What we are watching unfold in Washington is the continuing attempt by the Republican Senate to produce the grandfather of all Dracula bills.
Mitch McConnell, the majority leader of the Senate, has guided a process and policy alternatives designed to gut at best or do away with at worst the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
Remember, this act has been in effect for seven years; people depending upon its foundation programs for their everyday health needs. Tens of millions have been added to health care roles as a result of this act and they are in danger of losing their health insurance or cost out of it.
The repeal and/or replace acts produced by the Republican leadership were fashioned and written in the dark confines of the inner sanctums of the Senate. There was no light into the specifics of the bill because, like the legendary Dracula, it would die in the sunshine.
Hand picked Republican male members of the Senate sat down with special interest lobbyists from key industries wanting a more favorable bill.For example the hugely profitable pharmaceutical industry. One imagines the room was darkened to let in as little light as possible.
They wanted to get rid of the ACA that was formed over several months in the early Obama administration. The ACA had several committee hearings and grinding processes of debate and amending. Indeed, the Republicans were able to place over 180 amendments in the bill.
The ACA was put together in the light of the political system established to pass major legislation. Sure, it was a partisan process, but even though the Democrats had the votes to pass what they wanted, Republicans were able to affect portions of the ACA. All was done in the light of day.
Not so for the Republicans. All was left to the leadership of Mitch McConnell, the powerful majority leader of the Senate. And he went dark.
Once the bill was ready the bloodless group snuck onto the floor of the Senate late at night, there was no moon, and pressured the Republicans to vote to take the bill to the floor for votes.
Few knew what was in the bill; that would be too enlightening. Indeed, there seemed to be several iterations of the process. First, take up the House passed bill, then vote a substitute (the Senate inner sanctum bill) to be debated. Then amend that bill to try and get a majority vote.
This is a bill (though it keeps changing in the fog of debate) that will not dienot unlike you know who. Although it would take health insurance away from 23 million people (non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates), take monies from Medicaid, and allow states to fiddle with requirements, among other dark consequences.
Central in the plan is to end the requirement of all to have health insurance.Without this there will not be enough money for any plan to keep insurance companies engaged.
Republicans are attempting to drain the lifes blood out of the ACA and in the process literally drain the life blood out of countless people who depend on this programs provisions.
This is written mid-week so who knows what has happened by the time you read this. Incidentally, our senator, Roy Blunt, is part of the GOP leadership and bears the marks of the dark legislation.
Ever notice how Mitch McConnells mouth hardly opens at all when he speaks? Those large eye teeth dont show. And I wonder where he keeps his black cape. Just saying
Richard Fulton is an emeritus professor of political science.
See the original post:
The Dracula process – Maryville Daily Forum
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