Shortly after admitting on CNN that he had not read Trump’s Obamacare repeal bill that he just voted for, Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY) was completely taken off guard by the provisions it contained. At a loss in an interview with the Buffalo News, Collins asked the reporter to explain it to him.
Specifically, Collins was being asked about the $3 billion his home state stood to lose from Trumpcare, through the New York’s Essential Health Plan.
“Explain that to me,” Collins said.
The journalist explained that:
The Essential Plan is an optional program under Obamacare, offered only by New York and Minnesota, that provides low-cost health insurance to low- and middle-income people who don’t qualify for Medicaid. State Health Department figures show that more than 19,000 people in Erie and Niagara counties were on the Essential Plan in January.
Only minutes after claiming to “understand this bill in its entirety,” the Buffalo News again asked if he knew that the bill would cut the funding for the Essential Plan.
“No,” Collins said.
“But it doesn’t surprise me for you to tell me that there were two states in the nation that were taking advantage of some other waiver program and New York was one of the two states,” he continued.
Collins’ indifference reveals the truth behind Republicans’ celebrations yesterday. While, they are quite pleased with the political victory, when it comes to the actual repercussions for the American people, they don’t know because they don’t care. Collins and his colleagues are so focused on scoring points and tax cuts for the wealthy, that they are not even fazed by the loss of care for thousands of their own constituents.
If there is a silver lining to the apathy of Republican Members of Congress, it’s this. Americans are watching, and if these politicians won’t be bothered to understand the impact of their legislation, we’ll replace them with people who will.
Sheila Norton is a writer with ten years of Capitol Hill experience. Subscribe to the OD Action email to get all the hottest news delivered right to your inbox every day at www.odaction.com