The other day I received a call from one of many Republican organizations that regularly solicits donations from me. I almost felt sorry for the guy making the call.
The timbre of my voice and my blood pressure rose as I barked, "No, not a dime. Call back when Congress repeals Obamacare." Undeterred, the phone solicitor began a pitch for electing a 60-seat Republican U.S. Senate. "We’ve got the House, the Senate, the White House. If not now, they never will. The spigot is turned off." I exclaimed. Apparently, I don’t understand, "this is complicated." Actually, I understand. I spent several years as a U.S. House-staffer. Legislating is not easy, at least for Republicans. This (repealing Obamacare), however, remains the central promise all Republicans made campaigning over the past seven years.
Senate Republicans will try again to repeal Obamacare with a vote likely in the next week on a bill authored by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., (Graham-Cassidy).
Sen. Graham, usually of one Donald Trump’s most outspoken critics, is now working with the president on repealing Obamacare. Graham is also best friends forever with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., whose vote killed the so-called "skinny repeal" of Obamacare last July.
At that time, Sen. McCain, gave a "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"-esq speech about doing what’s right, civility in politics and the importance of passing repeal under regular order as his reason for voting against the skinny repeal. Regular order is about process.
Nobody outside of Washington, D.C. knows or cares about process. Apparently, McCain’s vote determining the future of the American healthcare system rests less on the result and more on the process. The one-time maverick has already said that he will vote against the Graham-Cassidy bill too. Perhaps, Sen. Graham will be able to get the senior curmudgeon aboard for his bill.
Even if Graham convinces McCain, repeal requires the votes of Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, who are concerned that too many may lose their newfound healthcare entitlement. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has promised to vote against the bill because it "keeps Obamacare and tells the states to run it."
Paul isn’t completely wrong. Graham-Cassidy doesn’t repeal Obamacare. Instead, it shifts the decisions to the states and funds the programs through block grants. States could have very different healthcare plans in place.
With each effort to repeal the usual Congressional Democratic scream, "people will die." With each successive attempt, they turn up the volume and predict a wider, deadlier, epidemic.
Congressional Democrats aided by familiar allies including the mainstream media, insurance companies (which are rapidly bailing out of ObamaCare state exchanges), the AMA (although not the majority of doctors), AARP (which sells insurance to seniors) and an unexpected new friend, late-night host, Jimmy Kimmel.
Kimmel gained fame co-hosting "The Man Show." The politically correct scorned the show for its misogyny and sexism. Nonetheless, it won Kimmel a late-night show on ABC. Today, Kimmel’s net worth is an estimated $35 million, and he’s making amends.
Last spring Kimmel revealed that his son was diagnosed with a heart ailment requiring multiple surgeries. Using your opponents children as pawns is out of bounds. Kimmel doesn’t mind using his son publicly as a pawn for the cause. Kimmel is supposed to do a comedy show. It isn’t funny when Kimmel uses the show as a pulpit to advocate policy he fundamentally doesn’t understand.
Kimmel doesn’t understand:
- Obamacare can’t provide the quality medical care necessary for everyone with conditions like Kimmel’s son’s condition. Only a handful of specialists can provide such complicated treatment. Seeing those specialists requires a Kimmel-sized wallet, not Obamacare.
- The lie isn’t what Sen. Cassidy told Kimmel when he was a guest on his show. The big-fib came from the start when the architects of Obamacare knew that the promises made would never be kept. Remember, "If you like your doctor, you can keep him/her. If you like your insurance policy, you can keep it. On average American families will pay $2500 less for insurance." Nobody has been held accountable for these lies.
In The Des Moines Register, Sen. Chuck Grassley,R-Iowa, explained what Republicans need to consider before casting their vote on Graham-Cassidy. "I could give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered. But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much of a reason as the substance of the bill."
For the sake of guys like the one calling me soliciting funds for Republican candidates, I hope the party hears Sen. Grassley’s logic when voting on Graham-Cassidy. It could be Republicans last chance to change Obamacare significantly.
Andy Bloom is a former communications director for Rep. Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio, and as operations manager oversaw content for Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, and Sports Radio 94 WIP, Philadelphia for eight years. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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