Vox recently interviewed eight different Republican senators about the Senate version of the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA), to ask them what problems the bill is meant to solve and how it will do so. Their answers are disturbingly vague, and it’s clear that none of these people know what policy they want to implement. They just want, in the words of Trump, “a win.”
Ted Cruz (R-TX) wants to “lower health insurance premiums,” but wouldn’t clarify whether that meant some consumers (namely, those with preexisting conditions) would face higher costs. Rob Portman (R-OH) also wanted to address “the cost of health care,” but couldn’t explain how. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wanted to “give the health insurance companies certainty,” while Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) wanted to “stabilize the market, of the places that have no coverage for the individual market” – but neither could explain how the Senate bill would actually achieve that. Roger Wicker (R-MS) claims the bill will “encourage more freedom.”
Honestly, though, John McCain’s response is the most chilling. He’s clearly viewing this as some sort of political gamesmanship, instead of the transformation of a huge portion of the U.S. economy and millions of people’s health care.
Tara Golshan, Vox: Generally, what are the big problems this bill is trying to solve?
John McCain: Almost all of them. They’re trying to get to 51 votes.
Tara Golshan: Policy-wise. What are the problems [in the American health care system] this is trying to solve — and is the bill doing that right now?
John McCain: Well, it’s whether you have full repeal, whether you have partial repeal, whether you have the basis of it. It’s spread all over.
Tara Golshan: But based on the specifics of the bill you have heard so far, is it solving the problems [in the health care system]?
John McCain: What I hear is that we have not reached consensus. That’s what everybody knows.
Tara Golshan: Right, but outside of getting the votes. From what you hear of the actual legislation being written, is it solving the problems you see —
John McCain: It’s not being written. Because there’s no consensus.
If it’s even remotely like the House bill, this bill is going to kill people. Literally. Repeatedly. Systematically. That we know.
Now, I find incompetence in public officials unnerving in any situation, but given the stakes here, this display is downright disturbing. With no goals for this bill, with no policies they’re passionate about or problems they want to solve, these senators are still willing to kill American citizens and destabilize the insurance market for nothing. For a cheap shot at Democrats. For a “win.”
There are no words.
(Via Vox; image via Shutterstock)
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