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DSCC FRIDAY TAKEAWAYS 4TH OF JULY EDITION: HEALTH CARE’S ROLLER COASTER WEEK – HELLER’S “NON-STRAIGHT-ANSWER-DISORDER” – GOP RECRUITMENT “GOING SLOWER THAN EXPECTED” – SCOTT RETURNS TO THE SCENE OF HIS CRIME

For a week where every day has felt like a month, we’re keeping Takeaways extra short. On to the holiday weekend!

SHOCKINGLY, MITCH MCCONNELL WAS TRYING TO HIDE BAD STUFF IN HIS SECRET HEALTHCARE BILL. The CBO score of the Republican health care bill revealed what we already knew: it would increase premiums by twenty percent next year, offer no protection for individuals with pre-existing conditions, and leave 22 million Americans uninsured by 2026, all to give the wealthy a massive tax break. With a week-long recess ahead of us, Republicans will have to face their constituents and explain why they think the American Medical Association, AARP, and the majority of Americans are wrong to oppose this bill.

NEWSFLASH: It’s still unpopular. No wonder McConnell delayed a vote on the bill until after recess.
USA Today: 12% support the Senate Republican health care plan.
NPR: 17% approve of the Senate health care plan.
Politico: 38% of voters approve of the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

This Washington Post headline says it all: GOP health-care talks center on stark question: Help vulnerable Americans or help the rich? The CBO projected that by 2036, under the GOP’s plan, Medicaid spending would be reduced by 35 percent. That’s 35 percent less money to spend on opioid abuse treatment, rural hospitals, and long-term care for older Americans, to name a few.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR THE MIDTERMS. Regardless of a final vote, Republicans own this bill. House members eyeing Senate campaigns have already voted on this disastrous bill and, as the Wall Street Journal points out, potential GOP candidates “will likely get pressed on how they would have voted.” Want an example? Look no further than the Wisconsin GOP primary, where the healthcare bill is haunting potential candidates before they’ve even declared.

From Chairman Van Hollen: “This is the one opportunity we have to shine a light on this legislation, and we will do it day and night.”

And here’s your weekly reminder that congressional Republicans and the Trump administration are still sabotaging the current health care system by sowing uncertainty over future health care laws. Insurers in Ohio and Nevada announced this week that they’ll no longer offer plans.

HELLER’S “NON-STRAIGHT-ANSWER-DISORDER.” Senator Dean Heller is having a rough go of it these days, getting slapped with the label “weakest incumbent Senator of either party” by a conservative commentator and trying to cover up his record on a daily basis. Last Friday, Heller painfully stood next to Nevada’s Governor, who has been a strong supporter of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, and announced that he couldn’t support the GOP plan in its current form –  even though he supports ending Medicaid expansion and has pledged to do everything he can to get to a ‘yes’ on their plan. Fast forward to America First Priorities PAC running attack ads against Heller for his position, and suddenly Heller was back at the table (literally and figuratively) and willing to negotiate.

Heller’s in a “no win situation” when it comes to healthcare, and Nevadans are taking notice:
Nevada Independent: Why Dean Heller will not be re-elected.
CNN: Sharks circle around Republican Sen. Heller in Nevada.
LA Times: Healthcare issue delivers nothing but pain for Nevada’s embattled Sen. Dean Heller.
CNN: Dean Heller, health care bill opponent, doesn’t want to show his cards.
VIDEO: Dean Heller Flees CNN Reporter Asking Him Health Care Questions.
KLAS: “A NO WIN SITUATION FOR DEAN HELLER”.
Wall Street Journal: Nevada Senator’s Opposition to Health Bill Highlights Political Pressures.
Las Vegas Review Journal: Joecks:  “This is a no-win situation for Heller, who’s running for re-election in 2018.”
NBC’s Meet The Press Daily: Hugh Hewitt: “Dean Heller is an ex-Senator if he votes against this bill.”
NBC’s Meet The Press: Cooper: Heller “Did Look Like He Was In A Hostage Video” On Healthcare.
New York Times: Health Law Repeal Leaves Nevada Republican Torn Between Lawmakers 

GOP RECRUITMENT “GOING SLOWER THAN EXPECTED”… That’s the concern NRSC Chairman Cory Gardner has expressed, accusing Trump of “crippling” their campaigns, “unraveling long-laid plans and needlessly jeopardizing incumbents.” But, but, but… Solely blaming Trump for Republican recruitment efforts misses the point. Congressional Republicans are responsible for their toxic plan to spike costs and strip coverage – and they have no one to blame but themselves.

…AND IT MEANS THE GOP’S PRIMARY PROBLEMS AREN’T GOING AWAY. In West Virginia, the primary has “gotten hot much more quickly than… expected” between Congressman Jenkins and Attorney General Morrisey, with the two “sniping” at each other on social media. In Indiana, health care has already become a “key issue” between two sparring candidates – Congressmen Messer and Rokita, who both voted for the House’s health care plan. In Wisconsin, one potential self-funder declared she wouldn’t run, while another wealthy candidate reportedly paid no state taxes in 2015. And in Montana, where three candidates already running are on the verge of being joined by a Billings judge who “under the Montana Code of Judicial Contact… can’t publicly identify [himself]” as a candidate and is potentially running afoul of ethics rules.

SCOTT RETURNS TO THE SCENE OF HIS CRIME. Governor Scott returned to DC this week to lobby Trump and congressional Republicans to save his six-figure break as part of the Republican health care bill. But back in Florida, editorials are calling him out for gutting Floridians’ health coverage in exchange for a tax cut and appointing a crony to a high-level government position, “reflect[ing his] penchant for valuing loyalty and political expediency over competency.” This is the latest example in a long line of Scott’s self-serving agenda. 

IN THE STATES.
IN – Indy Star: Donnelly pushes state to explain impact of proposed Medicaid cuts
MO – Kansas City Business Journal: McCaskill’s review finds millions in waste in FCC subsidies program
MT – Independent Record: Tester hears pleas from at-risk Medicaid recipients at town hall
PA – CBS Pittsburgh: Angry Sen. Bob Casey Unloads On GOP Health Care Plan
OH – WKSU: Sen. Sherrod Brown Wants Ohioans To Weigh-In On the Senate’s Healthcare Proposal
MORE OH – Clevland.com: As LGBTQ Pride Month gets no Trump recognition, Sen. Sherrod Brown tries in Senate
WI – CNN: Sen. Tammy Baldwin shares personal health care story 

TWEET OF THE WEEK.

 

Happy Fourth!

Lauren Passalacqua
@laurenvpass 

Ben Ray
@BenRay 

David Bergstein
@DavidABergstein 

Courtney Rice
@Court_Rice 

Justin Lavoie
@je_lavoie

 

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