When your opponent digs a huge hole, offer them a new shovel and a refreshing drink and stay out of the way. The GOP are racing to pass this bill under filibuster free budget reconciliation rules to avoid a Senate filibuster. But Sen Tom Cotton, (R-AR) urged his former House colleagues to not ‘walk the plank’ and vote for a bill which will die in the Senate and give Democrats something to hang over their necks in 2018 midterms.
They are not listening. The bill hurts many sick, elderly and poor in a myriad of ways.
What to watch:
- Coverage losses. They’ve already dismissed the idea that they should worry about it, because they won’t be requiring people to buy coverage anymore.
- “We’re going to have insurance for everybody.” That’s what President Trump told the Washington Post in January. He’s since fallen in line with the mainstream Republican position that they should guarantee access, not coverage. But that quote is not going to disappear.
- Pre-existing conditions. Republicans insist they’re going to keep covering them, but Democrats are going to keep stoking fears that they’ll either lose coverage or have to pay more — especially with the 30 percent penalty for people who don’t keep themselves insured.
- The “age tax.” AARP is going to be hammering them for allowing insurers to charge older customers five times as much as young adults, compared to three times as much under Obamacare. Republicans can try to dismiss AARP, but they do have a lot of power.
- “Nobody will be worse off financially.” That’s what Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday. It won’t be hard for Democrats to find people who are worse off.
- Medicaid. Ryan insists that the switch to per-person funding limits would be a major entitlement reform that conservatives have wanted for decades — but the reality is that millions of people have gained coverage through Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, which is why Republicans are divided over when it should end.
- The “giveaways to millionaires.” Democrats are already hitting the decision to get rid of a tax deductibility limit in the law — giving a tax break to insurance executives making more than $500,000 a year. That could be a hard one to explain to populist Trump supporters.
- Deductibles. The sky-high deductibles under many Obamacare plans has been a standard GOP criticism of the law — but wait until people find out that the health savings accounts they’re promoting are tied to health plans that have the same thing.