insurance companies, and makes changes to Medicaid so far down the road that they may never materialize.
But the bill does do three crucial things that Republicans want: it restructures an entitlement, which is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s raison d’etre; it provides the necessary government cutbacks to allow the Congressional Budget Office to score savings which will then be applied to tax reform; and it allows Republicans to brag emptily about having “repealed” Obamacare. In the short term, all of that may provide a bit of salve for a largely-useless Congressional term. But in the mid- to long-term, it’s actually disastrous: by preserving Obamacare’s key provisions and calling it a “free market reform,” when premiums go up and insurance companies go out of business, Republicans and the free market will take ownership. The next step will be a swing into Bernie Sanders’ Medicaid-for-all column from voters.
The good news, according to Ted Cruz on his Facebook page, is that this is just a first draft, not the final bill. Cruz writes,
I am hopeful that as we openly debate this legislation, real improvements will be made prior to floor consideration so that we can pass a bill that provides the relief from Obamacare that Republicans have repeatedly promised the last seven years.
Specifically, we should do more to ensure consumers have the freedom to choose among more affordable plans that are tailored for their individual healthcare needs. We should allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines and create a true 50-state marketplace, driving down costs for everyone. We should expand health savings accounts so that consumers can pay health insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis. We should incentivize states to cap punitive damages in medical malpractice lawsuits to further reduce the cost of healthcare.
Finally, we should provide real flexibility for Medicaid, so states can design creative and innovative ways to provide care for our most vulnerable. I have strongly advocated for these proposals to this point and will continue to do so going forward.
I want to get to yes, but this first draft doesn’t get the job done. Over the next week and beyond, I will continue working to bring Republicans together to honor our promise, repeal Obamacare, and adopt common-sense, consensus reforms that can actually be passed into law.
So here we are. Premiums continue to skyrocket unchecked, there continues to be zero free market options, and if this draft of ‘Obamacare Lite’ were to go through as is, the Republican Party would “own” the most disastrous bill in the history of America.
By the way on a very personal note, I can no longer afford my Multiple Sclerosis drugs which, even after my prescription plan discount, would cost $2500 per month. Why? Because all the hits to the insurance industry are going to get “fixed” somewhere, and Big Pharm (which remains untouched) has deemed my family able to afford it. Because apparently they think we are the Kardashians, or perhaps own a goldmine somewhere…Something’s got to give and I remain hopeful that President Trump will listen to The People and not The Beltway.