“You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this [Graham-Cassidy] bill shouldn’t be considered,” said Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa to the Des Moines Register this afternoon. “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”
In other words, Senator Grassley believes it is more important for Republicans to fulfill their campaign promises in order to get re-elected in 2018 than to do what is right for the country, no matter the consequences to their constituents.
Pat Roberts of Kansas backed up his Senate colleague’s cynical view of the Graham Cassidy healthcare bill, which will reinstate pre-existing conditions, raising premiums drastically for pregnant women, cancer patients, and millions of Americans coping with other health issues. Senator Roberts said to Vox, “If we do nothing, it has tremendous impact on the 2018 elections.”
But the impact on taxpayers’ pocketbooks looks bleak. Congressional Republicans are trying to rush through a vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill even though the CBO has not released their numbers. Avalere, the non-partisan health consulting firm used by the National Governor’s Association, has said the bill will cost American states $4 trillion over the next 20 years, with states across the nation losing $215 billion in healthcare funding within the next 10 years alone.
In other words, the bill is terrible for Americans’ health and terrible for our budget. But that’s not stopping Trump, Grassley, Graham, Cassidy, McConnell, and most Republicans from pushing to get it through.
Because, at the end of the day, their actions show they couldn’t care less about Americans. They only care about repealing Obamacare, which gave healthcare to 20 million previously uninsured Americans. The new bill would take that 20 million back off healthcare and add another 12 million people to the rolls of the uninsured.
Why not? If you can erase the legacy of the first black president and get re-elected in the process, you’ve killed 32 million birds with one stone.
Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to luciabrawley.com.