Senate Republicans will temporarily delay killing off health insurance for 22 million Americans and bringing back insurers’ ability to deny policies to people with pre-existing conditions, so that John McCain can recover from some necessary surgery. The senator had surgery to remove a blood clot above his left eye on Friday; he appears to be recovering nicely and Yr Wonkette wishes him well.
Mr. McConnell had said that he wanted to begin debate on the bill and pass it this week, using special fast-track procedures. But without Mr. McCain, Senate Republicans would not have the votes they need to take up or pass their bill to repeal and replace major provisions of the health care act that was the signature domestic achievement of President Barack Obama.
Not that the Republicans were planning on wasting time on hearings on their terrible bill to reshape a sixth of the economy and destroy Medicaid, because why would you need hearings? It would just slow things down, and now that John McCain has gone and slowed the process further, it’s especially important to hurry the bill through as soon as he gets back, although McConnell hasn’t said exactly how soon after McCain is up and about again the Senate would be pushed for a vote.
Two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Rand Paul, have already announced they plan to vote against the bill; any additional “no” votes would kill the bill, so with McCain out of action, it would be mathematically impossible to get the 50 votes needed for Vice President Mike Pence to cast the winning vote. Also, through some miracle, Ted Cruz didn’t make any petulant complaints about how unfair it is that young, healthy policy holders have to pay for McCain’s surgery.
Senator McCain hasn’t said how he plans to vote on the bill, and in a recent check of Senate Republicans was unable to say what specific problems with the ACA the Senate plan was supposed to fix. His answer? “Almost all of them. They’re trying to get to 51 votes.” So that was pretty specific. We’d have worried that maybe the blood clot was interfering with his thinking parts, but really, none of the other Republicans had better answers either, and virtually no one has offered a clear explanation of why this monstrosity would result in better healthcare for anyone. (No, “Obamacare isn’t working” is not an argument for this bill.)
The New York Times also notes that when he was asked about the prospects of Republicans coming to a quick agreement on Obamacare repeal, the most he said was that it was possible, but also that “pigs could fly.”
Also, Yr Doktor Zoom is a rhetorician, not a medical doctor, so we won’t venture a guess as to whether that blood clot right near his frontal lobe may have been the reason McCain was all rambling and goofy during the James Comey hearing last month, but it certainly makes you wonder, huh? (Also, the New York Times says “maybe!”) Yikes!
Last week, while Mitch McConnell was preparing to release the second completely secret Republican plan to kill Obamacare and some poor people who depend on it, McCain released a statement saying that obviously Obamacare has to be repealed, because for godssake it’s Obamacare, but that if Republicans can’t reach a consensus on the McConnell bill, then
the Senate should return to regular order, hold hearings and receive input from senators of both parties, and produce a bill that finally provides Americans with access to affordable and quality health care.
Again with the “access,” which is Republican code for “you can have healthcare if you can afford it.” If McCain helps pass the current version of the Republican bill, Americans will have the “choice” to buy junk insurance that won’t even cover hospitalization or surgical procedures, because maybe they think they’ll never need those.
Still, you sort of have to wonder whether John McCain has spent some of his recovery time lying in a quiet room and reflecting on the plight of people who can’t afford the best insurance like he can (thanks to a Republican amendment to the ACA, members of Congress must buy insurance on the Washington DC exchange, but it’s likely McCain purchased the best plan available). It’s just possible he may have had some sort of insight into the need for all Americans to really have decent healthcare, not just “access” to it.
Hahaha, we are pretty amusing makers of the sarcasm, there, imagining John McCain having empathy for people who can’t afford the best insurance, those takers.
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