Senate health care bill is a risky vote for Sen. Bill Cassidy, GOP

By Robert Mann

You need not be a politician with the superior political intuition of Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton to understand how dangerous the Republican health care bill is to the future of that party’s majority in both houses. Even so, it looks like Louisiana’s GOP senators, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, will support legislation that could damage the GOP’s chances of holding onto Congress in 2018.

Could Republicans’ irrational hatred of the Affordable Care Act drive them to an insane act of self-immolation by replacing it with a disastrous bill that most Americans oppose?

The House-passed American Health Care Act is not only the most unpopular legislation Congress has debated in decades; it’s also earned the disdain of President Donald Trump, who threw a party for the bill in the Rose Garden but later called it “mean.”

Cassidy, who has a bill to replace Obamacare, suggested weeks ago he would not support the House bill (and I applauded him for that). More recently, however, he has warmed to supporting a new version that 13 male senators wrote in secret.

From the outline Republicans released on Thursday, the Senate effort isn’t much of an improvement. Like the House bill, Republicans in the Senate would slash deeply Medicaid and eliminate health insurance for tens of millions to finance tax cuts for millionaires.

As a bipartisan group of governors wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week, the bill “calls into question coverage for the vulnerable and fails to provide the necessary resources to ensure that no one is left out, while shifting significant costs to the states.”

McConnell and other GOP leaders are likely urging Cassidy to get on board (it doesn’t appear Kennedy needs his arm twisted to support the legislation). If you’re Cassidy, the worst position is to be a senator whose opposition to the bill killed the repeal-Obamacare effort.

Well, that might be the second-worst outcome, as worse might be the passage of the bill with Cassidy’s crucial vote to help. If Cassidy is betting his constituents’ hatred of Obamacare is so intense they will abide a bill that cripples their health insurance coverage, the evidence suggests he is wrong.

Using eight surveys from respected national pollsters and a sophisticated statistical method called M.R.P. (multilevel regression and poststratification), researchers Christopher Warshaw and David Broockman, of MIT and Stanford respectively, concluded there is not one state in which most people support the GOP’s American Health Care Act (AHCA).

As they wrote recently in The New York Times: “Across all the states that voted for President Trump last year, we estimate that support for the A.H.C.A. is rarely over 35 percent. A majority of Republican senators currently represent states where less than a third of the public supports the A.H.C.A.”

Continue reading on NOLA.com at this link.

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7 Responses to Senate health care bill is a risky vote for Sen. Bill Cassidy, GOP

  1. Fredster says:

    I saw him on Morning Joe this morning. He’s going to vote for it.

    And he had the most convoluted logic for doing so. He said as people become ineligible for Medicaid (meaning kicked off) he said he’s hoping the more generous subsidies of the Senate plan will help them to migrate to individual market plans and that would mean the more the merrier in the individual markets and with so many new customers, why golly gee, premiums will just drop like a stone. The problem with that is that the medicaid population is probably one of the sickest groups out there. That won’t be helping a thing. And the panel didn’t even ask one question concerning that.

    I guess he forgot that Hippocratic Oath thing.

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  2. Edith Herring says:

    Can some one quickly come up with the numbers of Louisiana people affected, the dollar amounts that will be lost and the number of rural hospitals and clinics that will be adversely affected? These are the kinds of facts that we should have to smack Cassidy & Kennedy up beside their Republican heads!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fredster says:

      Now that sounds like a job for Stephen doesn’t it? 😉
      Also it’s been mentioned there will probably be loss of jobs in health care. That’s probably tied into the cuts at rural hospitals and clinics.

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      • Stephen Winham says:

        I do wish I could answer Edith’s excellent questions, but can’t for several reasons, including the way the bill is structured and the timing of its effects. Should the provisions in the bill actually become law there would be changes in advance of when various things kicked in that would cause dramatic turns in projections. Guessing what will happen is very hard. I remember when President Clinton initiated welfare reform. All kinds of catastrophes were predicted, but never occurred and we never really knew why. One would think the Louisiana Department of Health could provide some projections and maybe they will, but I would not put much stock in them even so..

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  3. earthmother says:

    Arrived in yesterday’s mail – announcement of a Bill Cassidy (MD of course) town hall meeting: Friday, June 30, 3-4 pm. at the Central Branch Library, 11260 Joor Road., Baton Rouge, LA 70818
    At a time and place ensuring the least number of attendees.

    Wow- giving those who can take an afternoon off work a whole hour of his time. For those of us who can, let’s pack the library’s meeting room and let the senator know what we think about this “health” bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fredster says:

    Earthmoher it may be over with by then. McTurtle wants a vote a.s.a.p. and before their 4th of July break.

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    • Stephen Winham says:

      Fortunately, McTurtle didn’t get his way this time and any erosion of his power is good.

      Like

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