Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a plan to take Health Care away from millions of Americans. It depends on compliant Republican Senators who will be willing to put tax cuts for the wealthy – a central feature of the Republican Obamacare replacement plan – above the interests of their middle and working class constituents. Here are a few points to mull over about the McConnell AHCA juggernaut:
- The map above details the national lack of support for the GOP Dump & Dupe bill, otherwise known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA). You will note that in Missouri support for the bill doesn’t go above 30%. Which means that at least 70% of Missourians oppose Dump & Dupe.
- The Senate version, for all practical purposes, is being assembled in secret with a view to pushing it almost sight-unseen through the Congress with 51 GOP votes – and even though some Republicans are claiming to be disturbed by this outrageous maneuver, we all know that it’s likely that they’ll go along to get along.
- Leaks about the Senate version indicate that it will preserve the worst aspects of the House Bill, but will slow down the implementation process so that Republicans who vote for it won’t have to face immediate ballot-box consequences. By the time the bad stuff kicks in, folks will, so the plan goes, have forgotten who made it happen.
- Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne makes the point that it would take just three Republican senators to throw a wrench in the works that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seeks to put in motion in order to enact a bill that retains the worst features of the AHCA while diffusing blame for the potentially disastrous outcome:
Because Democrats have 48 votes against dismantling the existing law, any three Republican senators could put a stop to this fantastically anti-democratic process. They could walk into McConnell’s office and say they’ll oppose any bill that is not made public for at least a month of real scrutiny and discussion. Is this too much to ask of legislation that could threaten the health care of countless Americans (the exact number being unknowable because the bill’s architects won’t admit to what they’re doing)?
5. Dionne adds that this fact means that “there is work here for activists, politicians and the media. Activists must understand that they have less time to save the Affordable Care Act than they might think.” If McConnell really brings the Senate version of the AHCA up for a vote before July 4 as he has threatened, we’ve got 2-3 weeks to slow things down.
6. The urgent need to stop the Senate AHCA steamroller means that Missouri activists have got to get on the ball and start hitting GOP Senator Roy Blunt hard. It’s unlikely that Blunt would ever be one of the three Republicans necessary to buck the McConnell steamroller, but we have to try to persuade him – we need to remind him of the fact that at least 70% of Missourians do not support the destructive provisions of the AHCA. Even Roy Blunt knows that no matter how big his campaign coffer may become thanks to that big tax cut for fat cats, actual everyday voters, you and me, in the last analysis, pull the lever in the voting booth.
7. All Blunt needs to do is, as Dionne suggests, refuse to go along with the process, insist that it be slowed down, and the merits and the negatives of the bill be hashed out in the public eye.
Responsible legislators aren’t afraid of accountability. Only bad laws need to be hidden from the people they will affect.