Monday, July 24, 2017

No Confidence in Senate Vote on Obamacare

I have no confidence Republicans will do the right and honest thing. 

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to begin the process of holding a Senate vote to repeal and replace, or just repeal, Obamacare Tuesday even though it is expected he lacks the necessary votes for passage of either option. 

I don’t believe Republican senators will not undo the Affordable Care Act. Maybe not in the current iteration of either bill put forward by McConnell. But sooner or later, enough pressured-and-scared-of-an-ultra-right-primary-foe GOP senators will choose re-election tenure over the good of the country. They will parse out false and misleading statements explaining their vote, but it will be pure political survival rather than their constituents’ health, welfare and longevity that will motivate their vote. 

Why do I take such a cynical viewpoint? Because when confronted time and again by the incompetency, mendacity, outright fabrications (lies) and debasement of our national heritage and standing among nations by Donald Trump and his family, Republican legislators in the Senate and House may have spoken out against him but when voting time came they backed him.

On Sunday’s Face the Nation, according to The New York Times, John Dickerson “bluntly asked Mr. (Anthony) Scaramucci (Trump’s newly appointed communications director) if Mr. Trump would get what he wanted in repealing and replacing President Barack Obama’s signature health legislation.

“‘I don’t know if he’s going to get what he wants next week, but he’s going to get what he wants eventually, because this guy always gets what he wants,’ Mr. Scaramucci said. “O.K.?”’ 

In pressuring senators Monday to follow through on their seven year pledge to dismantle Obamacare, Trump—flanked by a score or more of healthy-looking, almost all white people he said could not obtain affordable coverage under Obamacare—argued that the law has been a job killer. 

Perhaps. No doubt there have been instances where small businesses were affected. But no one died because they were forced to obtain health insurance coverage. 

Yet, if upwards of 20 million people lose coverage should the law be repealed, as forecast by the Congressional Budget Office, tens of thousands will die because they would not be able to afford medical care or the prescription drugs they need to sustain life. 

It’s another example of Republicans putting financial considerations—especially the huge tax relief targeted for the super wealthy in the bill—above the safety and welfare needs of the American public. 

It’s another example of the mean-spirited manner in which Trump has formulated his administration. The very people who have benefited from Obamacare and who paradoxically voted for Trump would be most affected by its repeal.