The Affordable Care Act Survives a Seven Year Onslaught

Senator Mitch McConnell has to be feeling pretty peeved today.  He had selected a small group of Senators to prepare a revision to the Affordable Care Act.  He did it secretly with 13 men, no women, and a veil of secrecy that he railed against when the Republicans were the minority party.  Here is a quote from Mitch McConnell when he was in Crying Game mode "Major legislation is now routinely drafted not in committee, but in the majority leader's conference room.  Bills should go through committee. He also stated that if Republicans were "fortunate enough to gain the majority, they would"

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I wonder then what his thought process was when he figured he would push the Better Care Reconciliation Act down the throats of the 52 Senators who hold a slim majority in this legislative body.  There are no Democrats who will vote for this bill in its present form.  Donald Trump has referred to them as obstructionists.  I wonder how one can be called an obstructionist if one is not invited to help draft a major policy shift in America?  I remember Senator McConnell as the politician who would not even schedule a vote on Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

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One of the most telling acts of this revision as to the conscience of the Republicans who drafted it were the massive proposed cuts in Medicaid.  Medicaid is a government insurance program for persons of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for healthcare.  The current Republican proposal would trim $800 billion from projected Medicaid spending.  Incredulously, White House spokesperson KellyAnne Conway looked into the camera and stated that these are not cuts.  Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has tried to sell Americans the same bill of goods.  What in the name of fake news is going on here?  Reducing that much money from a program is a cut no matter how you spin in.

The recent search for votes for this proposal has shown an ugly side of the Republican party.  I know that a certain person wishes he could fire everyone who opposes his every thought and action.  Thankfully, in a Democracy, that is not possible.  The pro-Trump group America First Policies began airing attack ads against Senator Dean Heller of Nevada.  He is up for re-election in 2018.  Rather than respecting his opinion about some of the flaws of the current proposal, they decided to go all in on his character and resistance to appealing Obamacare.  Majority leader McConnell was instrumental in getting this group to drop this internecine attack.  Desperation is the word for today in spite of the POTUS claiming that his party is getting closer to an appeal of the Affirdable Care Act.

I am a Democrat.  I also am a person that did not have health care coverage for a few years.  Scheduling a dentist's appointment or a physical exam at a Health Center took months.  I was so lucky not to have had a major health scare during this period.  My daughter had to do to an emergency room for an illness and the bill was $700.00.  We are still paying it off.  Older Americans would have been severely affected by the proposed Medicaid cuts.  Wealthy Americans would have received tax cuts.  I guess the logic here is that they would then spend more money in low income areas.  I doubt that very seriously.

As the Republicans head into the break I wonder what kind of reception they will receive at Town Hall meetings across the country.  Deep down I understand the frustration with being unable to repeal the ACA.  The POTUS campaigned on repealing it on Day One of his term.  We are well past the 100 day mark.  Both he and Senator McConnell now mention how complicated the process is.  I am sure that public opinion will continue to be expressed both for and against this revision.  Presently, nine Republican Senators oppose the version that was just tabled.  I think if they removed the term 'Obamacare' from in front of the Affordable Care Act, many of the people who hate anything associated with the former President would have their feelings ameliorated.

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