The Zombie Healthcare Bill

By Susan Kuebler

The GOP is so intent on passing some kind of healthcare legislation, any kind no matter how bad, even though they couldn’t get even 50 votes for their last attempt, they plan to introduce a different version, the Graham-Cassidy bill next week in the Senate.  Millions of people called their representatives and Senators on the last failed attempt, and thanks to the votes of three courageous Senators, we thought that the Repeal and Replace whatever was dead. Done. Finished.

But instead of declaring it dead and moving on, as it appeared Mitch McConnell was going to do, they have brought it back to life – AGAIN – and like a zombie, it is even worse than the original.  It effectively eliminates Medicaid as we know it, it allows insurance companies to charges such outrageous premiums for pre-existing conditions that in future only Ivanka Trump will be able to afford coverage for post-partum depression.

National polling demonstrates quite clearly that nobody wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  Yes, there are parts of it that need to be fixed, and this can be accomplished through bi-partisan efforts.  That would be like surgery, operating on repairing the bad parts.  And the Democrats in both the House and the Senate have expressed their willingness to do so.

Thus far, only Senators Rand Paul and John McCain have come out in opposition to the bill; however, earlier on Sunday morning even Ted Cruz said he could not support the current bill.  In addition, Senators Murkowski and Collins, who voted with McCain to defeat the last GOP bill, have still not said if they support Graham-Cassidy.  If that is indeed the case, then the leadership might not even bring the bill up for a vote.  However, there are still reports that the leadership is in full-on desperation mode trying to garner the needed votes.

The “bullet to the brain” that will effectively kill any further zombie legislation is the September 30th deadline the Republicans are facing.  After that date, healthcare legislation must garner at least 60 votes to pass in the Senate, and that can only be accomplished with the buy-in of the Democrats.  But until that date, we are still in danger.

Bob Hope, a lifelong Republican, put the following zinger in one of his movies.  In today’s world, his comments apply much more to Republicans than Democrats, and I’m sure he would agree.

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