After yesterday's 51 - 50 motion to proceed vote in the Senate, the Rethugs are pushing bills through in succession. First up last night was the original Trumpcare "repeal and replace" bill, the so-called "Better (Wealth) Care Reconciliation Act", that would kick 23 million Americans off of their health insurance while taking $800 billion out of Medicaid to transfer to the top 1% income bracket and insurance companies. The vote wasn't even close, as nine Rethugs joined Democrats to defeat the bill 57 to 43. The nine were a mixed bag, ranging from Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) to Lindsey Graham (SC) and Mike Lee (UT). Missing among the nine was
Next up are the "repeal and two-year delay bill", which would leave 32 million without insurance and which is also expected to go down in bipartisan flames, and the so-called "skinny repeal bill" which would remove mandates from individuals and companies and strip away some taxes (on medical devices, for example) that are part of the Affordable Care Act, and would leave the door open for more sabotage down the road. It would also leave 15 million without insurance. A vote on the "skinny bill" may be the closest one.
Senate Rethuglicans of varying stripes (mostly yellow) are finding that voting for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act for seven years was much simpler than coming up with a decent alternative, which of course was never their intention anyway. Their long-standing focus on tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations led them to this impasse; affordable health care has never been on their list of priorities, ever. But they found that grabbing money from people's health care to pay for those tax cuts has consequences, even among their own supporters. Stay tuned.
BONUS: Read Charles Pierce's piece on McCain's hypocritical party-over-country vote.
UPDATE: The "repeal and delay" bill is shot down by a vote of 55 - 45 with seven Rethugs voting no. "Skinny repeal" nonsense is up next.
(photo: Visual representation of Trumpcare "repeal and replace" bill)