In what can only be called a low moment in Congressional history, the House has voted for a new healthcare bill with so little care for how it will effect the American people that I am in still in shock.
With a final vote of 217-213 House Republicans finally have the "win" on healthcare they have been desperately seeking since election day, but in the days before the vote it was clear that they had little care about the details of the bill and how it would effect their constituents.
House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi had this to say of the Republicans who supported the bill:
You have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. You will glow in the dark.
This bill, which would be as close to a repeal and replace of Obamacare as Republicans could scrounge together, will have to pass through the Senate before being able to be signed into law.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office up to 24 million Americans could be left without insurance after 10 years, and insurance premiums will almost assuredly skyrocket in the next year before settling down.
There are a host of healthcare dividers opposing the bill, including the American Cancer Society, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Heart Association, and the AARP - just to name a few.
The way this bill attempts to gut Medicare on a federal level, as well as refuse insurance for people with preexisting conditions seems almost almost evil. There's little chance that the AHCA will get through the Senate in its current form, if at all, but the members of the House who voted for such a inhumane piece of legislature need to be held accountable. Here's a list of every member of the House and how they voted on the bill.
I find it interesting that Republicans are so obsessed with slapping their name on healthcare given how much hay they made on attacking Dems for eight years on the very same subject. I think Jonathan Chait, writing for New York Magazine, captured the conundrum that the GOP could find itself in if this bill - or one that in any way resembles it - gets signed into law:
Yes, Republicans did promise to repeal Obamacare. The only hypothesis I have seen for how this bill will help Republicans politically lies in the importance of promise-keeping. But Republicans also promised to replace Obamacare with something terrific. GOP leaders relentlessly pledged that their replacement would reduce premiums and deductibles. According to studies of the last version of their bill, premiums in the individual market are projected to increase by 13 percent, and deductibles would rise by 60 percent. President Trump repeatedly vowed not to cut Medicaid, and has smashed that promise.
The best outcomes for House Republicans remain the prospects that the Senate will either kill their bill, or else morph it into a bipartisan compromise that fixes Obamacare rather than repeals it. If anything resembling the bill they have just passed is ever signed into law, it would amount to one of the greatest self-inflicted political wounds in American history.
It's tough to talk about this bill in concrete terms because: A) we have not gotten a comprehensive picture of how it will effect Americans, and B) there's almost zero chance that it will survive the bloodbath that is about to occur in the Senate. What we know is that House Republicans have succeeded at putting millions of people one step closer to losing their insurance. This is literally a matter of life and death, and we are leaving it up to hypocrites like this guy: