Can Republicans Write Different Ending to Obamacare Repeal Story?

UPDATE #3: Denver7’s Blair Miller quantifies the damage locally:

Senate Republicans’ latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would quickly cost Colorado at least $6 billion in federal funds, and could end up taking $78 billion from the state in the long-term, according to new analysis out Wednesday.

The Graham-Cassidy amendment, named after its writers, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., has until Sept. 30 to pass the Senate with a simple majority vote.

Afterward, due to parliamentary rules, the Senate would need 60 votes to pass a repeal-and-replace measure.

The Congressional Budget Office has said it won’t have enough time to do a full analysis of the amendment before it’s brought to the floor, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday would likely happen next week. So other organizations are stepping in to try and analyze the amendment before a possible vote.


UPDATE #2: The Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill would most certainly NOT be good for Colorado, as this graphic from CNN illustrates:


UPDATEMark Matthews of the Denver Post has more reaction from Colorado’s delegation:

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on Wednesday did not give a firm “yes” or “no” when asked about his potential support for the GOP’s latest proposal to unwind the Affordable Care Act.

“I’m trying to get some more information on it,” Gardner said during a brief hallway interview outside a confirmation hearing for Colorado jurist Allison Eid. “(We are) looking into the numbers. We don’t have the numbers that we think we need to make a decision.”…

…When asked about what specific information he would need to make a decision on Graham-Cassidy, Gardner said, “just additional information.”

Yeah, right. The only “additional information” Gardner needs is a specific time and place for when he is supposed to show up and vote YES. But we’ll give Matthews and the Post credit for noting Gardner’s bullshitty tendencies:

Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, made similar comments before his votes this summer on every other major GOP health care bill attempting to undo Obamacare that came before the U.S. Senate. He supported all of those pieces of legislation. [Pols emphasis]

Senator Michael Bennet (D-Denver), meanwhile, continues to express adamant opposition to the Graham-Lindsey legislation:

“I can’t decide whether this is Groundhog Day or the definition of insanity: Every attempt is worse than the last.”



You’ve seen this movie before.

Senate Republicans have 10 days left to move forward with their last-gasp attempt at repealing Obamacare. After failing to get anywhere on three different repeal attempts earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has until Sept. 30 to make something happen before the deadline expires to make changes under the “budget reconciliation” process (which allows legislation to move forward with 50 votes, instead of the normally-required 60 votes).

The Washington Post explains where things stand as of this morning:

Republicans are fixated on the latest version of their Obamacare overhaul legislation. But in their haste to secure approval, they’ve not exactly won over their deepest skeptics, who objected to the last dramatic repeal-and-replace go-round.

Doctors, hospitals, insurers, activists and governors have been staking out their positions on the Graham-Cassidy bill, which the White House and leadership are furiously pitching this week to Senate Republicans as their final chance to ditch the Affordable Care Act…

But more significantly, Republicans still haven’t managed to win over industry groups — or convince some moderate Republican governors who worried that the previous plans would leave millions of Americans uninsured. Nor are many of the conservative activist groups — who were the most insistent on Obamacare repeal to begin with — terribly enthused about Graham-Cassidy, since they feel it would leave too much of the ACA in place.

According to the Post, healthcare industry groups (such as the American Medical Association) are largely opposed to Graham-Cassidy. Republican Governors around the country are split on their support, and conservative activist groups (such as Americans for Prosperity) are “cautiously supportive.”

Late-night television host Jimmy Kimmel, whose infant son suffers from a rare heart condition, is really, really, really not happy about Graham-Cassidy:

“I don’t know what happened to Bill Cassidy,” Kimmel said. “But when he was on this publicity tour, he listed his demands for a health-care bill very clearly. These were his words. He said he wants coverage for all, no discrimination based on preexisting conditions, lower premiums for middle-class families and no lifetime caps. Guess what? The new bill does none of those things.”

As Politico reports, Republicans are facing strong headwinds yet again:

Republicans hoping to jam a last-minute Obamacare repeal plan through the Senate are confronting a rising tide of opposition as health care groups, patient advocates and even some red-state governors join forces against a bill they worry would upend the nation’s health care system.

The wide-ranging backlash threw the GOP’s repeal push into fresh doubt on Tuesday, even as White House officials and Senate Republican leaders insist they are on the verge of winning the 50 votes needed to dismantle Obamacare under a reconciliation bill that expires in two weeks.

Meanwhile, Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) is still pretending to be undecided on Graham-Cassidy, but this charade has grown stale. Gardner has voted YES on every GOP healthcare bill that has made it to the floor this year, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be an automatic YES once again — no matter how much he equivocates in public.

The Graham-Cassidy bill may be Republicans’ last best chance at repealing Obamacare, but that doesn’t change the fact that the legislation would be devastating to many Americans. Millions of Americans would be left uninsured under Graham-Cassidy, and popular provisions such as protections for pre-existing conditions would be eliminated. For anyone who opposed previous Republican attempts at repealing Obamacare, there’s little reason to be excited about Graham-Cassidy, which has many of the same problems as its predecessors (and may actually be worse in many regards, as Sarah Kliff writes for

After being burned before, McConnell says that he is not committed to a floor vote before the end of the month, but other Republican leaders are pushing for what the New York Times calls a “showdown vote.”

We’ll keep you updated…

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. notaskinnycook says:

    I read the Washington Post piece. Graham-Cassidy also dispenses with the individual mandate, allows junk policies, lifetime caps, and permits insurers to charge horrendous rates for pre-existing conditions, if it covers them at all. It’s the same crummy bill, with different sponsors.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      In looking at that map, what I find amazing and incredibly stupid is that Louisiana, home of the Cassidy half of Graham-Cassidy, stands to lose big bucks if this brain fart should pass. 

      At least South Carolina comes out ahead so Lindsey can return to Charleston, get all worked up bragging about bringing home to bacon, and then retire to her fainting couch with a case of the vapors.

  2. unnamed says:

    Republicans:  Abortion is murder.  All life is sacred.

    Also Republicans:  I don't give a fuck about your baby's potentially fatal preexisting condition.  Get a third job.

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Where is that baby's sense of personal responsibility. The market will solve the problem.

    • Early Worm says:

      Unnamed, let me try to explain. When opposing abortion, all life is sacred because most of the cost of that moral certitude falls on the woman carrying that sacred, unborn life. Moral clarity at no cost (to the right winger)!

      On the other hand, providing for the welfare, dignity or life of a child that cannot afford insurance or medical care, requires financial support. Prayers and thoughts are not enough. The moral certainty that all life is sacred quickly loses out to the higher principle, taxes are evil. 

  3. unnamed says:

    I wonder if ZappAhab is going to weigh in about how Senator Bennet's adamant opposition to this bill is all talk.  What do you think Ahab?

    • Zappatero says:

      I guess he's against it. 

      Problem is he still wants to be BFFs with his peers on the right. That chronic desire results in him communicating his views poorly and in using worthless rhetoric, his primary goal being not to irritate his ideological enemies (he is certainly theirs) rather than in explaining why Republicans in Congress want your friends and family to die from a lack of health care.

      He should listen to Graham and punch up his statements to match Lindsey's vitriol every once in a while. It might get his blood flowing, and it might get his conscience functioning.

      You sure he went to Wesleyan? Seems like a waste of money. 

  4. Moderatus says:

    Repeal it. Replace it if you want, but above all let America see that the sky will not fall when the abomination of Obamacare is repealed. That's the only way to put an end to left wing lies.

    Stay the course! get it done!

    • unnamed says:

      Moldy.  Do you have insurance?   If so, why?  Do you have prescriptions.  If so, what for.  Do you have any medical conditions? If so, what are they?

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      You wanna' know what a real abomination is, Fluffykins??? . . . 

      . . . Caffeine Free Coca-Cola Zero!  WTF?!?  Repeal and replace that shit!


    • Republican 36 says:

      Moderatus, that is correct, the sky won't fall. The health care legislation has nothing to do with the atmosphere. That's another issue for another day.

      Yes, indeed, stay the course and watch those tens of millions of newly uninsured return to urgent care centers and especially emergency rooms, but don't look at your checking account because its going to be much smaller as we return to the days when those with insurance pay for those who do not through higher premiums. You're mindlessly advocating for free medical care for everyone who doesn't want to pay for insurance and you want to pay for it out of your own back pocket.

      • Old Time Dem says:

        It's worse than that. Urgent care centers can be a cost-effective alternative to emergency care. But unlike emergency rooms, urgent care centers are not required to provide services. If you are uninsured and can't pay out of pocket, an urgent care center will direct you to an emergency room.

  5. Zappatero says:

    here's how you fight for better health care for all Americans.




    You don't do it by hiding behind Senate Prerogatives and a refusal to "get personal" with those who want your friends and neighbors to die due to lack of health insurance.

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