UPDATE July 18: Wow, crazy night last night.
In short: The senate bill appears to be dead, but Mitch McConnell is now signaling that he wants to pursue repeal and replace. We need to fight that because you know damn well they’re only interested in the first part, and if they do that, they’ll throw the health system–one-sixth of our economy–into chaos.
But let’s recap.
As you know, McConnell had already resigned himself to losing Maine Republican Susan Collins, who thought the Senate version of the Trumpcare bill was too cruel, and Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, who thought the Senate version of the Trumpcare bill wasn’t cruel enough. That left McConnell with no slack whatsoever. None. If McConnell lost one more GOP senator, he couldn’t get a motion to proceed (or MTP), and Trumpcare freezes in place, unable to proceed to Trump’s desk.
Well! At 7:30 pm on Monday, July 17, Senator Mike Lee tweeted:
Mike Lee, you might recall, is one of the 13 who wrote the wretched thing behind closed doors. He and Moran tilt toward the Rand side of the equation, not the Collins side.
That put four GOP senators are on record as being against voting for the motion to proceed.
The cleverness of this is in Lee and Moran holding hands and taking the leap together.
No Republican wanted to be the third no vote. The third no vote takes all the heat, burns bridges with the GOP, and tanks his or her chances of reelection.
The fact that Lee and Moran took this step together, at the same time, shows the pressure that Republicans are under, and shows the maneuvering the Republicans had to do to save whatever face they could.
So, is the bill dead yet?
Well, Trumpcare, which changed its name to the BCRA–Better Care Reconciliation Act–when the GOP senators rewrote it–is dead, but the notion of destroying the Affordable Care Act is not dead in the least. The zombie is still staggering toward us.
Mitch McConnell is a wily bastard. Do not trust him. We gotta go all Mortal Kombat on this evil mess and FINISH IT. (Imagine that booming announcer’s voice when you read that line. WordPress can only do so much. Thank you.)
Joining a protest is a good way to finish it. Are you in Washington, D.C.? Are you near enough to it for a day trip? If so please go to the People’s Filibuster to Stop Trumpcare, which is happening at the U.S. Capitol until 5 pm today.
Like the People’s Filibuster to Stop Trumpcare on Facebook (clicking the ‘interested’ button helps the cause):
Also, our friends at Indivisible are planning nationwide #KillTheBill events across the country for today. See this link to find a protest near you:
…If you can’t make an Indivisible #KillTheBill protest near you, work the #KillTheBill hashtag on social media for all it’s worth.
A small side note. That blood clot removal John McCain had on Saturday night? Calling it a ‘blood clot removal’ plays down what actually happened. It’s now being described as a ‘minimally invasive craniotomy’ and, erm, a craniotomy is… brain surgery. Minor brain surgery, mind, but c’mon, it was brain surgery. Done on an 80-year-old guy who is admittedly tough as nails but, c’mon, he’s 80, dammit. Someone 50 years younger would reasonably need more than a week to recover from something like what just happened to McCain. It’s a safe bet that McCain will be taking it easy for more than a week.
FWIW here is an admittedly and explicitly speculative story on why McCain’s surgery might be a bit more serious than initially described:
And, and, and! You need to keep calling your senators and telling them to fix the Affordable Care Act instead of repeal and replace.
If your senators are solid Dems, call and thank them for standing firm against the BCRA for the last few weeks, and urge them to fight repeal and replace.
If your senators are Republicans, call call call call call and make it damn clear that you want them to FIX the Affordable Care Act, not repeal and replace, and if they do the latter, you will vote for their opponents come reelection time.
See https://trumpcaretoolkit.org for phone numbers and tweetable statistics about health care coverage loss in these senators’ states.
Not following Topher Spiro on Twitter? He’s all over Trumpcare and will have news first. See his tweets here:
Another good person to follow is Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act under Obama. His Twitter handle is:
Lastly, Ben Wikler, Washington, D.C. director at MoveOn, is all over the anti-Trumpcare protests. He’ll know what’s happening first. Follow him here: