It looks like the Republicans are going to try for a third time to kill Obamacare, rob 26 million Americans of their health insurance, eliminate the protections afforded people with preexisting conditions, defund Planned Parenthood, and give the resulting $600 billion to the rich

It looks as though self-proclaimed master dealmaker Donald Trump, who just last year apparently told bestselling author Jon Meacham that, had he been President at the time of Lincoln, he would have been able to strike a deal to prevent the Civil War from happening, is going to try once again to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something that leaves approximately 26 million Americans without health coverage. Yes, our great Dealmaker-in-Chief is going to try yet once again to push Trumpcare through a Congress. One would think, given his remarkable skills, and the fact that his party controls both houses of Congress, that it wouldn’t be too much of a problem, especially for someone who could have negotiated a peaceful solution that would have kept our nation from civil war, but, for some reason, this isn’t proving to be so easy for our President.

The first two times that Trump tried to push this through, members of his own party revolted, and it looks like the same thing is likely going to happen this time as well. While a good number of Republicans are keeping quite about how they intend to vote this time out, not wanting incur the wrath of the administration, a few, like Michigan’s own Fred Upton, have confirmed that they would be voting against it. And it appears more are moving in that direction, not wanting to face angry constituents and tell them that they’d voted to kill Obamacare, which, by the way, is now more popular than ever.

This morning, according to Slate, “Upton, a senior member of the House Republican conference who until recently served as chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee — which has health policy jurisdiction — told a local radio show Tuesday morning that he would vote against the AHCA.” This statement of Upton’s, as the folks from Slate point out, may provide political cover for less senior members of the House, who, like him, would like to to vote against the unpopular bill.

Assuming you’d like to join me in contacting Republican Representatives, and asking that they join Upton in opposing Trumpcare, which would virtually eliminate protections for people with preexisting conditions, here’s a relatively recent list from the Huffington Post, showing how all of the Republican members of the House, who haven’t already said that they’d be supporting the bill, are leaning. [As you’ll notice, they still show Upton in the “leaning” column, but he’s apparently moved to the “no” column.]

As the folks at the Huffington Post say, with approximately 20 hard no votes already, “Republicans would need almost every undecided and leaning no Republican to side with them” in order to get this passed. That doesn’t, however, mean it’s a done deal. So, if you have a moment, please call your Representative, especially if his or her name is Justin Amash. [As I suspect you might have noticed in the above chart, Amash, who represents Michigan’s third Congressional district, says he’s still undecided. So, if you have a minute, give him a call.]

For what it’s worth, the Republicans haven’t given up on this, as they apparently really, really want to move that $600 billion into the bank accounts of America’s super-rich. Word is that the vote could come as early as tomorrow, and they’re throwing everything they’ve got at it. I know this will shock you, but they’re even reorted to lying. Earlier today, House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement saying that they’d just added an amendment that would “protect people with preexisting conditions”, when, in fact, that’s not the case. Here’s more from Think Progress.

…Under current law, insurers cannot discriminate against people with preexisting conditions, and they must cover certain “essential health benefits” — such as prescription drugs, pregnancy care, and hospitalization. The MacArthur Amendment, however, will allow states to “specify their own set of essential health benefits” at a lower level than the requirements set by existing law. And it would also permit states to obtain waivers that would allow insurers to charge more to many people with preexisting conditions.

The amendment Ryan refers to in his tweet, in other words, does not “protect” people with preexisting conditions. It raises costs for many people with preexisting conditions, and it permits many insurance plans to exclude benefits that people with preexisting conditions may need…

So, having failed to bring this to a vote two times in the past, as they knew they didn’t have the votes, it looks as though the Republicans are going to try once again to push through tax breaks for the wealthy disguised as healthcare reform.

It’s worth remembering that this isn’t what Trump promised during the campaign. He didn’t run on a platform of taking health insurance away from 26 million Americans, and removing protections for those with preexisting conditions. Quite the contrary. Back in 2015, at the outset of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump told the American people that, as President, he would replace Obamacare with something better, “something terrific.”

I am going to take care of everybody.” Trump told 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley. “Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”

And he continued to make such claims right through the election, and up until he took office.

Just this past January, in fact, Trump promised the American people, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody.”

But that’s not what Trumpcare does.

By the Trump administration’s own estimates, 26 million people will lose their health insurance.

Yes, we’ve been lied to.

Trump told the American people what they wanted to hear. He told them they could have better insurance for less money. But he had no way to deliver on that promise. By his own admission, he didn’t even know that much about the issue when he made the promise. “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” he said not too long ago… which would be true, if not for the fact that a lot of people actually did know exactly how complicated health care was. But, we chose to elect the candidate with easy answers, and, as a result, families will lose their insurance, and people will die. And, for what it’s worth, that isn’t an exaggeration. Research actually suggests that, if Trumpcare passes, we’d see more than 24,000 “extra” deaths per year… Fortunately, though, the American people, as evidenced by participation at recent town hall events, are finally starting to understand what’s happening, and they’re beginning to push back. If you haven’t joined the fight yet, here’s your chance. Just pick up your phone, call your Representative, and tell them in no uncertain terms that, if they vote to kill Obamacare and replace it with Trumpcare, you will never vote for them again. We’ve kept them from making this happen twice. We can’t stop now. We can’t ease up. We can’t stop fighting. We can’t allow them to wear us down.

update: OK, you’d better call Fred Upton too. Word is that he might not be voting against this after all, but instead introducing an amendment that, according to him, would protect people with preexisting conditions. As others have already pointed out, we already have legislation that does that. It’s called the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. And, even if Upton was able to protect people with preexisting conditions, Trumpcare would still leave tens of millions of Americans without insurance, defund Planned Parenthood, etc.

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31 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    They won’t stop until it passes.

  2. Facts?
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Go Jimmy Kimmel!

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/02/entertainment/jimmy-kimmel-baby-surgery/

  3. Demetrius
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Yesterday, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) defended Republican efforts to weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions this way:

    “My understanding is that (the new proposal) will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool. That helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people — who’ve done things the right way — that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

    http://www.salon.com/2017/05/02/alabama-congressman-people-who-lead-good-lives-dont-have-preexisting-conditions/

    So there you have it: People who end up with cancer, heart disease, a stroke – or having a child with birth defects – have only themselves to blame, and taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for their poor choices.

  4. Joe M.
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty certain Trump doesn’t even know what’s in these healthcare bills. For all he knows, the bills are following through on his campaign promises and he can’t understand why they’re getting torpedoed.

    Seeing as he doesn’t read and his main source of news is from Fox and Friends, that could be very likely.

  5. M
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh had a response to Kimmel on Twitter:

    “Sorry Jimmy Kimmel: your sad story doesn’t obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else’s health care.”

    And that’s what we’re dealing with here.

  6. Dan Gillotte
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I called my asshole of a rep even though it’s unlikely that he’ll vote against this dung.

  7. Meta
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    According to Talking Points Memo, the Republicans are telling Reps on the fence to go ahead a vote for it with the understanding that the Senate will remove the worst parts.

    Republican leaders boasted Tuesday that they are on the cusp of securing the votes needed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, though they have not yet scheduled a mark-up or a vote, and several high-profile members have defected over the past few days.

    As leaders pressure and cajole the remaining holdouts to fall in line, several lawmakers confirmed that one argument they are using is an assurance that the Senate will strip out many of the bill’s most controversial provisions.

    “I tell people not to get too worked up. If we do get it out of here, it’s going to the United States Senate, so don’t think it’s coming back here looking like it did when we sent it over,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), the vice chair of the powerful Rules Committee, told reporters. “I think people sweat these details way too much at this stage in the game.”

    Cole said his message to GOP moderates—who are hesitant to back the bill due to its deep cuts to Medicaid and rollback of protections for people with pre-existing conditions—is: “If you want the pressure off, kick it over to the Senate and let those guys deal with it for a while.”

    Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), who chairs the Health subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, told TPM he has been making the same argument to moderates nervous about the impacts of the bill. “I know the senators love to tell us how much smarter they are and how bad our bill is and how much better it will be after they get to manage it,” he joked. “So I’m anxious for them to have their turn.”

    “Let’s get it over to the Senate,” Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) added. “It is not the final bill. It will go to the Senate, and it will be changed.”

    Moderate Republican lawmakers lawmakers do not appear assuaged by these assurances.

    Read more:
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/obamacare-aca-senate-republicans-trump

  8. Twitter Bot
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    @justinamash, will you stand up for the people of MI and vote with @RepFredUpton to stop the repeal of Obamacare? goo.gl/5u46R7

  9. Erin O'Leary
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Calling and resistbotting!!

    For anyone interested in trying resistbot, here is the info. I use it almost daily. A good option for me since I cannot always step away from my job to make the calls.

    https://resistbot.io/

  10. M
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Fred Upton may not be a “no” after all.

    Axios just posted the following.

    NEW: GOP holdout Rep. Fred Upton will introduce an amendment that would protect people with pre-existing conditions. https://www.axios.com/gop-health-bill-holdout-to-offer-pre-existing-conditions-amendment-2390529944.html

    As the folks as Indivisible Guide‏ then pointed out: “We have a law that protects people with pre-existing conditions. It’s called the Affordable Care Act.”

  11. M
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Indivisible Guide‏ then adds: “P.S. @RepFredUpton, you have 63K ppl with ACA coverage, and 292K people with preexisting conditions in your district. Do better.”

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    If they pass this, it’s political suicide.

    At least that’s what I’m telling myself to not cycle into fear and despair.

  13. Lynne
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    The worrying part for me is that this will not be political suicide. I think only around 6% of people get coverage through ACA. Everyone else either is old and is on Medicare or poor and on Medicaid or they get their health insurance through their jobs. Of course it is great for employers if the ACA gets scrapped because then their employees will need them more and will tolerate bad working conditions and lower wages just to keep their health insurance. I know that for me, it absolutely means being trapped in my job. The biggest problem with the ACA was that it didn’t divorce health care from employment and this is going to be no better. Ironically, if the “Cadillac Plan” disincentives are scrapped, my health care might actually get better because my employer always gets the best plan money can buy and our previous excellent plan was scrapped due to changes in the law due to ACA. Well, except that this law is likely to raise costs on all health insurance plans so it may be that good health care plans will become increasingly unaffordable but very few voters seem to be able to connect those kinds of dots. Heck, look at those rural KY voters the news keeps trotting out who say things like “I don’t have to worry about the ACA being repealed because I am on ObamaCare” or whatever. They can’t even see how this action will affect them until it does and then it is too late.

  14. Jcp2
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    It’s not great for employers for the ACA to be scrapped because it makes it difficult to attract and retain good employees because health care is another cost they have to worry about and compete with. Smaller companies don’t have resources to win against larger companies in this regard. The hopeful end game for the exchanges was for prices to be negotiated low enough such that companies would stop buying coverage for employees and give them a less expensive subsidy to get an equivalent exchange plan. As the exchanges got larger and larger and employer provided pools got smaller and smaller, there could be a cycle driving down risk and pricing for the exchange pools such that they would become the default provider of insurance plans, thus separating health insurance coverage from employment.

  15. Lynne
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    True. Scrapping the ACA could put small employers at a disadvantage over larger ones but that is another one of those effects which may not be visible enough until it is too late.

  16. Joe M.
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Most small employers don’t need to offer ACA compliant plans and can get most of the same coverage for the same rates or cheaper than ACA plans for larger employers.

    I used to work at a small company and our plan technically wasn’t ACA compliant, but it covered the big three that I’m aware of 100%: preventative care, maternity care, and mental health, at a fairly reasonable price.

  17. Tommy
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    If this gets passed and is an unmitigated disaster, single payer may – finally – be considered viable. As long as insurance companies, big Pharma, lobbyists for the AMA, Big Insurers, etc. are still involved no real reform will take place. The ACA was a give away to insurance companies disguised as reform. Keeping your kids on a policy until age 26, expanding Mental health Care, etc. were not very complex in nature. Discrimination or Denial of care due to pre-existing condition should be criminal.

    The time is right, the time is now.

    Any Democrat who is not on board (many aren’t – including Uncle Bernie who has somewhat fallen in line with the party hierarchy and is now leaning toward a Public Option as opposed to true ‘Medicare for All’) with single payer should be voted out of office as well. This is the issue of our time.

  18. Tommy
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    And before someone like EOS gets his panties in a bunch over being socialized medicine (like the VA is already; and like Social Security is an all in system) and way too costly, lets pay for it by a 1/4 of 1% fee on all stock transactions. Done. Funded. The Wall Street Traders can pay a fee for their gambling.

  19. Alan
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Use this tool!

    https://trumpcaretoolkit.org/

  20. Live from the Internet
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    The calls are working, people –

    GOP Congressman says he’s getting calls from people who fear they may die if GOP health bill passes:https://twitter.com/ThePlumLineGS/status/859704077277700097

  21. Lynne
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I think incremental change is acceptable if it is in the right direction. i.e. a public option is a good step in the right direction. I fear that those who take the approach that anything less than single payer is unacceptable will end up with us remaining in a situation where the left wing vote gets split and we end up with something worse in the same way we ended up with Trump because the left couldn’t get behind a single candidate.

  22. Anonymous
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Update on the new Upton amendment.

    “Reported Upton-Long Amendment Does Virtually Nothing to Address Coverage for People With Pre-Existing Conditions”

    http://familiesusa.org/blog/2017/05/reported-upton-long-amendment-does-virtually-nothing-address-coverage-people-pre

  23. from a friend
    Posted May 3, 2017 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    MICHIGAN: CALL FRED of Michigan’s sixth district. He is THE ONE (it’s that close) whose change of “heart” has given the GOP enough votes to take REPEAL OF ACA to the floor for a vote, TOMORROW.

    Office in Kalamazoo (269-385-0039) or St. Joseph/Benton Harbor (269-982-1986).

    Don’t take it. You don’t have to. It is YOUR country.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    According to analysis from the New York Times, TrumpCare also guts special education.

    “The new law would cut Medicaid by $880 billion, or 25 percent, over 10 years and impose a “per-capita cap” on funding for certain groups of people, such as children and the elderly — a dramatic change that would convert Medicaid from an entitlement designed to cover any costs incurred to a more limited program.”

  25. Lynne
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I just tried to call Mike Bishop and there was no answer at either the DC office or the Michigan office. A-hole!!!

  26. M
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Tweet at him, Lynne.

  27. M
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    According to The Hill, Freedom Caucus member Rep. Justin Amash told reporters this morning he is still reviewing the changes. So it looks like he’s still on the fence. He was a no in March.

  28. Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m Canadian and I just don’t understand what the issue is with having health care in America? Are some Americans that greedy that paying more tax to help your fellow Americans to live, deliver babies, get better from disease, ALL HEALTH!!! This is something all countries, and all governments especially a country like the US which you would think is modern and progressive would say HEALTH CARE IS A NECESSITY, AND EVERY AMERICAN IS ENTITLED TO FREE HEALTH CARE! Someone please explain why and what is going on with your leaders and citizens where fighting this is more important than implementing something that for me as a Canadian, is pretty much a human right.

  29. EOS
    Posted May 30, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    @ John,

    ObamaCare required everyone to have health insurance. Rates for insurance have increased dramatically,co-pays and deductibles are so expensive that many “with health insurance” can’t afford to use it. There’s no free ride. The rules that came with ObamaCare eliminated a lot of free market competition, which further escalated costs. We haven’t yet seen the full extent of the tax increases mandated by ObamaCare. Wait till those who get good insurance from their employers are taxed for having a “Cadillac Plan”. Many insurance companies have stopped providing plans as it was too difficult to cover costs.

    I know many in Canada who are very unhappy with their system of healthcare. Many existing hospitals closed and a large number of Canadians have to drive for hours to receive care. The waitlist for many services exceeds the life expectancy of those who need them. Those with sufficient capital can come to the U.S. for needed surgeries, but the poor suffer and die. Care is rationed by pencil pushing bureaucrats.

    There’s no Bill of Rights that entitles everyone to free health care. Most don’t believe that our healthcare options should be negotiated by a Federal governmental agency. Work hard, buy a health insurance plan that suits your needs at a cost that is acceptable for you personally, and help to provide a safety net for those unable to work through no fault of their own.

  30. Lynne
    Posted May 30, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    FWIW, I know a lot of Canadians as well as some Americans living in Canada and not ONE is dissatisfied with the healthcare they get. Not only that, those who have experienced both systems universally tell me that the Canadian system is superior, something backed up by “return on investment” numbers (ie health outcomes per dollars spent)

  31. Lynne
    Posted May 30, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Some of us have a goal of providing the most healthcare to the ost people in the most efficient way possible and the best way to reach that goal is a single payer system.

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