Thursday, May 04, 2017

This Is What The GOP Was Willing To Do For Tax Cuts For Billionaires-- 3 Dozen GOP Seats In Jeopardy


In Elizabeth Warren's words, "TrumpCare isn't a health care bill. A bill that destroys health care for millions to shovel cash to the rich isn't a health care bill. This is the same cruel bill that House Republicans tried to pass weeks ago. It still strips coverage from millions. Still guts Medicaid. Still strips funds away from states like Massachusetts that are battling the opioid crisis. The only thing that's changed about TrumpCare in recent weeks is that they made the original plan even more brutal. This isn't football. It's not about scoring points. TrumpCare will devastate Americans' healthcare. Families will go bankrupt. People will die. Disease, sickness, and old age touch every family. Tragedy doesn't ask who you voted for. Health care is a basic human right. We'll fight as long and hard as we can to make that a reality for everyone in America." Yep, and far worse for the changes, Ryan's TrumpCare bill finally passed the House today 217-213, only 20 Republicans with the conscience (or savvy) to vote against it. These are the 20 Republicans who voted NO-- along with the percentage Trump got in their districts last year:
Andy Biggs (AZ)- 57.6%
Mike Coffman (CO)- 41.3%
Barbara Comstock (VA)- 42.2%
Ryan Costello (PA)- 47.6%
Charlie Dent (PA)- 51.8%
Dan Donovan (NY)- 53.6%
Brian Fitzpatrick (PA)- 48.2%
Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA)- 49.9%
Will Hurd (TX)- 46.4%
Walter Jones (NC)- 60.5%
David Joyce (OH)- 53.6%
John Katko (NY)- 45.3%
Leonard Lance (NJ)- 47.5%
Frank LoBiondo (NJ)- 50.6%
Thomas Massie (KY)- 65.2%
Pat Meehan (PA)- 47.0%
Dave Reichert (WA)- 44.7%
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL)- 38.9%
Chris Smith (NJ)- 55.8%
Mike Turner (OH)- 51.3%

Some of these members-- the ones from the heavily Trumped-up districts like Walter Jones and Thomas Massie-- were pretty courageous. But most of these members represent swing districts where lost in November and is unpopular now. The House Republicans who are likely to suffer most at the polls next year for this vote are these three dozen (again with Trump's percentage after their names):
Jeff Denham (CA-10)- 45.5%
David Valadao (CA-21)- 39.7%
Devin Nunes (CA-22)- 52.1%
Steve Knight (CA-25)- 43.6%
Ed Royce (CA-39)- 42.9%
Mimi Walters (CA-45)- 44.4%
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)- 46.2%
Darrell Issa (CA-49)- 43.2%
Brian Mast (FL-18)- 53.3%
Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)- 49.6%
Carlos Curbelo (FL-26)- 40.6%
Rod Blum (IA-01)- 48.7%
David Young (IA-03)- 48.5%
Peter Roskam (IL-06)- 43.2%
Rodney Davis (IL-13)- 49.7%
Kevin Yoder (KS-03)- 46.0%
Bruce Poliquin (ME-02)- 51.4%
Fred Upton (MI-06)- 51.6%
Dave Trott (MI-11)- 49.7%
Jason Lewis (MN-02)- 46.5%
Erik Paulsen (MN-03)- 41.4%
Don Bacon (NE-02)- 48.2%
Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11)- 48.8%
Mark Amodei (NV-02)- 52.0%
Lee Zeldin (NY-01)- 54.5%
Peter King (NY-02)- 53.0%
John Faso (NY-19)- 50.8%
Elise Stefanik (NY-21)- 53.9%
Steve Russell (OK-05)- 53.2%
Lloyd Smucker (PA-16)- 51.0%
John Culberson (TX-07)- 47.1%
Lamar Smith (TX-21)- 52.5%
Pete Olson (TX-22)- 52.1%
Kenny Marchant (TX-24)- 50.7%
Pete Sessions (TX-32)- 46.6%
Scott Taylor (VA-02)- 48.8%
In the Washington Post this morning, James Hohmann pointed out that Ryan was mindful, for the sake of the vulnerable members he was forcing to walk the plank, that the bill couldn't pass by just one vote. "They know that, if that happens, Democrats can run attack ads describing each supporter of the bill as 'THE DECIDING VOTE' on a measure that remains quite unpopular. How do they know this? Because they successfully used that talking point against Democratic senators for three election cycles in a row. Annoyingly for the strategists tasked with holding the majority, the number of Republicans with safe seats who are voting no is putting a lot more pressure on vulnerable members in swing districts to support the bill. These guys might normally get a pass because they’re going to face tough races in 2018. But House GOP leaders are now calling in all of their chits."

Next week the CBO score will come out and its expected to be catastrophic-- for the American people and for the House Republicans who voted YES. And I'm pretty sure that Democratic candidates will call Republicans who voted for the bill "the deciding vote" anyway. As CNBC put it this morning, hours before the vote:
The Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare does not allocate nearly enough money to protect people with pre-existing health conditions from potentially higher insurance premiums, an analysis finds.

The bill's $23 billion in funding specifically for such people would cover just 110,000 Americans, according to the Avalere Health study released Thursday.

That's only 5 percent of the 2.2 million current enrollees in the individual insurance market with some type of pre-existing chronic condition.

And even if states were to add in all the other money in the bill's $100 billion Patient and State Stability Fund, only a total of 600,000 people with pre-exisiting conditions could be covered, the study found.

Avalere said the gap between funding and need could leave many people with health problems unable to afford insurance coverage if the GOP's American Health Care Act becomes law.

"Texas alone has approximately 190,000 enrollees in its individual market with pre-existing chronic conditions, nearly 80,000 more people than the funds earmarked for the entire country would cover," Avalere said. "Florida has 205,000, nearly 95,000 more than the funds allotted nationally ... would cover."
On the House floor this morning, Pelosi accurately termed the bill "a billionaire's tax cut disguised as a healthcare bill... Robin Hood in reverse." Tom Guild, who's opponent, Steve Russell. was always an ardent believer in wrecking the healthcare system told us that "Russell never misses an opportunity to disappoint us and put a heavier and heavier burden on the backs of people of the Fifth District of Oklahoma. His support for Trumpcare is just the latest tragic event in his tenure in Congress. I oppose TrumpCare, which transfers trillions of dollars from working people to finance tax cuts for uber wealthy Americans. Russell once again deprives 24+ million Americans of affordable health care, makes coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions an unaffordable mirage, and reinstates lifetime caps on health benefits-- taking us back to the pre-ACA era when millions of Americans were forced to declare bankruptcy because of their inability to pay for lifesaving health care for themselves and their families. Career politicians like Russell are hell bent on weakening and destroying health care and wrecking the lives of millions of working people and destroying the dreams of untold hard working and honest Americans. Russell refuses to take a common sense mend it, don’t end it approach to the ACA. We must now move forward with a single payer Medicare for all health care plan, to repair the destruction and wreckage the votes of Russell and other politicians will force on our country and its citizens. That is the way forward to provide reasonable health care for Americans who have a right to expect to be treated better than this by their government in the wealthiest country in the history of the world."

I don't think anyone expected any of the congressmembers from North Carolina, other than libertarian Walter Jones, to stand up for regular working families and oppose TrumpCare today. And they were true to form. Matt Coffay is the progressive Democrat taking on Mark Meadows in the western part of the state. Right after the vote he told us that
Meadows voted for a piece of legislation that, if it passes the Senate and is signed into law, will strip millions and millions of Americans of their health care, and dramatically raise premium costs for the few who can still afford it. This bill slashes Medicaid funding, even though 22% of the people in his district receive Medicaid benefits (and, if North Carolina had followed the lead of other states and expanded Medicaid under the ACA, that number would be much higher). It creates a loophole whereby North Carolina can exempt insurance companies from the ACA provision which forbids raising prices or denying coverage due to preexisting conditions. It'll also allow insurance companies to offer plans that don't even provide essential health benefits like cover for emergency room visits, maternity care, prescription drugs, and more.

This bill is a travesty, and Meadows voted for it for two reasons: first, a desire to line the pockets of the wealthiest Americans, who will see a drop in their taxes as a result; and second, blind adherence to an extreme ideological position which opposes government spending at every turn, even when that spending saves and improves the quality of millions of lives.

We need to move past this conversation. What we need in this country is not an insurance company free-for-all. What we need is Medicare for All. It's time we joined every other developed country on earth and guaranteed access to quality, affordable health care for every American. As a member of Congress, I will proudly co-sponsor and fight for HR 676, a Medicare for All bill which will provide every person in this country with health coverage.
One district over to the northeast, NC-05, Virginia Foxx has had her lair for way to long. Progressive Democrat Jenny Marshall is giving the voters there a real alternative. "Rep. Foxx needs to stop preening for cameras during meaningless bill signings," she told us after the vote, "and instead start taking seriously her role in investing in citizens’ health care. Instead of doing her duty to her constituents, she has voted for the AHCA which will have a devastating effect on millions of people across the country. I on the other hand understand that equal access to the U.S.’s health-care market will not only improve citizens’ productivity, but it will make for happier, healthier and more financially stable households, therefore I stand as a strong advocate for a single payer system."

Dr. David Gill, one of our strongest proponents of Medicare for All called the legislation that passed today "a tax break for the millionaires and billionaires wrapped in a terrible healthcare bill, which strips insurance coverage from tens of millions of Americans.  How can Rodney Davis even be sure that this is what his constituents want, given his repeated refusal to meet with his constituents on this issue? I've been a supporter of a single-payer healthcare system for the last 25 years. Rodney Davis has spent almost 20 years receiving taxpayer-funded healthcare coverage; this is ironic, considering he’s just voted to strip 43,000 of his constituents of their healthcare coverage."

Goal Thermometer Please consider contributing to the campaigns of the men and women trying to hold the Republicans who voted for this monstrosity today accountable. Each is a progressive running against a reactionary Republican who voted for TrumpCare a few hours ago. Just tap on the thermometer on the right and contribute what you can.

Let me close with a statement from the Congresswoman whose video clip from this morning started this post, Pramila Jayapal of Seattle. "It is a dereliction of duty that Republicans passed this immoral, unconscionable bill that strips 24 million Americans of their health care, cuts $880 billion from Medicaid, and strips coverage from 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. This bill will raise premiums and deductibles for millions of Americans across our country to transfer almost $1 trillion dollars in tax cuts to millionaires, billionaires and corporations. It is difficult to imagine what world my Republican colleagues are in that they could vote yes on such a bill. I cannot imagine how they will go home and face grandmothers who will be kicked out of nursing homes or kids with asthma who will no longer be able to afford inhalers. I cannot imagine what they will say to women in their districts who will pay more for simply being women, or be barred from care if they have a C-section-- which is now considered a pre-existing condition. To millions across this country who are terrified of what will happen, I would urge you: this is not over yet. Stay in the streets. Call your senators and tell them to vote no. When your Member of Congress comes home after voting yes, tell them exactly what you think of their cruel vote to strip health care from millions."

This bullshitter Jake Tapper interviewed today, creepy multimillionaire Jim Renacci, is running for governor of Ohio in 2018:

UPDATE: Issa's In Trouble

Doug Applegate, the progressive running for the Orange/San Diego counties district occupied currently by Darrell Issa, issued this statement for CA-49 constituents:
Early this afternoon, House Republicans rammed through a repeal of the Affordable Care Act in a gross display of incompetence and shortsightedness which will lead to the elimination or weakening of health care insurance for millions of Americans. Darrell Issa, in a unusually brazen display of cowardice-- even for him-- repeatedly refused to answer questions from both reporters and constituents on how he planned to vote. Instead, eventually he cast the deciding vote in favor of repeal, cementing his place among America’s Worst Elected Officials. In response to Issa’s lack of integrity, Marine Colonel and congressional candidate Doug Applegate issued the following statement:

“Today, Darrell Issa cast the deciding vote to repeal the ACA, and once again, we learned he will never stand with us. We now have a choice. Will America fight for the moral imperative of single payer or accept a third world medicine?

I want to issue a call to arms for every American who either has health care insurance through or supports the ACA. I'd ask them to let Darrell know his vote was their business and that we will hold him accountable when the time comes. While this is a sad day, it only strengthens my resolve that this fight is moral and just and come November 2018, I will make certain that California’s 49th District will have the representation it truly deserves.”

House Republicans forced a vote on the bill prior to receiving a non-partisan analysis of the cost and impact of the final package from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO.) According to an earlier CBO assessment, the American Health Care Act:
Would result in 14 million new uninsured in 2018 and 52 million total uninsured by 2026.
A 63-day gap in insurance coverage will increase your monthly premium by 30%.
Eliminates the Prevention and Public Health Fund, no longer investing in prevention and wellness, a move that will cost more in the long-run.
Includes Medicaid cuts that hurt children, people with disabilities and our parents and grandparents in need of long-term care.
The GOP bill was opposed by the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, March of Dimes, American Lung Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Heart Association, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, and AARP, among others.

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At 7:56 PM, Anonymous wjbill said...

I am thinking all the conservatives have been promised adequate "funding" for the 2018 election, in exchange for their votes ..... someone has done the math and the 200-300-400 million or whatever is worth it in exchange for their votes that enable the desired tax cuts.

At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How will the Republicans defend this abomination when the health care system in this nation collapses and no one gets medical care?

At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So "Putin & the Russians" are against Americans getting health care and for billionaire's getting tax cuts. These aren't your Dad's communist Russkie's for sure; as they've brainwashed the Republican party into being Republicans.

At 7:12 AM, Anonymous wjbill said...

The blame will be assigned to Obama (not white) and the clueless followers will buy it .... too bad there are 60+million of them.

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not pre-lament any sort of electoral demise for any of those assholes.

1) they have R voters to re-affirm all their evil deeds at every election.
2) they also have the hapless, feckless, corrupt DCCC opposing them... and often not even them.


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