Vox interviewed 8 GOP senators about the health bill, and their answers are real head scratchers

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/16/vox-interviewed-8-gop-senators.html


The confusion emerges from the fact that Vox assumes that “the health care system” is a distinct concept from “the for-profit health insurance industry,” an assumption that GOP Senators would never make.


“I’m sorry, I’ve got to go” = “Look, a monkey!”




The problem they are trying to solve is:

The rich are paying to much tax.


It’s almost like they’re blindly doing whatever McConnell wants because their only guiding principle is “if Obama did it, it was bad, and it was bad Because Obama did it”


They are trying to solve the problem of not letting the black president have any legislation stand. They couldn’t keep him a one term president but they will damn well not let anything he did stand.

Because we can’t have nice things and these guys are the biggest petty assholes to have gotten any power.


The bill the house gave them is a turd. Attempts at polishing it have done nothing more than get everyone covered in shit. I suspect they’re giving confusing, non-answers about what their bill does because they have not managed to figure it out themselves.

They know it’s shit. The senators know nobody other than 45 and Ryan wants it, because they’re desperate to pass anything at this point. Time to be grown ups and tell the house to scrap it.


I did think McCain’s answers were surprisingly honest, Goldshan didn’t seem to get it. She seems to be laboring under the delusion that there actually is a bill and a plan.

“Can’t you hear me? The goal of the Bill is to get a magic number of Republicans on board to pass it. What it does beyond that is unknown, because a mob of people with opposing goals are still writing the damn thing in an effort to reach the magic number.”

I have hopes that Sen. Murkowski will defect on the likely compromise bill.

The plan the House laid down does not help Alaska. It does not help decrease their costs, and it does not help increase their access.
So the question is whether or not what is being built on the Senate side is going to better reflect that. My hope is that it will.
I can’t show to my constituents back home anything concrete because we don’t have anything. We’ve been talking about ideas. But for instance, if you are going to eliminate Medicaid expansion or even if you’re going to wind down Medicaid expansion, that’s not increasing access.


Alaska is a small state, they might just buy her off with something just for it.


Reading this is kind of depressing, because my response to their answers varies from, “these people don’t know what the hell they’re doing,” to “these people have nothing,” and “given what the House Republicans came up with and gave to them, there’s likely an uncrossable chasm between what they say they want to do with this bill and what they will actually write it to do.”

Most of them are conveying that they’re aware of that, at least.

Except now Trump is turning against it, so they must be feeling hung out to dry.

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They’ve done it before, they can do it again.

There’s a third option: these people don’t care. They don’t care that they don’t know what’s in the bill and they don’t care that it might hurt their constituents. All they know is if they step out of line, McConnell and the RNC brass will primary them in their next election and replace them with someone more compliant.

When Democrats wanted to pass the ACA, they had a guiding principle of expanding health insurance coverage to more people and making health insurance more affordable. Whether the mechanisms it used were successful, or could have been more successful with other mechanisms (e.g., the “public option,” which was successfully killed by Democratic turncoat and all-around coward Joe Lieberman) is something reasonable people can disagree about.

Republicans, on the other hand, appear to have no principles guiding their bill other than repealing the ACA because it was Obama’s. Do they want to roll back taxes imposed on the wealthy to pay for the ACA? That’s a position they can take, but it would be extremely unpopular with most of their base, and of course, you’ll note than none of these eight senators mentions it. Do they want to make coverage more affordable? Apparently they do, but they can’t do that and roll back the taxes. Do they want to expand health insurance coverage? Only Lisa Murkowski appears to want that. So Republicans can’t even agree on what they want this bill to do, other than that they want it to destroy the ACA because reasons.


Pretty sure that no politicians truly grasps WTF is going on and what is needed in healthcare. It honestly is one reason I am leaning towards the hands off approach, because having people who don’t know wtf they are doing make laws is going to screw things up further. But then again, if the current system can’t fix itself, government intervention is inevitable. Do we really want that? It’s like your parents having to “come back there”. They might sort it out, but your butt will be hurting and none of the underlying issues were fixed.

One thing I have said for years is that health care tied to employment is a huge hindrance. They plans swing wildly based on what your company can afford. Switching jobs or in my case having your company bought out can screw up your care. Losing your job temporarily can be a nightmare without - doubly so with a preexisting condition. I’d love it if we could all get the care federal employees get. Granted it too has gone down hill some, but its better than most Americans. (not even talking Senators, just generic gov workers)


Yeah, not caring falls under the gap between what they say they’re doing and what they’re actually doing. They’re either lying and/or ignorant - a few Republicans who are ignorant might care, but they’re too incompetent to figure it out, but the vast majority don’t care about either what it will do or educating themselves about what it will do.
Some of them were saying things that sound good - reducing health-care costs for constituents, but given that is, as you say, a position consistently at odds with Republican policy, I don’t trust any of them beyond Lisa Murkowski to actually be fighting for that.

I wouldn’t even say that’s true of the Republicans - the House bill so strategically fucked things up for people, that could only have been done on purpose. The vast majority of Republicans just don’t want to make things better for most people; those aren’t their goals. It’s about corporate profits and dropping taxes on rich people - I think they’ve pretty clearly demonstrated that by now.
If you leave the market to somehow fix itself, you’re going to get totally fucked by it. Because it knows what to do, too - but providing affordable healthcare for the largest number of people simply isn’t part of the industry’s goals either.


Of course their answers are head scratchers! Because it’s gotten more difficult to treat head lice these days.


Easy. Just do everything the insurance industry doesn’t want.