by Bob Cesca
The scene at the White House after Trumpcare 3.0 cleared the House by the narrowest of margins was particularly insulting on so many levels.
Seeing the battalion of smirking white men in the Rose Garden, each generally wearing the same bullshit DC uniform of a dark suit and a tie, grinning and laughing and congratulating each other was infuriating knowing that so many women-specific health issues are considered pre-existing conditions according to the new law.
It was insulting knowing that seldom is there a victory dance like that following a mere House vote and not the final passage of a law. The crowd that's been scolding the notion of "participation trophies" just gave themselves a big wet one.
It was insulting to know that these beady-eyed rat bastards from the House GOP caucus, as well as the Trump White House, were so utterly thrilled -- beaming with their shit-eating grins -- despite the fact that more Republicans will lose coverage under Trumpcare than Democrats. Indeed, red states will be the first to opt out of covering pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits, while pricing others out of the market. That means Trumpers will be the first to lose their coverage due to a bill they expressly asked for. Smart.
It was insulting knowing that the White House itself concluded that 26 million Americans would lose health insurance under a weaker version of Trumpcare. The White House concluded this. For the record, the Congressional Budget Office's conclusion was two-million fewer than the White House number. Yet this new version, passed today, will surely exceed both numbers.
It was insulting because the healthcare laws Trump and the House GOP have been talking about all this time don't actually exist. This is perhaps the most infuriating aspect of what's happening on Capitol Hill. Put another way, they're describing Obamacare and Trumpcare in ways that are fully disconnected from the truth.
Trump began his remarks in the Rose Garden by saying Trumpcare -- the American Health Care Act -- wasn't passed for the Republican Party, it was passed for everyone. He said the bill entirely repeals and replaces Obamacare, which, he never hesitates to point out, is a disaster. For months, Trump's been insisting that Trumpcare reduces premiums, covers pre-existing conditions, lowers deductibles and improves insurance coverage. None of that is true. None of it.
Likewise, Trump says Obamacare is dead. In reality, it's only dead if Trumpcare kills it. If not, Obamacare will be just fine. The truth is that the chunk of Obamacare Trump usually discusses in the "Obamacare is dead" context are the marketplaces. And even if the marketplaces all collapsed, there'd still be two thirds of the Affordable Care Act that'd remain fully intact: the consumer protections and the Medicaid expansion -- none of which are linked to insurer participation in the marketplaces. And, yes, more people will lose coverage under Trumpcare than if the Obamacare marketplaces collapse, according to CBO data.
For some reason, however, all of these white men in their matching Jos. A Bank regalia haven't been asked about the specifics of the law. Namely, how does Trumpcare do all of the things they're promising? Further, prove to us that Trumpcare's pre-existing condition opt out language won't lead to millions of Americans losing their coverage. Prove it. Show us the numbers. Good luck.
The victory party on the White House lawn was infuriating because they refused to allow the CBO a chance to score the legislation before passing it. Instead, they rushed it through without any numbers. In other words, not a single member of Congress can tell you how exactly Trumpcare is a better deal for middle class and working class Americans. They can't tell you jack shit because most of the members haven't read the final draft of the bill they voted on today -- not a surprise given how they rarely ever do. But this pertains to one-fifth of the American economy, and yet they couldn't be bothered. Why? The answer is they don't want to know how devastating the bill happens to be. They don't want to go on record agreeing with the assessment of both the CBO and the White House.
All they want is the bragging rights. They want to be able to go home and tell their people they voted to repeal and replace Obamacare, even though it'll kill or bankrupt (or both) untold hundreds in their districts. It's the worst brand of cynicism -- congressional Republicans know their supporters aren't the brightest bunch, and so members are taking full advantage by manufacturing tall tales about both healthcare laws. Who will know the difference? After all, nobody knew healthcare could be this complicated.
Unfortunately for the Republicans, it's the Resistance's turn now. Now is when we fight. Now is when we give these weasels more hell than they've ever thought was possible. It's time to shut down the congressional Republicans from both chambers. The balance of power in the Senate is wafer thin, so Chuck Schumer and the Democrats only need a few GOP defectors to kill this monstrosity. Even if they pass something, it'll be considerably more moderate than the House version, pushing the Freedom Caucus to walk away again.
This is far from over, but we all know the score. Now is the time when we resolve to never forget those grinning mugs in the Rose Garden. To paraphrase Barack Obama, don't just get angry... vote.