I’ve had several conversations during the past few days that have been depressingly similar: the topic of the GOP’s latest effort to repeal Obamacare comes up, and the person with whom I’m talking says something like “I don’t get it. They know this bill would be a death sentence for thousands of Americans. Polls show that its unbelievably unpopular–even most Republicans don’t support it. Why are they so hell-bent on passing it?”
To which I have had no answer, because I’m equally baffled. Or I was, until Juanita Jean shared Chuck Grassley’s explanation.
Grassley supports the Graham-Cassidy bill and, bless his heart, took to the airwaves to explain why.
“You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” Grassley said. “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 as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”
Translation: sure, this bill is terrible policy. It won’t help anyone–it will raise premiums for people who are still able to get insurance; it will make it impossible for millions of others to get insurance; it will redistribute federal funds from blue states that expanded Medicaid to red states that refused to do so; and it will allow the states to decide whether insurers can once again refuse you based upon pre-existing conditions. (It will also play havoc with a sixth of the American economy, which is probably why every national healthcare organization opposes it.)
But we promised our rabid base!
Grassley does identify one aspect of this appalling bill that he likes–it allows the states to “tailor” healthcare to the specific needs of their citizens.
Allowing states to shape health care benefits and regulations to match their populations will better account for the geographic and economic diversity of the country.
“What might fit Massachusetts and New York and Maryland doesn’t fit Iowa very well,” Grassley said.
Juanita’s response to that is too good to paraphrase:
You know, because somebody living in Georgia ain’t at all like somebody living in Alabama. Hell, they don’t even root for the same college football teams so how the dickens do you expect them to have the same health care needs? Little known fact: cancer does not kill you in Nebraska. I mean, you have to call into work sick for a couple of days, drink some apple cider vinegar, and you’re new and fit by Friday. However, hangnails will land your butt in intensive care in South Dakota.
With her usual laser-like precision, Juanita Jean honed in on the real issue–that black President who had the unmitigated gall to expand access to healthcare!
I have an idea. Let’s repeal the word “Obamacare” and replace it with the words “Affordable Care Act.” Don’t change anything else – just that. Everybody happy now?
During a recent discussion about the human and economic damage passage of the Graham-Cassidy Bill would cause, one of my sons asked a pertinent question: “How do these people sleep at night?”
That’s a question I still can’t answer.