House GOP Passes American Health Care Act On Party Line Vote

By the barest of margins, the House passed its bill repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, but the future of that bill is highly uncertain.

Capitol Building Dusk

After a more than a month during which it seemed for most of the time that their efforts would end in failure, House Republicans managed to pass the American Health Care Act, which purports to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act:

WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday narrowly approved a bill to repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act, as Republicans recovered from their earlier failures and moved a step closer to delivering their promise to reshape American health care without mandated insurance coverage.

The vote, 217-213, on President Trump’s 105th day in office, keeps alive the Republican dream to unwind the signature legislative achievement of former President Barack Obama. The House measure faces profound uncertainty in the Senate, where the legislation’s steep spending cuts will almost certainly be moderated. Any legislation that can get through the Senate will again have to clear the House and its conservative majority.

Just before the House vote, the Senate on Thursday gave final approval to a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will finance the government through September, and unlike the health care legislation, the spending bill had broad bi-partisan support.

Passage of the health care bill completed a remarkable act of political resuscitation, six weeks after House leaders failed to muster the votes to pass an earlier version of their bill, a blow to Mr. Trump and Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.

Mr. Ryan closed the debate saying that a continuation of the Affordable Care Act would be intolerable. “It means even higher premiums, even fewer choices, even more insurance companies pulling out, even more uncertainty and even more chaos,” he said.

“What protection is Obamacare if there is no health care plan to purchase in your state?” Mr. Ryan asked.

Many Republicans were simply glad the fight was over — for now.

“We are all breathing a sigh of relief,” Representative Chris Collins, Republican of New York, said. “We’re living up to a campaign promise we made, the Senate made, the president made.”

Democrats vowed to make Republicans pay a high political price for pushing such unpopular legislation. Twenty Republicans crossed the aisle vote against the bill, which, like the Affordable Care Act itself, passed without any votes from the minority party. As Republicans crossed 217 votes, Democrats heckled them with “Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey goodbye.”

“I have never seen political suicide in my life like I’m seeing today,” Representative Louise M. Slaughter, Democrat of New York, said.

Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, warned moderate Republicans who supported the measure: “You have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. You will glow in the dark.”

The House bill would eliminate tax penalties for people who go without health insurance. It would roll back state-by-state expansions of Medicaid, which covered millions of low-income Americans.

In place of government-subsidized insurance policies offered exclusively on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, the bill would offer tax credits of $2,000 to $4,000 a year, depending mainly on age. A family could receive up to $14,000 a year in credits. The credits would be reduced for individuals making over $75,000 a year and families making over $150,000.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the first version of the bill would trim the federal budget deficit considerably but would also leave 24 million more Americans without health insurance after a decade. Insurance premiums would spike next year before settling lower after a decade.

The vote on Thursday, just before House members were to leave for an 11-day recess, shifts the focus over to the Senate, where a number of Republicans have expressed significant concerns over the House plan, including how it would affect states that expanded Medicaid and whether it would drive up premiums for older people.

Republican senators are certain to face pressure from governors worried about constituents on Medicaid losing their coverage. Republican leaders changed the House bill to woo hard-line conservatives, allowing state governments to roll back required coverage for “essential” services like maternity and emergency care. States could also seek waivers that would let insurers charge higher premiums for customers with pre-existing medical conditions. Those changes could be rejected by moderate Republican senators.

And Democrats are confident that some provisions of the House bill will not comply with special budget rules that Republicans must follow in order to skirt a Senate filibuster.

As I said this morning, it was unlikely that the House leadership would have brought this bill to the floor for a vote if they didn’t have a fairly solid belief that it would pass. To do otherwise and allow it to go forward and fail would have been a huge political setback for both House Republicans and the Trump Administration, one that would have put the ability to get other pieces of legislation such as tax reform or a Fiscal Year 2018 budget passed in the coming months. Given that, it’s not all that surprising that the bill ended up passing in the end, although the fact that the bill passed on a party-line vote, with just one vote to spare in the final tally, is an indication of just how controversial the bill is and how big a risk the GOP is taking by getting behind it. In addition to a Democratic caucus that was united in opposition, the bill also received “No” vote from twenty Republicans from both the conservative and moderate sides of the caucus, just two votes short of the twenty-two needed to block the bill from passing. This poses potential problems for the bill in the future when it will likely need to pass the House again assuming it makes it through an anticipated House-Senate Conference Committee. That, however, is in the future. For now, Republicans will credit themselves with a win in that, after seven years, they’ve finally managed to pass a bill that repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act. The big question, of course, is what happens from here.

As The New York Times makes clear, that future includes a potentially rocky road in the Senate:

WASHINGTON — As House Republicans on Thursday shoved their health care bill across the finish line, stuffing it with amendments and extra dollars to secure a hard-won majority, the lawmakers who will inherit the legislation delivered their own message from across the Capitol:

That’s cute.

On the Senate side, where several Republicans have long been deeply skeptical of the House effort, the bill is expected to undergo sweeping changes that might leave it unrecognizable — perhaps stripping away some of the provisions that helped earn the support of hard-right House members and ultimately secure its passage.

The Republicans’ narrow 52-member majority in the Senate leaves little room for defections, and several Republican senators have worried aloud about the House measure. Their concerns include insurance costs for poorer, older Americans and funding issues in states with high populations of hard-to-insure people.

Another chief obstacle is reconciling the reservations of Republican senators from states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act — including Senators Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia — whose constituents would face rollbacks under the House bill. (Aides to Mr. Portman and Ms. Capito said on Thursday that their concerns remain; the offices of Ms. Murkowski and Mr. Gardner did not immediately respond to messages.)

More immediately pressing on Thursday, it seemed, was getting senators up to speed on what, exactly, the House had voted on.

“Don’t know what it’s in it,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said hours before the vote. “Waiting to see if it’s a boy or a girl.”

He said it appeared as though the House was “moving in a better direction,” gravitating toward state control over the health care system.

“But any bill that has been posted less than 24 hours — going to be debated three or four hours, not scored — needs to be viewed with suspicion,” he said, noting that the House vote came without an assessment from the Congressional Budget Office on the latest version’s price and impact.

(…)

One possible roadblock is the Senate parliamentarian. Republicans have pursued a procedural tool known as reconciliation in the hopes of passing the bill with a simple majority, rather than having to clear a 60-vote threshold with Democratic assistance. Reconciliation rules allow for changes on matters of taxes and spending but not broader policy changes. Some elements of the House bill had already threatened to draw the parliamentarian’s attention, and Democrats have strategized about specific components to target on these grounds.

If the threshold for passage is raised, requiring Democratic help, the minority party is unlikely to offer a lifeline.

“I hope this thing is dead on arrival, and I hope that a ton of House members lose their seat for voting for something this inhumane,” Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, said.

In addition to the procedural question regarding whether or not the version of the AHCA that passed the House qualifies for reconciliation, the bill also faces problems for a wide variety of other reasons. As I noted this morning, to the extent any Senators have actually commented on what’s been going on in the House, and very few have actually gone on the record as of yet, there are indications that the bill faces problems from inside the GOP caucus even without regard to the anticipated united opposition of Senate Democrats. Conservatives members of the Senate GOP Caucus, for example, have suggested that the compromises that many members of the House Freedom Caucus have agreed to in this bill, such as those that apply to pre-existing conditions and other coverage mandates in the PPACA. At the same time, more moderate members of the Senate GOP have expressed concerns about some of those same issues from the other side, as well as concerns about how the bill would impact states that have accepted the expansion of Medicaid as offered by the PPACA. Almost as soon as the bill had passed the House this afternoon, for example, Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman tweeted out a statement expressing doubts about how the House bill would impact those people in his state who have received coverage because of the expansion of Medicaid. In the statement, Portman made it clear that, because of these issues, he does not support the House bill in its current form. Similar statements have been made in anticipation of today’s vote by other Republicans such as Susan Collins of Maine.  All of this means, of course, that it’s highly unlikely that the bill will sail through the Senate unscathed even if it does end up qualifying for reconciliation. Instead, it’s likely that the Senate will make significant changes to the bill in an effort to get it passed. At that point, the question will be whether those changes or whatever it may be that comes out of an anticipated House-Senate Conference Committee, can pass at all. Given how slow the Senate is likely to move on this, though, it is going to be months, if not longer, before we find out.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Health Care, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Alameda says:

    Another chief obstacle is reconciling the reservations of Republican senators from states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act — including Senators Rob Portman of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Cory Gardner of Colorado and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia — whose constituents would face rollbacks under the House bill. (Aides to Mr. Portman and Ms. Capito said on Thursday that their concerns remain; the offices of Ms. Murkowski and Mr. Gardner did not immediately respond to messages.)

    It comes down to this: can Democrats get at least 3 Republican senators to flip while keeping hapless guys like Joe Manchin? I’m not optimistic.

  2. Moosebreath says:

    @al-Alameda:

    “It comes down to this: can Democrats get at least 3 Republican senators to flip while keeping hapless guys like Joe Manchin? I’m not optimistic.”

    Me neither. As Josh Marshall put it, “First, this should remind us of what I’ve previously called the Iron Law of Republican Politics. That is, the ‘GOP moderates’ will always cave.”

  3. An Interested Party says:

    Does anyone seriously believe that many politicians who favor this shit sandwich won’t pay some kind of penalty for that support? The ads will write themselves, with sad, earnest people sitting in front of the camera telling us how this bill took away their health care…these ghouls in the House think they have a winner on their hands with something that will hurt so many people? Talk about alternate realities…

  4. Gustopher says:

    The House moved fast to avoid as much public criticism of the plan as possible, and to get it done before the CBO scoring — the Senate does not move fast, as a general rule.

    This is not a popular bill. The longer this bill is out in daylight, the more the opposition to it grows in the public.

    I’m not sure the Republicans can hold their Senators in line if this drags out.

  5. wr says:

    This recess is going to be really interesting — especially since the CBO score should be out next week.

    Basically, I think we can say goodbye to just about every Republican “moderate” or R in a soft D district.

    I hope they run that scumbag Upton out of town on a rail.

  6. Anonne says:

    If the Senate nixes the bill and it ultimately dies, the House can get away with it because people’s memories are short. The only way that anything actually comes down to a political price being paid is for it to hit people’s pocketbooks. And even then, it’s questionable – because look at how the country put the people who brought us the Iraq War and the financial crisis back in power.

  7. Pch101 says:

    “Republican moderate” is an oxymoron. There haven’t been any in the party for quite sometime.

  8. Jack says:

    @An Interested Party: I feel like I am in a wayback machine and this is 2010.

    Does anyone seriously believe that many politicians who favor this shit sandwich won’t pay some kind of penalty for that support? The ads will write themselves, with sad, earnest people sitting in front of the camera telling us how this bill took away their health care…these ghouls in the House think they have a winner on their hands with something that will hurt so many people? Talk about alternate realities…

  9. P says:

    I can’t stand the man’s politics, but I can’t wait for Lindsey Graham’s memoirs, in the hopes he writes them himself.

  10. Jack says:

    “[The American Health Care Act] will devastate Americans’ healthcare. Families will go bankrupt. People will die.” – Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren

    Good old Pocahontas, good to see she hasn’t lost her penchant for lying to the American public.

  11. SKI says:

    @Jack: First, stop being racist.
    Second, she isn’t lying.

  12. Gustopher says:

    @Jack: Please, explain where the lie is.

    – Do you believe that increasing the cost of insurance for the semi-elderly will not lead to people unable to afford insurance?
    – Do you believe that a small subsidy based on age is going to be any help to those too poor to pay the rest?
    – Do you believe that cutting the essential benefits will not affect healthcare outcomes?
    – Do you believe that lifetime limits for health insurance payouts means that the underlying conditions vanish once the limit is reached?

    Where, exactly does the lie lie?

  13. Jack says:

    @SKI:

    First, stop being racist.

    So, I guess Bill Mahar is a racist too. Just stop, snowflake.

  14. Jack says:

    @Gustopher: What I do believe is none of that is my responsibility. Just as it’s not my responsibility if Joe Schmuckatelli gets condoms or Jane Schmuckatelli gets contraception.

    People need to learn personal responsibility and stop pushing their bad life choices onto others.

    Life is not a game where everyone wins. Death is inevitable.

  15. Pch101 says:

    The GOP has a firm lock on the a**hole voter market, as Jack makes clear.

  16. SKI says:

    @Jack: Quite possible. Maher is a complete asshole.

    Regardless, calling her that. It is racist. Stop.

  17. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @An Interested Party: As much as I’d like to believe that, my prediction is that in a year and a quarter the story from the right is going to be

    I don’t understand what the Democrat Party was doing when they prevented the Republicans in the House from offering the bill they really wanted to offer that would have made everything better for everybody.

    The echo chamber, the dittoheads, and most independents who lean right will eat it up.

  18. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Jack:

    So, I guess Bill Mahar is a racist too.

    Yep. And an Islamophobe. Next.

  19. Kylopod says:

    @Jack:

    Good old Pocahontas, good to see she hasn’t lost her penchant for lying to the American public.

    Once again, it’s worth pointing out that the claim you’re alluding to–the notion that Sen. Warren fabricated Native American ancestry in order to advance her career–is baseless slander that was debunked a long time ago.

    So, I guess Bill Mahar is a racist too.

    When he called her “Pocahontas,” yes, he was being racist, and she was justifiably offended.

    The fact that you think “But Bill Maher said it” is somehow a defense is deeply revealing. Maher is not, and has never been, some universally beloved figure on the left. His first show was called “Politically Incorrect,” and he has forged a career out of ruffling the feathers of people across the political spectrum. While I think he intended the comment toward Warren to be affectionate, that doesn’t excuse it. It was in poor taste and (as the above link demonstrates) based on an unfair and misleading accusation.

  20. Moosebreath says:

    @Jack:

    So in other words, when asked to show what Sen. Warren’s lie was, your response is “Look over there”.

    Click.

  21. Jack says:

    @SKI: Would you prefer “Snowflake Whisperer”?

  22. Jack says:

    @Kylopod: And yet, she cannot refute the fact the she did claim Indian blood which has definitely been refuted by the Cherokee Nation.

    “Chief Lying Bull” is her adopted Indian name.

  23. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jack: I am not a huge fan of the lady, but she is not lying. She does have Native American ancestors. So do I. Mine were made to walk the Trail of Tears by Andrew Jackson…the man Trump is so enamored with.

  24. Jack says:

    @Moosebreath: Short of legislation adopting executions for certain crimes, there is no legislation that can factually be shown to cause anyone’s death. And the claim that some legislation will bankrupt people can be made about the ACA, which indicates Pocahontas is simply exaggerating everything for partisan gain.

  25. Tyrell says:

    In its current state, this bill will undergo major changes when it gets to the Senate. It will be far different from what was passed today. Several times I have given my ideas on what needs to be changed, added, deleted, modified, polished, torqued, adjusted, tightened, overhauled, and fine tuned concerning the ACA. The main goal must continue be to get as many people into the system, with the priority on young, healthy, working people. Comparing the ACA to what it should be would be like comparing a showroom car to a NASCAR race car.
    Some more insurance companies pulled out this week.
    See Burton Report: “Managed Health Care: A Good Idea Gone Wrong”
    “Obamacare Implosion: Last Major Healthcare Provider Pulls Out Of Iowa Leaving No Options In 2018” Zero Hedge Fund, May 3.
    A few more months and ObamaCare will be gone on its own accord.

    “ObamaCare is repealing itself”

  26. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jack: Death is inevitable?….and yet, those Republicans in Congress did not sign themselves onto this plan…no siree, they are not about to walk that plank with the rest of us.

    This bill that was passed today is a travesty. It really is.

  27. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jack: When a bill is passed that makes it impossible for someone to receive life saving treatment..that is causing a death.

  28. Jack says:

    @Terrye Cravens: The Cherokee Nation has stated outright that Senator “Dances with Lies” is lying about Indian ancestry. She is not Indian.

    http://humanevents.com/2012/05/14/fauxcahontas-132-cherokee-claim-debunked/

  29. Jack says:

    @Terrye Cravens: Yeah, the politicians didn’t sign themselves up for Obama care either, so…..yeah.

  30. Jack says:

    @Terrye Cravens: This bill does not make receiving life saving treatment impossible. With baseless claims like this, you may be related to Senator “50 shades of pale”.

  31. Terrye Cravens says:

    This bill allows insurance companies to charge older Americans five times as much as younger Americans. And it limits their subsidies. It also allows limits on how much those companies have to pay…and of course, it includes a big fat tax cut to the wealthy. That means it increases the debt and deficit. And of course, it includes $880 billion in cuts to medicaid.

    So, it helps the rich and hurts the poor. And that is exactly what Democrats will be shouting from the roof tops.

  32. Jack says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    So, it helps the rich and hurts the poor. And that is exactly what Democrats will be shouting from the roof tops.

    Yeah, because lots of poor people could afford the $10k deductibles they were paying for “insurance” under Obamacare.

  33. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jack: I work for a home health care agency. I was just told by my boss that we are going to start discharging medicaid people because of recent cuts here in Indiana.

    My point is that health care cost money. If you go into an emergency room, they have to treat you…but that does not mean there are not limits on what they will do. I have seen hospitals release cancer patients without doing treatments for them. What do you think happens to them?

  34. Terrye Cravens says:

    How many cases of cancer are not detected if people do not have insurance and do not get diagnosed? How many people with chronic illnesses die because they can not afford the medicine they need? Really, Jack, you don’t know much about health care. .

  35. Jack says:

    @Terrye Cravens: Recent cuts….under Obamacare. Sounds to me like people need to start taking responsibility for their own lives.

  36. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jack: The Cherokee nation probably does not think I had ancestors who were Native either…how would they know? I am talking about 200 years ago. My point is that a lot of us have these family stories that are passed down through generations. Besides, considering the fact that Trump can not get through a day without telling some kind of whopper, what does it matter to you? Apparently you are fine with liars.

  37. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jack: No Jack, recent cuts under the Republican Governor and State house.

  38. Terrye Cravens says:

    Jack, this is my point. You don’t know what you are talking about. Medicaid is jointly funded by the states and the feds.

  39. Pch101 says:

    The guvmint had better keep its hands off of Jack’s Medicare.

  40. Not the IT Dept. says:

    You can tell the Republicans are lying about ACA because they made damn sure they kept all its provisions for their worthless congressional asses.

  41. Jack says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    Medicaid is jointly funded by the states and the feds.

    It doesn’t matter who is funding it, people are making cuts because it’s unaffordable…under the current health care laws…i.e. Obamacare.

  42. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Jack: so I guess you disapprove of all insurance then?

    By the way, I hope you end up living in one of those states that gets rid of prior condition and imposes lifetime caps on medical payouts. And that you then develope one of those contortions that can only be handled with medication costing $150,000 a year and can’t be cured. Maybe it might teach you something about how we’re all in this together and Ayn Rand’s writings are no basis for a civilized society.

  43. Jack says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    Besides, considering the fact that Trump can not get through a day without telling some kind of whopper

    Such as:

    “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor”

    or

    “If you like your plan you can keep your plan”

    or my favorite…

    “[Obamacare] will save the average family $2,500 a year.

  44. Jack says:

    @Grumpy Realist:

    so I guess you disapprove of all insurance then?

    I approve of any insurance plan that people enter into voluntarily.

    By the way, I hope you end up living in one of those states that gets rid of prior condition and imposes lifetime caps on medical payouts. And that you then develope one of those contortions that can only be handled with medication costing $150,000 a year and can’t be cured.

    How tolerant of others’ opinions you are.

    I hope you are shot by the next criminal that got a gun in a state that has oppressive gun laws that don’t work because you know…criminals.

  45. Yank says:

    @Terrye Cravens: The irony of what clowns like Jack are saying is that their boot straps nonsense ends up costing the country more then just having universal coverage.

  46. Jack says:

    @Yank: The irony of what clowns like Yank are saying is that their everyone else should pay for his medical care because fair!

  47. Liberal Capitalist says:

    How quickly we forget: Ignore trolls that have noting better to do that go off topic.

    1) The House passed a bill that was… well, who knows what it was, as advance copies were not made available.

    2) The president has no clear understanding what was in the bill, based on interviews from this past Sunday. He will be in a whole world of hurt when Joey Baggadonuts figures out that repealing Obamacare is screwing over himself. His next 2020 rally may have some rotten fruit coming from the once adoring crowds. (… lock HIM up ? )

    2) The Senate won’t pass anything like that, as their seats are much more personally and financially valuable, and passing this type of bill is the boat anchor of death for senators.

    what it is, is a political awakening of about 20 million Americans that got a break, and now are being told by the GOP that they don’t matter.

    Hey Hey Bye Bye.

    PS: When Trump (and his supporters) finds out that every promise he made on health care in his campaign has been broken… a whole lot of yelling will commence!

    https://thinkprogress.org/6-things-in-trumpcare-that-trump-promised-he-would-never-do-6c96939dd70a

  48. Yank says:

    @Jack: Nah, I pay for my own insurance, thank you. Oh by the way, prior to the ACA, we kind were already paying for other people’s insurance…….

  49. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Jack: Jack, you are off topic and please, don’t be silly. Trump is a professional liar. People like Warren and Obama are not in his league.

    And the cuts that are being made to medicaid in Indiana by a Republican Governor and a Republican legislature have nothing to do with the ACA. You are missing the point anyway. The point is that if the government {or state} cuts healthcare people lose services. That is capitalism.

  50. wr says:

    @Jack: “People need to learn personal responsibility and stop pushing their bad life choices onto others.”

    Anyone want to guess how many government subsidies “Jack” lives off? I figure disability is a given, along with food stamps and Medicaid. But hey, he’s white and he’s angry, so he deserves it.

  51. wr says:

    @Jack: “Short of legislation adopting executions for certain crimes, there is no legislation that can factually be shown to cause anyone’s death”

    A brilliant argument, as long as you’re ten years old. Anything after that, you’re a moron. Probably get a government subsidy for that, too.

  52. Terrye Cravens says:

    In this new socalled bill they passed, tax credits go to people based on things like age, not income. There fore poor people who need the assistance get less and people who don’t might actually get some government money..

    This is the point Jack, this bill does not save us money. It actually increases the deficit.

    And btw, who do you think the government is supporting with medicare and social security? Like it or not, the days of each man for himself are over.

  53. Jack says:

    @Yank:

    Oh by the way, prior to the ACA, we kind were already paying for other people’s insurance…….

    No. We. Weren’t. We were helping pay for medical care. You do understand the difference don’t you? Payment in the form of tax deductions to hospitals/clinics for actual medical care vs payment to a private, for profit insurance company that sold insurance and then demanded thousands of dollars in deductibles before the insurance kicked in.

    Insurance does not equal health care.

  54. Jack says:

    @Terrye Cravens:

    And btw, who do you think the government is supporting with medicare and social security? Like it or not, the days of each man for himself are over.

    Both of these programs require payment into them before money is paid out. Typically over 2/3 of a lifetime before they can be used. Had the government not substituted IOUs for actual funds, there would be no need for the government to now “support” these programs.

    Beyond that, social security has always been a Ponzi scheme. Bernie Madoff was a blip compared to the federal government.

  55. An Interested Party says:

    I feel like I am in a wayback machine and this is 2010.

    The key difference being that what was passed in 2010 was about helping more people gain access to health care while this disaster passed today is about taking health care access away from people to pay for tax cuts for rich people…other than that, sure, exactly alike…

  56. Kylopod says:

    @Jack:

    The Cherokee Nation has stated outright that Senator “Dances with Lies” is lying about Indian ancestry.

    The article you link to doesn’t actually say that. It argues that the “evidence” that Warren has so far provided to support her claim to Cherokee ancestry is dubious and unconvincing. I never denied that; in fact, the link I provided made the same point.

    But there also is no evidence that she intentionally fabricated her story. As the article I linked to points out, it’s extremely common for Americans–particularly those from Oklahoma–to carry family lore of a Native American past. A lot of these stories do not hold up to scrutiny, but that doesn’t mean the people who believe in them are lying. People tend to believe what their family tells them about their ancestors.

    The amusing thing is that, in making this argument, you’re unwittingly admitting that you are a proven liar. After all, a couple of years ago you falsely claimed that a Muslim company owner in the US threatened to fire his employees for not wearing a hijab, and it turned out you got this story from a parody paper.

    Of course, you weren’t lying. Like Warren, you uncritically accepted a questionable source of information. But the logic you’re using now against Warren–that holding false or unfounded beliefs automatically constitutes a “lie”–leads directly to the conclusion that you “lied” about the Muslim boss. Hey, it takes one to know one.

  57. Pch101 says:

    Healthcare is obviously working in this country. Jack’s lobotomy was a home run.

  58. Mikey says:

    @Jack: Pedantic bullshit. Not surprised.

  59. Franklin says:

    Let’s pretend for a moment that we can prove that Senator Warren intentionally lied about her ancestry. Okay, that’s one lie. Call me when this approaches the number of lies told by .

  60. DrDaveT says:

    @Jack:

    What I do believe is none of that is my responsibility.

    Well done, Jack. Most sociopaths never achieve that first, vital step on the 12-step path.

  61. DrDaveT says:

    @Jack:

    there is no legislation that can factually be shown to cause anyone’s death

    Nor that the earth is getting warmer, nor that species evolve by natural selection, nor that lead in the water causes brain damage. This ‘science’ stuff is bunk.

  62. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Jack: We already do when the white trash shows up at the emergency room for common colds, VD, and Meth overdoses–then runs out on the bill–which gets passed on to us insurance payers. Typical of trash–always fighting to get something for nothing–alot for a little.

  63. Mr. Bluster says:

    Some 17,000 draftees were killed during the Vietnam War.
    See this Federal LEGISLATION.

    PUBLIC LAW 51—JUNE 19, 1951
    “SEC. 3. Except as otherwise provided in this title, it shall be the
    duty of every male citizen of the United States, and every other
    male person now or hereafter in the United States, who, on the
    day or days fixed for the first or any subsequent registration, is
    between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, to present himself for
    and submit to registration at such time or times and place or places,
    and in such manner, as shall be determined by proclamation of the
    President and by rules and regulations prescribed hereunder.”

  64. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Tyrell:

    Several times I have given my ideas on what needs to be changed, added, deleted, modified, polished, torqued, adjusted, tightened, overhauled, and fine tuned concerning the ACA.

    And then you voted for the people who created this abomination.

  65. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Jack:

    What I do believe is none of that is my responsibility.

    What a moron.
    I sincerely hope that you are struck by some debilitating disease and are left suffering in pain and financially destitute.
    You are nothing but a puss-filled abscess.

  66. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Jack:

    Beyond that, social security has always been a Ponzi scheme.

    Jesus-gawd you are a dumb mother-f’er.
    You will copy and paste anything, no matter how stupid it is.

  67. Franklin says:

    @Franklin: Oops, didn’t notice my attempt to write “your favored politician” didn’t show up. I stupidly typed it as an (invalid) HTML tag, instead of using square brackets.

  68. steve says:

    It concerns me that it looks like the goal is to make our system function like that in Texas and other red states. Most people aren’t aware of the results of changes they have been making, like the abrupt spike in maternal mortality rates. Ah well, pro-life doesn’t mean anything if you are out of the womb.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/20/texas-maternal-mortality-rate-health-clinics-funding

  69. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jack:

    Both of these programs require payment into them before money is paid out. Typically over 2/3 of a lifetime before they can be used. Had the government not substituted IOUs for actual funds, there would be no need for the government to now “support” these programs

    I was waiting for you to slip into that stupidity. I knew that you eventually would drag it out.

    For starters, a maximum of 40 SS credits is required to obtain full benefits at retirement (some people require less). A person may earn up to 4 each year – 1 for each $1,260 of earnings, so anybody earning at least $5,040 in a year (which is just about everybody) earns full credit. Thus, the vast, vast, vast majority of people qualify for full benefits based on – at most – 10 years of earnings, not 2/3rds of a lifetime.

    You do not “pay into” Social Security. You pay taxes which fund outgoing benefit checks in real time. When you retire, other people pay taxes which fund the benefit check going to YOU in real time. Social Security is not – nor has it ever been – an annuity. It’s a pay as you go social welfare program funded in real time by a tax, nothing more.

    In short, it’s no different than welfare. Folks like you just tend to draw that “I deserve it, but they don’t” line precisely at themselves. Maybe you’re a racist; maybe you’re just an asshole, but you have that “us and them” thing down pat.

    We won’t even get into the logic of 60% of federal spending being utilized to subsidize some 15% of the population. If you want to know the identity of the biggest cause of the federal deficits you pretend to care so much about, find the nearest mirror.

    Finally, please tell me you aren’t one of those nimrods who thinks the SS “trust fund” used to exist, but got “stolen” somewhere down the line. I mean, you’re a prick, granted, but I didn’t think you were actually that dumb as well …

  70. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Bottom line is this: House districts are so gerrymandered that Republicans there can feel some degree of safety with regard to passing an abortion like this into law.

    Senate seats are a different story, so thus begins the amendment process (assuming they don’t just send this disaster to die in committee from the outset). Few of them over there want the thing, and there is no way – none – that they find 8 Democrats willing to cut off debate on the bill as it currently stands.

    Personally, I think this stupid bill could be the impetus for a civil war between factions of Congressional Republicans who are already on tense terms with each other. If so – and I hope so – then let the games begin.

    If by some strange outlier they pass it, then they’ve just handed Dems enough attack material to sink the Titanic. You can bet that those nimrods who’ll be losing their healthcare will be reminded – on a daily basis – who took it away from them.

    Never interrupt your enemy when he’s shooting himself in the face.

  71. Pch101 says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Jack doesn’t need to worry, because he’s a boomer in the Medicare system.

    I won’t mind so much if he gets a debilitating disease, I just hope that it’s one of the cheap ones, since we’ll have to pay to maintain him.

  72. gVOR08 says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yeah. The TV behind me is showing the GOPs victory celebration with Trump at the WH. It’s real easy to see stills from that under headlines, “XX Million Lose Health Care”.

  73. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @gVOR08:

    See many Republican senators at that celebration? 🙂

  74. Bob@Younsgtown says:

    @Tyrell: IMO Tyrell is a Russian blog-bot

  75. Pch101 says:

    @Bob@Younsgtown:

    That’s not fair. Tyrell is too much of a performance artist to be Russian.

    Citing “Zero Hedge Fund” as a source, as he did above, is actually kinda funny. (Choosing a lousy source that lacks credibility AND getting the name wrong as ironically as that is a clue that he’s enjoying himself with this stuff.)

  76. Bob@Younsgtown says:

    My neighbor was just gloating about how the Republicans will be lowering his insurance premium for 2018 and giving him better coverage with a lower deductible.
    I’ll check back with him in Nov or Dec to see how that played out.

    GAWD, people are stupid.

  77. Neil Hudelson says:

    So…is the troll full yet, or do we need to feed him for awhile longer?

  78. Scott says:

    @Bob@Younsgtown: Not if he is 50 and above with pre-existing conditions.

  79. SenyorDave says:

    @gVOR08: The TV behind me is showing the GOPs victory celebration with Trump at the WH. It’s real easy to see stills from that under headlines, “XX Million Lose Health Care”.

    Combine the stills with some information about how this about tax cuts for the wealthy, and you have your ads.

    From an analysis, “two of the biggest tax cuts in Republican proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act would deliver roughly $144 billion over the coming decade to those with incomes of $1 million or more, according to a congressional analysis”.

    Push that like crazy, frame it as a $144 billion tax cut to millionaires while taking away your health care. That has to be a main message. And emphasize that Trump, as a self-professed billionaire, will be getting a huge tax cut (just throw some figures out as to how much, if it becomes an argument just say “release your taxes so we can know how much). Scare people, and make them angry, get it in their heads. Make them understand that tax cuts for the wealthy is what the GOP is all about.

  80. MBunge says:

    Meanwhile, as Republicans grapple with their ideological irresponsibility and Democrats stroke their salamis, significant problems with the ACA will not only continue but get much, much worse when the states have to pick up the full cost.

    Of course, that might open the door for single-payer but even that won’t work if our elites refuse to acknowledge the growing crisis in the global economy. I mean, folks do understand that the whole social welfare state is built on substantial economic AND population growth?

    Mike

  81. Hal_10000 says:

    My wife and I were talking about this last night and we speculated that this bill is mostly kabuki. The reason they passed such a garbage bill is because the wanted to pass *something* to appease the idiot wing of the party. The Senate looks like they will write a completely different bill, one that probably makes a series of obvious fixes to Obamacare. Whether that happens or not, I suspect they will run in 2018 claiming that they repealed and replaced Obamacare with a better system. Trump certainly will do so in 2020.

    I sorta hope we’re right.

  82. Moosebreath says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I think that is the best case scenario for Republican members of the House running for re-election. It’s also a reasonably good outcome for the country.

    Therefore, the change of it happening is remote.

  83. Yank says:

    The Senate looks like they will write a completely different bill, one that probably makes a series of obvious fixes to Obamacare.

    This is pretty much what Boehner said would happen. Hell, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Senate R’s actually do some trades off with Democrats to get some votes to protect some of their own.

  84. Pch101 says:

    @SenyorDave:

    Grousing about tax cuts for the rich will appeal to few who aren’t already on the left. And even for the left, that won’t be enough of a wedge issue to bolster turnout.

    A better message:
    -Trump lied about healthcare
    -Many have been screwed over this
    -You’ll be next

    People are self-centered creatures, Americans even more than most. If you can’t show how it negatively impacts them individually, few of them will care. (We are not all in this together, it would seem.)

    One of the errors of Obamacare was to create a system that did not directly impact your average suburban middle-class voter who gets health insurance from an employer.

    Obamacare should have been a much broader system that could not be dismantled without it directly screwing over everyone. For most people, this will be the other guy’s problem, which makes it a non-problem.

  85. James in Bremerton says:

    @Jack: Do you take your marching orders from Bill Mahar? You do realize he’s a comedian, right? Not a news anchor, not an elected official.

    Every time you say “Pocahontas” you remind us you are a child led by even more children. That’s why you’re treated as such, and not taken at all seriously.

  86. Facebones says:

    @Hal_10000: The problem with this is that too many GOP are more worried about a primary challenge than a general election. Look at the upcoming cycle: there are only 8 R senators up for re-election and most of them are in very safe seats. Maybe they’ll also need to do “something” after 7 years of demonizing Obamacare. And it’s not like Trump reads. He’ll sign any bill on his desk and proclaim it the bestest, most wonderful health care act in human history.

    So I’m not about to rely on “moderate” republicans to help out anyone. Except the wealthy.

  87. Facebones says:

    @Jack: I give Jack credit. He is forthright in his beliefs, which is more than I can say about the GOP in congress.

    Jack doesn’t want the government to help poor people get health care. He’d rather keep his money and punish the “unvirtuous” poor. I think this is wrong and disagree, because I don’t want a society where the poor are dying in the streets from easily preventible diseases. But! This is what he believes and he states it plainly!

    Unlike the GOP, who don’t actually want to say they just took away health coverage from 20 million people and jacked up rates to give a huge tax cut to millionaires.So they decorate it in happytalk like “Freedom!” and “Choices!” and hope to fool enough rubes to get re-elected.

  88. SC_Birdflyte says:

    If the Dems have a brain in their collective heads, the commercials are already being storyboarded: A video of someone with a preexisting, life-threatening condition, asking, “Why does (insert name of GOP Rep or Senator here) want to kill me?”

  89. Scott says:

    @Pch101:

    One of the errors of Obamacare was to create a system that did not directly impact your average suburban middle-class voter who gets health insurance from an employer.

    Just wait until the 10 Minimum Essential Benefits start being taken away. Then there is the House bill allowing corporations to mandate genetic testing for its employees. Then we’ll all have pre-existing conditions. You’ll start to hear some squealing.

  90. Pch101 says:

    @Scott:

    Just wait until the 10 Minimum Essential Benefits start being taken away. Then there is the House bill allowing corporations to mandate genetic testing for its employees. Then we’ll all have pre-existing conditions. You’ll start to hear some squealing.

    No, you really won’t, because most people won’t be directly and immediately impacted.

    One of the basic problems with health insurance as a product is that you don’t really know how good or bad your policy is until you really need it.

    And the time that you really need it is when you become an undesirable customer who can never pay enough in premiums to cover his expenses and newly-elevated risk profile. So they don’t mind if you’re upset since they would prefer that you were no longer a policyholder.

  91. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott:

    You’ll start to hear some squealing.

    I don’t know the timing of implementation in the House bill, much less the Senate version. I guess we’ll have to wait til they pass that to see what’s in it. But there will be some lag from effective dates to feeling pain. I don’t know that this stuff will really start to bite until after Nov ’18. The Dems need to be proactively running ads against representatives (sic) right now, before the Senate has a chance to soften the worst bits.

  92. Scott says:

    @Pch101: @gVOR08: You both may be right. It may be the case of the frog in the slow boiling pot.

  93. MarkedMan says:

    @Pch101:

    Healthcare is obviously working in this country. Jack’s lobotomy was a home run.

    God help me for arguing Jack’s side here, but I think it’s pretty obvious from his comments that he wouldn’t have used the healthcare system for his lobotomy. I’m sure he did it himself…

  94. MarkedMan says:

    @Bob@Younsgtown:

    IMO Tyrell is a Russian blog-bot

    I assume you were kidding but nevertheless I got a chill down my we are not all that far off from bots being as “good” as Tyrell, or Jack for that matter. Imagine what this comment section is like when it is filled with nothing but a score of Jack bots arguing with an equal number of notJack bots.

  95. Pch101 says:

    @Facebones:

    Jack doesn’t want the government to help poor people get health care.

    Jack is a petty resentnik bigot who wants to feel like a giver even though he is a taker.

    He thinks that he has “earned” his Medicare. He hasn’t figured out that he will not have earned it unless he dies a quick, affordable and early death, with emphasis on the quick. Spend the last few weeks of your life in the hospital, and you’re likely to have had costs that were equal to everything that you’ve paid in and then some.

  96. grumpy realist says:

    @Pch101: I wouldn’t be surprised if we start see people carrying out Second Amendment solutions as the effects sink in…

    Heck, if I were someone requiring very expensive cancer care and ran up against a “lifetime limits” barrier, I’d be awfully tempted to make sure I had an honor guard going with me as I went down into the mansions of the Dead….and picking that honor guard from the people who had flung me out of the health system.

  97. Pch101 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    They’ll blame Obama.

  98. HarvardLaw92 says:

    This is what we refer to as “poetic justice” …