Obamacare repeal passes House on close vote, still dicey in the Senate

I am amazed that anybody thinks the Republicans’ healthcare act is superior to “Obamacare,” and it may be that a lot of Americans will discover that hard truth, including those who mistakenly voted for Trump on the assumption that he’d improve their healthcare.

This afternoon the House voted to replace Obamacare with the Republican plan. The vote was 217-213, with no Democrats voting “aye” and 20 Republicans doing the right thing by voting against the bill, Yes, Obamacare has problems, but scrapping it and starting with a vastly inferior plan was not the solution.  As far as I can see, the Republicans see this bill as a symbolic repudiation of Obama’s legacy, not as something designed to help the average American. But since when have Republicans cared about that?

I’m hoping that Senate Republicans have more guts and defeat the “American Health Care Act”; there’s a very real chance that will happen.

You can find all the votes here; but here are the 20 Republican representatives with integrity:

Here are House Democrats taunting Republicans after the bill’s passage with an old song. Remember it? It was from 1969.

42 Comments

  1. ploubere
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    It’s a loathsome bill, based on the philosophy, expressed by several repubs, that being sick is a personal failing, nobody’s fault but your own and no one should be expected to help you.

    Of the 20 repubs, it’s possible that some of them felt this plan was still too generous. These people have no conscience.

  2. Posted May 4, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I am not holding out any hope that the Senate will do the right thing. At this point, all of my energy is focusing on the mid-term elections and the possibilty of the biggest massacre in recent history.

  3. GBJames
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    There’s your death panel, folks. The GOP.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    This isn’t a healthcare reform bill; it’s a $300-billion-tax-cut-for-the-richest-2% bill, with a shitty healthcare reform rider attached.

  5. Historian
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    The cruelty and selfishness of these good Christian Republicans is shocking (or maybe not so) and truly sickening (no pun intended). Yet, for most of them, their constituents, many of whom will lose their insurance coverage if this abomination ever makes it into law, will in their profound ignorance robotically vote them back into office.

    Yep, Conrad Black is right. Christianity is what is needed for a moral world.

    • darrelle
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Yes. The same group from which those misguided, propaganda swilling people that want Obamacare repealed but love their ACA benefits come from.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    It won’t make it in the Senate, no way. It is a repeal but does not replace anything. However, this is just the type of thing going on in the U.S. that makes you sick enough to leave.

    • darrelle
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      I hope you’re right Randy. But, damn. It’s easy to be pessimistic about it after I felt so sure that Trump would never end up in the White House and yet he did.

      • Mark R.
        Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if the Senate passed it. But if they do, by 2018, the evil will be known and their power will be vanquished. That’s the most optimistic scenario I can come up with.

        I also agree with Randy that this is the type of shit that makes people sick enough to leave.

        • Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          I don’t have confidence in the theory that the Republicans will pay for this in future election losses. Premiums might well go down for a large category of people, because people who are more likely to need insurance payouts will be excluded from insurance. Lots of Trump voters don’t give a damn about others.

          • Mark R.
            Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            True. Plus there is gerrymandering. But many of the people who all of a sudden lose their healthcare because of this draconian legislation are Trump voters. Elderly white people make up his core.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

              The loss of Health Care that many had for a short period will come back to get these guys. When they finally see it was just a card trick to give more money to the rich and screw the poor out of medicare. And remember if medicare really goes, mom and dad will be thrown out of the nursing homes by the thousands.

              Do we really want to throw more money at the rich and the Pentagon and throw people out of Nursing Homes? Where the hell are the jobs in this.

            • Posted May 4, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

              I hope they place the blame where it belongs. Up until now Trump supporters have shown astounding levels of cognitive dissonance.

    • Harrison
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      “It is a repeal but does not replace anything.”

      I disagree, as does the CBO.

      The “replace” part of the Republican plan is WORSE than simple repeal. More expensive, worse coverage, worse outcomes. I’d say they couldn’t make it worse if they tried but they did try pretty damn hard.

  7. Posted May 4, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Since when have Republicans cared about the people?

    Well, Lincoln did say “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”, but apparently he didn’t anticipate his own party mutating into a hideous monstrosity that would do its best to prove him wrong.

  8. Linda Calhoun
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Consumer Reports yesterday published an article saying that personal bankruptcy in the US has dropped by 51% since the implementation of Obamacare.

    Gee, I guess the Republicans hate that, too.

    L

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    He’s never near you
    To comfort and cheer you
    When all those sad tears
    Are falling, baby, from your eyes

    He might be thrilling, baby
    but my love’s so doggone willing, baby
    So kiss him (wanna see you kiss him)
    Go on, and kiss him goodbye

    — Steam, “Na Na, Hey Hey, Goodbye”

    Enjoy your new el presidente, all you white working-class suckers who voted for Trump (and who will be stripped of your healthcare, if this piece-of-shit bill ever becomes law).

    Now you know how those graduates of Trump “University,” and the busted-out condo buyers, and the out-of-work New Jersey casino workers, and everyone else who’s ever put their trust in Donald Trump, feels.

    • Historian
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Tom Edsall’s column in today’s NYT speaks to the likelihood that no matter how much Trump and the Republicans screw the white working class, it will not abandon them.

      Edsall notes:

      —————————–
      First of all, the bulk of Trump’s supporters have nowhere else to go, nor do they want to go anywhere. They experience themselves as living in a different world from liberals and Democrats.

      Their animosity toward the left, and the left’s animosity toward them, is entrenched.

      Trump’s basic approach — speaking the unspeakable — is expressive, not substantive. His inflammatory, aggressive language captures and channels the grievances of red America, but the specific grievances often feel less important than the primordial, mocking incivility with which they are expressed. In this way, Trump does not necessarily need to deliver concrete goods because he is saying with electric intensity what his supporters have long wanted to say themselves.
      ————————-

      Edsall concludes:
      ————————-
      It is Trump’s willingness to violate the boundaries of conventional discourse that has granted him immunity to mainstream criticism. Pretty much everything he does that goes overboard helps him. He is given a free hand by those who feel in their gut that he is fighting their fight — that he is their leader and their defender. As the enemy of their enemies, President Trump is their friend.
      ————————

      In other words, Edsall is stating that the Trump supporters do not respond to what the evidence shows. Rather, they live their lives by emotion, a simmering cesspool of hate and animosity toward those they in their distorted view of the world perceive as their enemies, i..e., Democrats, liberals, and their supporters.

      The right wing has played white people in general, not just the working class, like a fiddle. Trump’s outrageous remarks only bind them more closely to him. So, as the unemployed steel worker in Ohio now may lose his health insurance, his angry glare turns to the source of his woes – those damned liberals.

      • Mark R.
        Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        So, as the unemployed steel worker in Ohio now may lose his health insurance, his angry glare turns to the source of his woes – those damned liberals.

        I don’t agree. This bill is so blatantly owned by the GOP that when these workers get kicked off their healthcare, they’ll know who is to blame. People take healthcare a lot more seriously than other issues. Taking away healthcare will be akin to taking away guns imo. They’ll notice and know who to blame.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Sadly, Edsall may very well be right.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txrikNFX-8E

        cr

      • Posted May 4, 2017 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

        I agree that a lot of Trump voters will never abandon Trump and will never vote for Democrats, no matter what happens to their healthcare or the country. However, the elections will be decided by how many of those Trump voters will be motivated enough to show up to vote, and how many independents will be unhappy enough to turn against the Republicans.

      • Taz
        Posted May 5, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        No block of voters is as monolithic as pundits like to portray.

        • GBJames
          Posted May 5, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

          And pundits aren’t as monolithic as some suggest.

    • somer
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      Ive just emerged from a series of Trumpphilic visitations from some overseas family friends. Recovering.

      They describe devastating job loss in the last few decades in rustbelt states. They loathe the media. Certainly Trump kicks the unemployed steelworker but I wonder what the age demographic is (the older ones are soon for their work cover and pension). And I wonder whether young people in rustbelt states like Ohio by now accept theres only jobs in services not in industry or construction or go interstate – and blame “politicians” for it. They just want industry back – support unions but hate the Democrats for ignoring the situation. Trump pretends to be an anti politician and that has huge appeal. They hate anyone they think might contribute to the situation or cost them a single cent. And they love the military and guns.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Where’re all the conservatives now who pissed-and-moaned about Obamacare being passed on a strict party-line vote?

    For chrissakes, the GOPers couldn’t even carry 20 members of their own goddamn caucus.

  11. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    So they have replaced the Affordable Care Act with the *American* Health Care Act, affordable only by the rich. It seems to be accurately titled, at least.

    [/snark]

    cr

  12. Hempenstein
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Those twenty may be the start of Vichy Republicans.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Or they may be the cadres of Loyalist Republicans who fought to resist the Fascist takeover of Spain.

  13. somer
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I think it is doomed. Only about 6% of americans are not covered (hence covered by Obamacare) and too many of the 94% resent paying a cent of tax that might cover them.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      That is not correct and you totally ignore the loss of Medicaid which is going to happen if this thing goes through as is. The really big money they are going after here is Medicaid. That is what takes care of the very poor and even more so all the old people going into Nursing Homes. Check it out…

      • somer
        Posted May 4, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Apologies – Im not an American and Im going by some Americans I know or have known. Im not denying Obamacare and medicaid are really important – if the bill also removes Medicaid I imagine the percentage of people affected is considerably bigger than 6%. But I suspect though that too many people who are covered or can’t see themselves going into a home just see Obamacare and Medicaid as a tax burden and don’t care about the social consequences.

  14. Ann German
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    The Republicans who voted “no” weren’t objecting, they were worried about reelection and when it became obvious that their votes weren’t needed, they were given a pass. Their constituents should vote them out for refusing to stop this travesty. Michael Moore predicted the election result last fall for the reasons given by Edsall: enemy of my enemy. Listen to this several minute clip, it’s good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKeYbEOSqYc

    • Ann German
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      By the way, I live in a red state (Montana) and in a town that voted overwhelmingly for pussygrabber: Libby, where W R Grace’s mining practices have killed and maimed hundreds, at least, with asbestosis. But these folks still identify with the billionaire misanthropic misogynist, partly because the unions (mill workers, mining, dam builders, etc.), that used to channel some of this anger, are gone.

  15. BJ
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    It’s disgusting that they did this (I speak especially from the perspective of someone with a preexisting condition), but I have no concern that it will get through the Senate. If it does get through the Senate, it will go through reconciliation, and the part about preexisting conditions will be thrown out during the process. Senators, unlike House reps, don’t have the luxury of extreme stupidity that gerrymandered districts offers them.

    • Harrison
      Posted May 4, 2017 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      As has been said, anyone who lives long enough will eventually acquire a pre-existing condition. It’s a matter of when, not if.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 5, 2017 at 2:21 am | Permalink

        ‘Life(n): A sexually transmitted, terminal condition’

        – old tagline

        cr

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Really hope you’re not just whistling past the uninsured line, BJ.

  16. peepuk
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Why Republicans oppose good health-care for everyone?

    A) We should be protected against our state forcing us to pay for others.

    B) It’s bad for the economy.

    A is a typical liberal argument; based on the myth of the earned inequalities; originating from a false believe in freewill.

    B is an utilitarian argument based on the principles of liberal Chicago school of economics; already empirically falsified : US-citizens pay far too much for their health care; they don’t get value for money.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 5, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Not sure I’ve ever heard the adjective “liberal” used to modify the Chicago school of economics before — “neo-classical,” maybe, or “libertarian,” or just flat-out “conservative.” Guess you’d describe the Austrian school as “liberal,” too?

      • Posted May 8, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        “liberal” in the European sense, presumably. (The traditional oppositions are “interventionist” and “mercantilist”, and a few others.)

    • somer
      Posted May 6, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      The economy has to ultimately serve people not itself though of course social activity and services have to be sustainable in the longer term. However the American Health system is one of the most inefficient in the world – thousands of providers, all different premiums, unclear terms, skyrocketing healthcare costs. Obama care at least offered cover to all. It was ranked 44th out of 50 in the efficiency ratings in 2014. Australia has a universal health care system guaranteed by the federal govt (we have states but keep them in their place and the lions share of taxes are raised by the National govt then redistributed – often in tied grants – to the states although there is an annual meeting of all the govts to negotiate needs and allocations). Trump just told Aust PM Turnbull Australia has a better more efficient system than America and without Obama care America will have a system more like Oz which has UNIVERSAL coverage UNDERWRITTEN BY THE GOVERNMENT!!!!! In 2014 Australia was ranked 6th most efficient healthcare in the world (9% of GDP) life expectancy over 82 against in the US expenditure of 17% of GDP for life expectancy 3 years less, and was ranked 44th out of 50 in efficiency. Obamacare has dramatically increased the coveraged of aged and poor previously not covered. Figures from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39821789

  17. Posted May 8, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Repealing also plays to the “screw you, I’ve got mine!” attitudes.


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