Sunday, May 7, 2017

What's with McSally's zeal for repeal?

Dr. Matt Heinz leads off with an op-ed in the Daily Star, Martha McSally wrong on repeal of health law, asking CD2 Rep. Martha McSally an embarrassing question.

So why would our congresswoman lead the charge for this plan, when hundreds of her colleagues, including 20 Republicans, took a stand for patients? Make no mistake, McSally was not dragged along unwillingly by Speaker Ryan or President Trump. Far from it. Moments before the vote, she fired up the GOP conference with an impassioned, expletive-laden battle cry to send her colleagues off to the House floor. To me, unbridled zeal for a politically expedient victory lap at the expense of thousands of Southern Arizona families is appalling.

(Remember the “expletive” was “Let’s get this f$%&ing thing done.”)

Basic medical care is a right and a necessity, not a luxury or a privilege. As I return to the hospital later this evening, I will work alongside all my physician and nurse colleagues, who must care for all patients, regardless of their condition or circumstance. It’s our oath. Unfortunately, in Washington, McSally and her House GOP allies chose a different course this week: one that would once again leave Arizonans to face discrimination and high costs as they seek coverage and care.

Dan Shearer writing the editorial in the GV News expands on the number of questions McSally, and all the other GOP members of the House, needs to answer.

Thursday’s vote was driven by a president who likes to win but who conveniently disappears when it comes time to work out the details. President Trump has shown a lack of basic understanding on everything from foreign policy to budgeting basics. His expertise on health care couldn’t be any better, yet he pushed for a vote, and a quick one. The New York Times recently quoted a philosophy professor who said, “President Trump seems to have no awareness whatsoever of what he does and does not know. He is ignorant of his own ignorance.” This is the guy Martha McSally has aligned herself with.

Right. Alignment in this case meaning 100% votes agreeing with Trump’s positions or non-positions or out and out lies.

You can read the rest of Shearer’s take-down in his editorial here..

Here’s a selection opinions from various sources summarized by John Cassidy at the New Yorker in The Politics of Health Care Reform (via email).

That galloping noise you hear is the sound of Republican senators rushing away from the American Health Care Act of 2017, the bill that House Republicans passed on Thursday. Within hours of the House vote, Senator Bob Corker, of Tennessee, had assessed its chances of passing the Senate as “zero.” On Friday, Corker’s Tennessee colleague, Lamar Alexander, who chairs the Senate’s health committee, also spoke dismissively of the House legislation, making clear that he and his colleagues in the upper chamber would effectively start over the process of reforming or replacing Obamacare. “The House has passed its bill. If we find good ideas in it, we will borrow them, put them in our bill,” Alexander told reporters in Memphis, where he was addressing the local Chamber of Commerce. “We will write our own bill. That’s why we have two houses of Congress.”

Snippets from Cassidy’s reviews follow.

14 Players to Watch in Senate’s Health-Care Overhaul — The Wall Street Journal

… least half a dozen Republican senators have objected to rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s big expansion of Medicaid, which provides health care to the poor. The House bill slashes funding for the program by almost a trillion dollars over ten years. Four senators—Shelley Moore Capito, of West Virginia; Cory Gardner, of Colorado; Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska; and Rob Portman, of Ohio—have registered their objections in a public letter. Meanwhile, Bill Cassidy, of Louisiana, and Susan Collins, of Maine, have issued their own reform proposal, which would allow states to stick with the existing Medicaid system if they so wish.

Scriber: does that mean that states would be allowed to bail out on Medicaid “if they so wish”?

Health Care Is Now Set to Be a Defining Issue in the Next Election Cycles — The Washington Post

… Many Democrats are now convinced that, come November, 2018, public concern over the fate of the health-care system will give them a chance to overturn the G.O.P.’s majorities in both legislative chambers. “Health care will be a defining issue,” John Del Cecato, a Democratic strategist, told the Washington Post. “It’s hard to say if it will be the only issue between now and 2018, but I can’t recall a vote this significant in terms of its political potential in 20 years.”

House 2018: Rating Changes in 20 Districts — The Cook Political Report

… “Not only did dozens of Republicans in marginal districts just hitch their names to an unpopular piece of legislation, Democrats just received another valuable candidate recruitment tool,” the newsletter said. “In fact, Democrats aren’t so much recruiting candidates as they are overwhelmed by a deluge of eager newcomers, including doctors and veterans in traditionally red seats who have no political record for the GOP to attack—almost a mirror image of 2010.”

Polling Review: Health Care Reform Likely to Be Unpopular — CBS News

The challenge facing Republicans is evident in recent polling data. In March, a Quinnipiac University survey found that just seventeen per cent of Americans approved of the original version of the House health-care bill. The Affordable Care Act, meanwhile, has been getting more popular. According to the most recent CBS News poll, more people now approve of the legislation (forty-nine per cent) than disapprove of it (forty-five per cent), CBSNews.com’s Fred Backus reports. And while a majority of Americans do think the A.C.A. needs reforming, just one in four people now favors repealing it. Indeed, a majority of Americans think that Donald Trump and Congress should move on to other issues rather than trying to pass a health-care bill.

The House G.O.P.’s Shameful Health-Care Victory — The New Yorker

Of course, it is hardly surprising that the House G.O.P. bill is so unpopular. It’s not just that it violates the principle, which underpinned the A.C.A., that everybody should have a legal right to obtain health insurance regardless of age, income, or health status. It also has built into it a large tax cut for the very rich that is financed by the huge cuts it makes to Medicaid. As I noted in a post on Thursday, “the bill the House just passed is one of the most regressive pieces of legislation in living memory.”

Greenstein: House Votes to Take Health Care Coverage Away From Millions and Make It Less Affordable, Skimpier, or Both for Millions More — The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

I [Cassidy writes] thought I was being critical, but Bob Greenstein, a veteran policy watcher who is the president of the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, outdid me. “I have been in Washington, D.C. for 45 years,” Greenstein wrote after the bill passed the House. “But *I have never seen members of Congress vote to so deeply hurt so many of their own constituents.*” Noting that the Republicans in the House failed to hold a single hearing on their bill, or take advice from the many health organizations that were warning about its likely affects, or allow the Congressional Budget Office to score the revised version, Greenstein went on to say, “Both the legislation, and the disturbing process that Republican leaders used to pass it without allowing an adequate understanding of its effects, should outrage anyone with a conscience.”

Trump: ‘Everybody’ Has Better Healthcare Than US — The Hill

And what does the President think about all of this? All indications are that, while he was clearly delighted to get a win on Capitol Hill, he hasn’t got much of a clue about the legislation he championed, or health-care systems generally. Hours after the vote in the House, he told Malcolm Turnbull, the Prime Minister of Australia, which has a single-payer health-care system, “You have better health care than we do.” On Friday, Trump scrambled to repair the damage, but only made it worse. “Of course the Australians have better healthcare than we do –everybody does,” he said in a tweet. “ObamaCare is dead! But our healthcare will soon be great.” At the end of another tumultuous week, there was yet another promise you won’t be able to take to the bank.

And in that last one, one door to McSally’s future just banged shut - if the Dems can take advantage of McSally’s political attachment to Trump.

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