A third Republican this afternoon announced that she opposes the latest effort by Sens. Graham and Cassidy to partially repeal Obamacare, putting an end to the effort as Republicans now lack the 50 votes needed to pass the measure.
Republicans were elected to repeal Obamacare and their power stems from people who trusted them when they said they would do this. This is another blow to the Republican Party, which is beginning to many conservatives to seem as irrelevant as the Democrats are virulent.
The three Republicans opposing this measure have a right to their opinions, but they don’t have a right to their power, which stems from Republican voters who put the GOP in the majority and therefore in charge of committees. With that in mind, Collins should be forced to give up her chairmanship of the Aging Committee, John McCain should be removed as chair of the Armed Service panel, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska should get the boot as chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee.
From Collins’ statement:
I have three major concerns with both the proposal that we were discussing last week and the newest version that was put together this weekend:
First, both proposals make sweeping changes and cuts in the Medicaid program. Expert projections show that more than $1 trillion would be taken out of the Medicaid program between the years 2020 and 2036. This would have a devastating impact to a program that has been on the books for 50 years and provides health care to our most vulnerable citizens, including disabled children and low-income seniors.
Medicaid is going broke. It is not sustainable at current spending levels. And it’s not clear that people have better health outcomes who are on Medicaid.
Second, both bills open the door for states to weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Some states could allow higher premiums for individuals with pre-existing conditions, potentially making their insurance unaffordable. States could also limit specific categories of benefits for Affordable Care Act policies, such as eliminating coverage for mental health or substance abuse treatment.
Forcing people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional – despite the Supreme Court ruling – and making the young purchase it amounts to a massive subsidy paid by them for their elders. They’re already paying for seniors’ Social Security and Medicare. But not everyone with every pre-existing condition can just wait until they get sick to purchase health insurance. There have to be some penalties for not accounting for risks, instead simply making other people pay for it.
Third, physicians, patient advocates, insurers, and hospitals agree that both versions of this legislation would lead to higher premiums and reduced coverage for tens of millions of Americans.
Who cares what they think? And premiums are already going up under Obamacare.
The CBO’s analysis on the earlier version of the bill, incomplete though it is due to time constraints, confirms that this bill will have a substantially negative impact on the number of people covered by insurance.
Many of these people will not have health insurance because they choose not to. Others won’t be much worse off, if at all, than they are under Medicaid.
AND IN THE LONG RUN WITH UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE THE QUALITY OF CARE DECLINES AND PEOPLE DIE.
Maybe you, maybe me.