So here are today’s non-headlines:
- Donald Trump has no tapes.
- Mike Huether has no House campaign.
- Senate Republicans have no healthcare plan.
O.K., o.k., the Senate Republicans have a bill… or at least a “discussion draft.” But cutting more from Medicaid than the House bill (Senator John Thune is on Fox news saying major reductions in federal spending on Medicaid are really increases), blocking Medicaid patients from using Planned Parenthood, reducing premium subsidies, letting states waive essential health benefits and leave pre-existing conditions* out of insurance policies—none of that gives anyone better or cheaper health care. Making poor people pay more to get less while giving tax breaks to the rich isn’t a healthcare plan. It’s a wealthcare plan.
Barack Obama agrees:
The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.
Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation [Barack Obama, Facebook post, 2017.06.22].
Thune and friends don’t have a healthcare bill… but whatever it is, they don’t have the votes to pass it. Ready to give up yet, John?
Negatively Related: Oh, one more non-headline: after flogging his patron Dan Lederman’s expensive intervention on Steve Thorson’s behalf in the Watertown mayoral race for days, Pat Powers has no headlines about or analysis of Lederman’s failure and Thorson’s defeat.
Update 17:55 CDT: The Senate bill keeps the ACA prohibition on insurers’ excluding people with pre-existing conditions or charging them higher premiums; however, by allowing states to eliminate essential benefits, the Senate plan may allow insurers to impose lifetime caps on services folks with pre-existing conditions need.
Update 2017.06.23 06:58 CDT: Huffington Post compares the major provisions of the ACA, the House bill, and the Senate bill: