Declaring “Obamacare is death,” Trump ramps up rhetoric to push health care repeal through Congress. We have to stop him.

Not one to just accept the fact that the American people absolutely detest Trumpcare, tomorrow, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will once again attempt to push it through the Senate. Yes, it’s been called “the worst designed social policy in history,” and people have begged, since it will impact approximately one-sixth of the entire U.S. economy, that we at least discuss the possible consequences before voting, but McConnell clearly thinks, through some combination of intimidation and bribery, that he has the votes, and nothing’s going to stop him… not even the fact that John McCain is still recovering from surgery. [As MSNBC’s Christopher Hayes‏ just said on social media, “How bad does a piece of legislation have to be that it can’t survive a week delay while your colleague with brain cancer recovers?] If I had to guess, I’d say McConnell thinks this is his last chance to kill Obamacare before the White House succumbs to the Russia scandal, and he’s not throwin’ away his shot, even if it means completely breaking the Senate. [McConnell, for what it’s worth, has broken the system before. See his recent theft of a Supreme Court seat.]

So, in less than 12 hours, our Senators will be asked to move forward a bill that none of us has even seen, and that includes the Democratic members of the Senate who will be asked to vote on it. [As Senator Kamala Harris just said on Twitter, “It seems the Republicans are still making us vote tomorrow, they just don’t know on what.”] Yes, it would seem, having now failed on multiple occasions to get Trumpcare across the finish line, McConnell is trying something new… He’s having people vote to advance a bill, the content of which is absolutely unknown to them. [Once advanced, 20 hours of ‘debate’ will commence, during which time Senators can offer amendments, which McConnell can then accept or reject when constructing the final version of the bill, which could come up to vote as early as Thursday, assuming the vote to proceed passes tomorrow. If things play out this way, as it’s expected they will, the Senate will be voting on a bill by the end of the week that has not have even been scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which means that, when it’s voted on, we won’t event know how many Americans it will leave without health care, etc. To say we’re in uncharted waters here is an extreme understatement.]

All we know about Trumpcare 3.0 at this point is that it’s probably not going to be too terribly different from the last two versions that the Senate attempted to pass, both of which, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, would have seen some 22 million Americans losing their health insurance over the course of the next decade. [If this new version were any better, you can bet that they’d be sharing it with us prior to the vote, instead of just hoping to force it through quietly.] And this is why, it’s worth noting, the Republicans have been mercilessly attacking the CBO (which is actually run by a Republican appointee) in recent days, and threatening to slash its budget.

And Trump, for what it’s worth, is doing his part as well, giving laughably ridiculous speeches about what he’s taken to calling “the forgotten victims of Obamacare.”

So, just to reiterate, the President of the United States, who is pushing the Senate to pass legislation that would see on the order of 22 millions of Americans lose the health coverage they currently have, in order to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars back to our billionaire class, is saying that this has to be done immediately in order to save those suffering courageously under Obamacare. And, after years of looking, the Republicans have apparently found about a dozen of these so-called “victims” (all of whom appear to be alive) to stand behind the President while he promises to sign into law legislation that no one has seen, and everyone who studies such things thinks will likely both dramatically decrease coverage and raise premiums… I know, if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking, “Hey, I know a few folks who are actually alive because of Obamacare, but I’ve never met anyone who considers themselves to be a victim of it,” but that’s the truly inspired thing about this new White House framing. We haven’t heard about these folks, you see, because they’re the “forgotten” victims, the ones that the mainstream media has conspired to keep us in the dark about, the ones that are too afraid to share their tragic stories of not being forced into bankruptcy by medical debt and the like.

Trump, during his address from the White House this afternoon, wasn’t pulling any punches. After informing us that there were hidden victims of Obamacare, he went on to declare, “Obamacare is death,” after which he warned those Republican Senators that might be considering a ‘no’ vote tomorrow. “Any Senator who votes against starting debate is telling America that you are fine with the Obamacare nightmare,” he said.

This is the upside-down word we now find ourselves inhabiting, where Obama is victimizing people by making health care accessible to them, and our new President is fighting tirelessly against the so-called deep state to make things right again, begging for the Republicans in Congress to come to his defense and join him in this righteous battle (to make America’s less well-off both sicker and poorer)… Here’s Trump, in his own words, in case you missed it, calling for Congress to help him as he fights to make America great again by doing things like, taking away health care from those who need it and squashing the Russia investigation.

When I read this, I couldn’t help but think about those of us who aren’t billionaires, or presidents of countries and Fortune 500 companies. What about us? Don’t we deserve protection as well? Shouldn’t we, like Trump, demand that Congress comes to our defense and protects us?

If you think they should, please call and tell them Tuesday morning, before it’s too late. [You can find the numbers for your Senators here.]

Oh, and, before you call your Senators, check out these action steps from Indivisible’s Stop Trumpcare site, which include links to sample scripts and the like.

1. No on the motion to proceed. Make sure both of your senators are voting NO on the first procedural vote—the “motion to proceed.” This is where we’ve won before. If we stop the process at this stage, we keep McConnell from bringing the bill up for a vote. If he succeeds in passing the motion to proceed, McConnell will then have complete control to make last-minute changes to the bill and offer even bigger bribes to Senators. Stopping the motion to proceed stops McConnell. We’ve got a call script to get you started.

2. Filibuster by amendment. If McConnell succeeds in getting past the motion to proceed, that puts Democrats and Republicans in a floor flight—where Republicans hold almost all the power. If this happens, Democrats need to make sure to use every tool available to them to slow down debate and to pick apart as much of the bill as possible. Tell your Democratic Senators to Filibuster by Amendment and to raise “points of order” against provisions that don’t meet reconciliation requirements. (See our legislative explainer on the Byrd Rule.)

3. Focus on House ONLY after Senate. And, if McConnell manages to pass the bill (probably Thursday or Friday), then your attention needs to immediately turn to your House member. The House will need to pass the exact version as whatever the Senate passes, so we’ll need to quickly pivot back to have any chance of stopping it.

One last thing you might want to keep in mind when you’re calling you Senators… Loyalty’s been in the news a lot lately. The President likes to talk about it. He demands it of people. Just today, he told 40,000 Boy Scouts that we could use “more loyalty” in in the Untied States. Well, when you call your Senators, ask them if they intend to be loyal to you, their constituent. You’ve given them your votes and support over the past several years with the understanding that they will do their best to enact legislation that will serve the needs of you and your family, and Trumpcare, most of us would agree, doesn’t do that. Given that, one has to wonder where the loyalty of those voting in favor of Trumpcare really lies… with the people of their states, or with the Koch brothers and Steve Wynns of the world. It’s something to keep in mind today, but also come election day in 2018.

update: Every major patients’ rights group in America came together to place a full-page ad in today’s New York Times demanding that our Senators vote not to move this monstrous bill forward.

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  1. Posted July 24, 2017 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    17 years of carnage and destruction is enough!

  2. Anonymous
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    How would Senator Rock from the great state of Michigan vote on this?

  3. M
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Word is that McCain is planning to be back in DC for the vote. As I see it it, it’s his chance to be on the right side of history and stand up for the integrity of the Senate, if not for Obamacare, and the people of Arizona, who would most surely suffer under this bill. McCain, suffering from brain cancer, is likely at the end of his political career. He doesn’t have to worry about reelection. He doesn’t have to worry about polling. If he were ever going to speak truth to power, this would be the time to do it. I’m not hopeful, but I think there’s a chance that he could make history today by standing up and saying something today.

  4. Sen. Chris Murphy‏ by proxy
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    “For millions of sick and disabled Americans, having insurance for the first time in their lives has been truly nightmarish.”

  5. M
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    This most recent Trump tweet reads to me like he might be a little fearful of what McCain may do/say upon his return to DC.

    “So great that John McCain is coming back to vote. Brave – American hero! Thank you John.”

  6. EOS
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

  7. EOS
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

  8. The conservative Bill Kristol‏
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    “If GOP votes to proceed to a bill w/ no text, no hearings, no CBO score, no clarity on Byrd rule, they deserve the fiasco they’re inviting.”

  9. Eel
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Kill Bill volume 3

  10. stupid hick
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    “Word is that McCain is planning to be back in DC for the vote. As I see it it, it’s his chance to be on the right side of history and stand up for the integrity of the Senate, if not for Obamacare, and the people of Arizona, who would most surely suffer under this bill.”

    “I’m not hopeful, but I think there’s a chance that he could make history today by standing up and saying something today.”

    “This most recent Trump tweet reads to me like he might be a little fearful of what McCain may do/say upon his return to DC.”

    No chance. Nothing comes to a vote until McConnell knows where the votes are. McCain will vote with the Republicans.

  11. M
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    And that’s exactly what happened.

    America if fucked.

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  1. […] night, I shared some links to sample scripts and the like – things that you can refer to when you’re calling your Senators. Please, if you have a […]

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