The final push to kill Obamacare is underway. We need to mobilize.

I know it sucks. I know we shouldn’t have to defend the America Cares Act again, after having successfully defeated repeal efforts several times already, but the Republicans have apparently reneged on their promise to move forward with a bipartisan process, instead opting to try one last time to repeal Obamacare outright, without debate, or even input from Democrats. And, it would appear, they’re throwing everything they’ve got it at this time, as they know this is their last chance. Under the rules of the reconciliation process, they have until the end of this month to repeal Obamacare with just 50 votes, and it would appear they’ve decided to go for it. [If they were to wait until October, the bar would go back to 60.]

So we all need to get involved ASAP, and start making calls. And, for those of us who know people in Alaska, Maine, and Arizona, we need to get them calling the offices of Murkowski, Collins and McCain, the three Republicans who did the right thing last time out, and helped defeat the last American Cares Act repeal effort. Here are the numbers for their offices. Please share them online. And please, if you have a moment, call your Senators, even if they’re Democrats, and demand that they they vote against the Graham-Cassidy bill, which, according to economist Paul Krugman, would, among other things, “eliminate the individual mandate, undermine if not effectively eliminate protection for people with pre-existing conditions, and slash funding for subsidies and Medicaid.”

Unfortunately, we aren’t certain that Murkowski, Collins and McCain will vote the same way this time, even though the Graham-Cassidy bill isn’t significantly different from the bill they voted against last time. [All that’s really changed is the amount of political pressure being exerted by donors and party officials, who desperately want the tax breaks on the wealthy that would come with a repeal.] Murkowski reportedly said today that she’s still undecided. And McCain, although telling reporters, “I’m not supportive of the bill, yet,” indicated that he might “reluctantly” vote for the bill if his governor, Doug Ducey, asked him to — something which Ducey then promptly did. As McCain said that he voted against the last repeal effort because it violated Senate procedures, you would think that he’d vote against this bill, which won’t even have a proper CBO score by the time of the vote, but we have no way of knowing what McCain might have been offered in return for his support.

So, that’s what we have to work with. Of all 52 Republicans in the Senate, we’ve got four who might vote no — Rand Paul, who has said that the proposed legislation does not go far enough, and the three mentioned above, who have shown in the not too distant past both the courage to stand strong in the face of threats and the capacity for independent thought.

So, can we count on you to make a few calls?

The Senate Dems, who held the floor of the Senate for four hours last night, are doing their part to get the word out about this most recent threat, but we need to do our part as well. We need to call them, and tell them to keep it up. And we need to call their Republican counterparts and demand that they vote against this last-ditch, poorly thought-out repeal offer. [How anyone calling themselves a conservative could vote to support a bill that will effect one-sixth of the economy without a score from the Congressional Budget Office is absolutely beyond me.]

OK, if you still haven’t picked up your phone, here’s one last thing, from the Washington Post.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who had delivered an impassioned speech on health care after his own son was born with a heart defect, he would only support a bill that would make sure that a child like Kimmel’s would not lack health coverage. Cassidy later articulated his “Jimmy Kimmel test“: “Would the child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in that first year of life … even if they go over a certain amount?”

Lo and behold, in the final days of the fiscal year (ending Sept. 30), Cassidy and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) are pushing a health-care bill that doesn’t remotely pass that test…

I know we shouldn’t be surprised, given the track record of Republicans in Congress, but we cannot allow them to get away with lying to us like this. I know it’s exhausting, but we need to keep fighting back. They will keep lying, and they will keep trying to take health care away from the American people, and we need to keep standing up to them. We cannot allow them to win. We owe it to our kids.

update: Jimmy Kimmel speaking out against Graham-Cassidy, calling Cassidy a liar.

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10 Comments

  1. anonymous
    Posted September 19, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    What Would Senator Rock Do?

  2. M
    Posted September 19, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Jimmy Kimmel should visit Bill Cassidy at his home, on live television.

  3. JT
    Posted September 19, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Last July McCain voted no and said “Let’s return to regular order.” This is not regular order.

    No debate. No vote.

    No CBO score. No vote.

  4. Meta
    Posted September 19, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    There is an impromptu rally at the Capital starting right now.

    WATCH LIVE: Stop Trumpcare Again Rally in D.C. You can attend & interact here:

    http://bit.ly/2fgA70t

  5. M
    Posted September 19, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I called both of my Senators here in Michigan, and both said they were experiencing high call volume about the bill. Hopefully that’s true in red states as well. We need to keep the pressure on.

  6. Tommy
    Posted September 20, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    McCain and Murkowski will cave, Collins doesn’t give a shit. Obamacare will be repealed. It is in the DNA of the Republican party to place profits over people and to always protect the rich. This is an unfortunate reality as many, many people will suffer; some will die.

    This will, however, be the start of single payer. The cruelty that is our current healthcare system and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (while flawed but helpful to millions) will be the Fort Sumpter shot.

    What was once unthinkable, will become inevitable.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted September 20, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    From Jimmy Kimmel last night.

    “I know you guys are going to find this hard to believe. But a few months ago, after my son had open heart surgery … a senator named Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, was on my show and he wasn’t very honest,” Kimmel said, kicking things off. Here’s a transcript of most of Kimmel’s remarks, which got heated, especially toward Cassidy — and he had a few choice words for people who will criticize him for politicizing his son’s health problems.

    It seemed like [Cassidy] was being honest. He got a lot of credit and attention for coming off like a rare, reasonable voice in the Republican Party when it came to health care for coming up with something he called — and I didn’t name it this, he named it this — the Jimmy Kimmel test, which was in a nutshell: No family should be denied medical care, emergency of otherwise, because they can’t afford it. He agreed to that. He said he would only support a health-care bill that made sure a child like mine would get the health coverage he needs no matter how much money his parents make.

    And that did not have annual or lifetime caps. These insurance companies, they want caps, to limit how much they can pay out. So for instance, if your son has to have three open heart surgeries, it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece. If he hits his lifetime cap of, let’s say, a million dollars, the rest of his life, he’s on his own.

    Our current plan protects Americans from these caps and prevents insurance providers from jacking up the rates for people who have preexisting conditions of all types. And Sen. Cassidy said his plan would do that, too. He said all of this on television many times.

    (Clip of Sen. Cassidy on CNN saying, “I ask, does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test? Would the child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in the first year of life? I want it to pass the Jimmy Kimmel test.”)

    So last week, Bill Cassidy and Sen. Lindsey Graham proposed a new bill, the Graham-Cassidy bill. And this new bill actually does pass the Jimmy Kimmel test, but a different Jimmy Kimmel test. With this one, your child with a preexisting condition will get the care he needs — if, and only if, his father is Jimmy Kimmel. Otherwise, you might be screwed.

    Now, I don’t know what happened to Bill Cassidy. But when he was on this publicity tour, he listed his demands for a health-care bill very clearly. These were his words. He said he wants coverage for all; no discrimination based on preexisting conditions; lower premiums for middle-class families; and no lifetime caps. And guess what? The new bill? Does none of those things.

    Coverage for all? No. Fact, it will kick about 30 million Americans off insurance. Preexisting conditions? Nope. If the bill passes, individual states can let insurance companies charge you more if you have a preexisting condition. You’ll find that little loophole later in the document after it says they can’t. They can, and they will.

    But will it lower premiums? Well, in fact, for lots of people, the bill will result in higher premiums. And as far as no lifetime caps go, the states can decide on that, too, which means there will be lifetime caps in many states. So not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, he failed the Bill Cassidy test. He failed his own test. And you don’t see that happen very much.

    This bill that he came up with is actually worse than the one that, thank God, Republicans like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and John McCain torpedoed over the summer. And I hope they have the courage and good sense to do that again with this one, because these other guys who claim they want Americans to have better health care — even though eight years ago they didn’t want anyone to have health care at all — they’re trying to sneak this scam of a bill they cooked up in without an analysis from the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    They don’t even want you to see it. They’re having one hearing. I read the hearing’s being held in the Homeland Security Committee, which has nothing to do with health care. And the chairman agreed to allow two witnesses, Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, to speak.

    So, listen, health care is complicated. It’s boring. I don’t want to talk about it. The details are confusing, and that’s what these guys are relying on. They’re counting on you to be so overwhelmed with all the information you just trust them to take care of you, but they’re not taking care of you. They’re taking care of the people who give them money, like insurance companies. And we’re all just looking at our Instagram accounts and liking things while they’re voting on whether people can afford to keep their children alive or not.

    Most of the congresspeople who vote on this bill probably won’t even read it. And they want us to do the same thing, they want us to treat it like an iTunes service agreement. And this guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face.

    (Clip of Kimmel and Cassidy’s interview from May — Kimmel: “Do you believe every American regardless of income should be able to get regular checkups, maternity care, etc., all of those things, that people who have health care get and need?” Cassidy: “Yep.”)

    So “yep” is Washington for “nope,” I guess. And I never imagined I would get involved in something like this, this is not my area of expertise. My area of expertise is eating pizza, and that’s really about it. But we can’t let them do this to our children, and our senior citizens, and our veterans, or to any of us.

    And by the way, before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I’m politicizing my son’s health problems, I want you to know: I am politicizing my son’s health problems because I have to. My family has health insurance, we don’t have to worry about this. But other people do, so you can shove your disgusting comments where your doctor won’t be giving you a prostate exam once they take your health-care benefits away.

  8. Andy Slavitt by proxy
    Posted September 21, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    So the attempted bribe of @lisamurkowski is now out in the open. The offer is basically to exempt Alaska from Graham-Cassidy repeal.

    http://politi.co/2xlh4a4

  9. Janice Anschuetz
    Posted September 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I think that it will be wonderful for our community. People who want a “wildlife sanctuary” there forget that animals and birds cannot live safely in contaminated land. It will be cleaned up and the land use is good not only for the residents but the citizens of Ypsilanti. Our schools, tax bases and environment and culture will be improved.

  10. Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    It looks like it’s going down in flames. Susan Collins has just come out with a definitive no. Here’s her statement… Assuming they all stick to what they’ve said, we now have three firm no votes… McCain, Paul and Collins… enough to sink it.

    Thank you Senator Collins.

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