NEW CBO SCORE, SAME DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES. Wednesday’s CBO score confirmed what Americans already know about the Republican health care bill: it hurts them and their families, while giving tax breaks to big insurance companies. Premiums will rise by 20 percent in the next year alone, older Americans will pay as much as five times more for care, and the empty promise to protect those with pre-existing conditions is broken – those patients may not be able to afford insurance at all. Worse news for Republicans: voters are getting the facts. Take 60 seconds to see a sample of what voters in Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Arizona saw this week.
REMINDER: Republicans weighing a Senate run promised to protect pre-existing conditions but turned around and voted for this bill. They didn’t wait for the CBO to confirm the bill breaks that promise and they’ll have to answer for breaking it – and for the chaos they’re causing by delaying CSR payments, “undermining” our insurance system.
MCCONNELL SPIN MACHINE IN OVERDRIVE. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans really don’t know if the health care bill can pass – or so they want you to believe. Do not take your eye off this issue. The secret meetings continue and as the New York Times’ David Leonhardt pointed out: Senate Republicans are mimicking the House strategy of “secrecy” and “distraction.” In other words: It’s time to worry about health care in the Senate.
HEALTH CARE BILL ALSO BAD FOR GOP POLITICS. Forget for a minute that this bill would devastate Americans across the country: it’s not helping the Republican efforts to recruit top-tier candidates either. As Speaker Ryan admitted earlier this week: Republicans “will get hit” for their support of AHCA. They’re lying about what’s in the bill and flat out refusing to admit “they broke a fundamental health-care promise” to protect people with pre-existing conditions. Here’s the early political backlash reported by Roll Call:
“With some higher-profile Republican lawmakers passing on a Senate run, Democrats (and some GOP strategists, in recent media reports) say the party is struggling to recruit credible challengers.
Republicans have seen some of their higher-profile prospects decline to challenge Democratic senators. GOP House members in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin have passed on Senate runs. Other House lawmakers in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and North Dakota are still weighing bids, and have yet to announce their campaigns.
In the meantime, some primary dynamics have started to emerge. In Indiana, for example, GOP Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer are considering challenging Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly. The pair are already trading barbs in the media over campaign-style attacks.”
HELLER “WANTS TO GET TO A YES” ON HEALTH CARE BILL. Don’t be fooled by the spin. Dean Heller “wants to get to a yes” on the Republican health care plan – which is exactly what he said behind closed doors. Heller’s got a history of misleading Nevadans, like whether he supports funding for Planned Parenthood, and voters know they can’t trust what he says.
FLAKE LEAVING HEALTH CARE “TO THOSE THAT ARE INVOLVED.” Arizonans who think their Senator should roll up his sleeves and act on health care – whether it’s helping to stabilize the current marketplace or protect their coverage – will be disappointed. Here’s what Flake told CNN about his role in the Senate bill:
“I’m still looking at it,” Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican said. “There are negotiations going on over the whole health care fix and I’ll leave that to those that are involved.”
CRAMER IGNORES HEALTH CARE REALITY. Cramer has continued to ignore the hard facts when it comes to the Republican health care bill – refusing to admit that the 20,000 North Dakotans who depend on Medicaid would lose their health insurance under the GOP plan. This isn’t the first, or the second, time Cramer has misled his constituents about health care.
#FlashbackFriday: Cramer defended the AHCA, claiming it will protect North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions, while also accusing those individuals of trying to “game” and “abuse” the system.
TOLEDO BLADE EDITOIRAL: “MANDEL AMENDMENT NEEDED.” “Public service ads should serve the public, not a politician’s ambitions,” so says the Toledo Blade editorial board in their criticism of Mandel’s “transparent act of self-promotion” in using taxpayer funds to raise his state-wide profile just before announcing a run for the Senate. Ouch.
#INSEN PRIMARY UPDATE. A picture worth 1000 words via the Indianapolis Business Journal editorial cartoon. Don’t miss the AP article that inspired it.
IN THE STATES.
MI – FOX 6: Peters, Stabenow announce new pipeline safety legislation
MO – St. Louis Post-Dispatch: No insurance choice? McCaskill wants you to be able to buy from exchange used by Congress
ND – Bismarck Tribune: Heitkamp vows not to ‘go backwards’ with new health care bill
OH – Fox 45: Senator Brown sounds off about healthcare bill impact on opioid crisis
PA – Beaver County Times: Casey says GOP’s Medicaid cuts would devastate Pennsylvania schools
WI – La Crosse Tribune: Tammy Baldwin, John McCain bill would require drug companies to justify steep price increases
TWEET OF THE WEEK. Refreshing the CBO website takes its toll. Enjoy the long weekend!