Republicans Are Still Trying to Take Away Your Health Care

The continents are getting slammed. Hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes. I don’t really want to talk about politics. But duty calls.

The Senate is trying to pass another repeal-and-replace bill, and it’s a doozy. It’s safe to say that if this goes through, whatever health care plan you have now would be screwed, sooner or later.  See Sarah Kliff, I’ve covered the GOP repeal plans since day one. Graham-Cassidy is the most radical. See also Obamacare 101: What would the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill do?

Mitch McConnell is pushing this bill as hard as he can push it.

The pressure is on because Republicans are attempting to use a procedure known as budget reconciliation to pass the bill. The process allows them to avoid a Democratic filibuster and pass the bill with only a simple majority. Republicans currently hold 52 seats in the Senate.

But the rules that allow Republicans to use reconciliation will run out at the end of September, per a ruling from the Senate parliamentarian. This has spurred intense urgency to pass the legislation.

The intention to introduce the bill to the floor likely means that the GOP is close to the necessary votes — and that McConnell may be pressuring some wavering members. Cassidy told reporters that the bill is supported by 48 or 49 Republicans.

So it’s going to be another close vote on absolutely devastating legislation. The Washington Post has an analysis of which votes are likely and which are still up for grabs. It’s going to be another nail-biter, I’m afraid.

Greg Sargent had some positive news today.

Unfortunately for the bill’s supporters, a new study just came out that will enable Republicans to make a somewhat more informed decision about this legislation, after all. And it could deal a blow to the bill’s chances. It should, anyway.

The study, which was released this morning by Avalere Health, a consulting firm, finds that many states will see sizable cuts to the federal money that would flow to their states, relative to current law. Some of those states are represented by the GOP senators who are currently deciding whether to back the bill, including Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), Rob Portman (Ohio) and John McCain (Ariz.).

This graphic shows which states would lose and which would gain, funding wise. Blue is lose, green is gain. Texas makes out nicely, for some reason. California is the most screwed.

This is the Graham-Cassidy bill; I see Graham’s South Carolina gains funds, but Cassidy’s Louisiana loses. Weird. Anyway, I hope these results will keep senators Murkowski, McCain and Collins on the right side.

Speaking of Cassidy, last night Jimmy Kimmel ripped Cassidy a new one on the teevee:

On his show on Tuesday night, Kimmel attacked Cassidy as a “liar” for coming on his show earlier this year and saying that he would not back any legislation that does not protect people with pre-existing conditions, or does not cover families who face healthcare emergencies. Kimmel drew attention earlier this year for delivering a monologue in which he talked about his infant son’s heart surgery, and made the case for affordable health care for families who have less means in such emergencies.

But Cassidy insisted that his healthcare legislation would pass what he has dubbed the “Kimmel test,” or ensuring that all families have affordable care.

“It was a personal attack, and I cannot help that, but all I can say is if you are in Texas, or if you are Maine, or Virginia, or Missouri, there will be resources in your state that you have not had that can provide you coverage, and we have protections for pre-existing conditions,” he told NBC News.

Texas, Virginia and Missouri maybe; not so much Maine. California, definitely not. Actually, Sarah Kliff says Graham-Cassidy brings back the preexisting conditions problem and allows insurers to deny coverage or charge higher rates for them.

In short, contact your senator, now. If you have a Republican senator, contact them multiple times.