Last night, on my twitter feed, i was seeing lots of talk (for the obvious reasons!) about the current action (Graham-Cassidy) to repeal/replace/otherwise muck up the ACA.
And then i started to see a few tweets mentioning the ever-present push by the Kochs, who we all know are big donors to R candidates, and who have long been on a mission to cut government spending they deem unnecessary (in other words, to pretty much anuthing other than their own business intrests).
Now, i KNOW that to many folks on the right, the Kochs are just as much of a “boogeyman the left made up,” as George Soros and all his “paid protesters” are hokum to folks from the left.
Thing is, the Kochs *aren’t* simple boogey-men. They DO do a lot of funding, and they fund conferences to gather big donors & put them in contact with Republican politicians & candidates.
Here is an article on the one they held in Colorado earlier this summer:
As you can see from the headline & read in the story, the big-money donors who attended (NOT simply the Koch Brothers!) Want action (read: cuts) on health care & they also want “tax reform” (again: cuts).
There is an EXTREMELY telling quote in this Vox article by Jeff Stein, that i found via a tweet this morning:
It comes from Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas (the Koch’s home state), “If we do nothing, it has a tremendous impact on the 2018 elections,” said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). “And whether or not Republicans still maintain control and we have the gavel.”
He goes on to say this,
“... [Graham-Cassidy] is the last stage out of Dodge City. I’m from Dodge City. So it’s the last stage out to do anything. Restoring decision-making back to the states is always a good idea, but this is not the best possible bill — this is the best bill possible under the circumstances.
If we do nothing, I think it has a tremendous impact on the 2018 elections. And whether or not Republicans still maintain control and we have the gavel.
But why does this bill make things better for Americans? How does it help?
Why does this make things better? What is this doing?
Look, we’re in the back seat of a convertible being driven by Thelma and Louise, and we’re headed toward the canyon. That’s a movie that you’ve probably never seen —
I do know Thelma & Louise, sir.
So we have to get out of the car, and you have to have a car to get into, and this is the only car there is.”
The last few words, “This is the only car there is” are ALSO extremely telling.
One key reason the R’s are trying to railroad this bill through, is that until Sept 30th, due to a way that budgetary legislation is passed*, they only need 50 votes to pass this repeal bill. That 50-vote window CLOSES at midnight on the 30th/12:01 am on October 1.
We all know there’s NO way a bill like this can pass a regular vote in the senate, which is why it’s all coming down to this One.Last.Attempt to repeal.
And, as many of y’all may understand, this bill is the worst of the lot yet, and CAN’T get a CBO score, because there isn’t time before the vote.
It also isn’t trending the way that the other bills did on twitter, and from what i’ve been seeing, the Senators’ phone lines aren’t being bogged down like they did on the other bills, possibly due to all the OTHER issues & natural disasters happening right now.
I know it starts to venture into the weeds where tinfoil hats can be found.
But we ALSO have seen, since 2010, how the Koch networks of donors have heartily funded primary candidates to run against candidates who did not pass their desired legislation. AND we all know that these senators want to hold on to their seats, because that’s where the power & money are.
Roberts won re-election in KS in 2014. He’s right in the middle of his term, and frankly if he doesn’t get the big bills passed that he promised his sponsors, it’s AWFULLY likely, with 3 years left, he’s gonna have someone else trying to “Primary” him. There’s *exactly* the right amount of time for a candidate to be selected & built up name-wise to do so.
Grassley’s seat is “safer” since he kept his seat in 2016, BUT he has some very high committee seats (Chair of Judiciary is a key one), that he *could* lose/be reassigned from or that he WILL straight-up lose (and become the Ranking Member of) if the senate somehow flips in ‘18 or ‘20.
My guess is, that this bill isn’t solely, maybe not even at ALL, about undoing Obamacare/the ACA.
I’m betting it’s pure party politics at it’s worst (look at which states will have their funding increased & decreased), and that it’s also about sending a BIG message to R-side Big-Money donors.
Please, y’all, CALL YOUR SENATORS!
This bills’s passage or defeat will affect LOTS of us.
Many of us here on GT in a Direct manner, and also many of us in Indirect ways.
I’ll be totally honest, and say I literally cannot think of a way this bill, if it passes, will not affect some aspect of my life:
-I work with children on the autism spectrum, whose care (my job!) is primarily funded by public healthcare subsidies.
-i recieve my own health coverage through one of MN’s state plans, because i’m a full-time college student who, although working 39+ hours a week, can’t afford exchange coverage.
-my parents are both on Medicare, because they’re retired and poor. Mom’s in an assisted living facility, because she can’t live on her own anymore. She had undiagnosed diabetes for too long, lost her toe to gangrene (and nearly her life!), and the diabetes contributed to retinopathy which has left her functionally/legally blind.
-the place i volunteer is able to provide as much care for families of children in medical crisis as it does, becaise some of it’s services are able to be billed to Medicaid. If funds are cut, they won’t be able to help so many families, plain & simple.
-i’m in school to *hopefully* become a special education (ideally ECSE-Early Childhood special ed!) teacher. Part of Special ed funding comes out of things like Medicaid, too. Schools are ALREADY underfunded from the feds on Special Ed, this bill will make that worse.
I’m guessing you guys probably have similar ways you’d be affected if this bill passes, if you stop to think about it.
Please, look up your senators’ numbers, CALL THEM, lives really will be depending on it!
(*frankly, something i missed the details on!)