Friday, July 14, 2017

What's This Newly Titled Health Care Bill?

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gathered his people in the Strom Thurmond room of the Capitol—and what a proud place that must be—and explained to them the latest iteration of whatever the hell his caucus us trying to do on the subject of healthcare. These now include what they call the "base bill," the newest iteration of the dead fish that was slung over from the House of Representatives a while back.

They also include the Cruz-Lee Amendment, the "compromise" produced by the Tailgunner and the konstitooshunal skolar from Utah. This is the provision that would re-introduce the country to the blessings of street-surance, eviscerate the protections regarding pre-existing conditions and, according to Cruz, free his fellow Americans from the jackboots of actual functioning health insurance.


(Spectacularly, in order to make his amendment work, Cruz's proposed amendment double-counts some of the money in order to finance a high-risk pool. This is as unwieldy a cluster of fck as the Senate has seen in quite a while.)

Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, Republicans of South Carolina and Louisiana, respectively, produced yet another alternative to the "base bill," and did so on CNN, largely because it was crafted with the help of CNN commentator Rick Santorum, which should be enough to get Santorum fired by the network, but likely won't, and have I mentioned recently what a colossal dick Rick Santorum is?


[I]n its current form, whatever that is, the bill would throw 428,000 working-poor Louisianans off Medicaid. But the whole debate has become so confused and amorphous that the only thing anyone knows for certain is that the Republicans have to pass something to justify having their congressional majorities at all.


One of the real scams produced in recent days by the negotiations is how McConnell allegedly dropped the huge tax-break for wealthy Americans that was such an awful political problem in selling the base bill. The current bill still redistributes wealth upwards; the bill depends greatly on Health Savings Accounts, which represent a huge tax break for people who can afford to shovel money into them and, anyway, those tax breaks are coming back in a little while when the Senate takes up tax reform. This remains a tax-cut bill with a lousy healthcare component, and not the other way around.

The Republicans are miles from having their act together on this, and they still say they're planning on bringing it to a vote next week.

  Charles P Pierce
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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