Help Obamacare, Jimmy Kimmel, You're Our Only Hope!
Just gonna make America great again here
Outside Congressional Republicans and the hardline wingnut portion of their voter base, nobody wants the last-gasp Republican plan to kill the Affordable Care Act. A group of 10 state governors -- Republicans and Democrats both -- yesterday sent a letter to Mitch McConnell saying "Seriously. Don't do this." Virtually all the major groups with a stake in healthcare have issued statements opposing it, from the AMA and American Hospital Association to the AARP and the American Heart Association. And Jimmy Kimmel devoted his monologue Tuesday night to why the bill would be terrible for families.
Needless to say, Donald Trump thinks it's the greatest thing since hairspray:
God damn fuckitty fuck fuck fuck.
Yes, they're at it again. We need to kill this damned thing for good.
How much do the Rs want this? Oh, they want it so bad that they're putting major time and effort into it. Mike Pence has been lobbying Republican senators to get on board, and even Donald Trump has been persuaded to make a few phone calls, almost like a real president might. Worse, the prospect of killing the ACA has some collateral damage: Republicans have strangled the tentative bipartisan effort to actually do something worth doing on healthcare: Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander was instructed to stop working with Washington Democrat Patty Murray on a promising bill to stabilize the individual healthcare markets, because wouldn't it be cool to strip coverage for tens of millions over the next decade instead? Alexander, of course, knows that it was really crazies on both sides who made it impossible for cooler heads to prevail:
“I know how to get bipartisan results but I’m not a magician. To get a bipartisan result on this before the end of September would mean I’d have to persuade 10 or 15 of my Republican colleagues, persuade Senator McConnell to put it on the floor, the House to pass it and the president to sign it.”
“A week ago, I think that was possible,” Alexander added wistfully, arguing that both Democrats’ decision to introduce a “Medicare-for-All” bill and Republicans’ 11th hour repeal push “obviously makes achieving a bipartisan consensus more difficult.”
Mind you, there is no September 30 deadline for stabilizing the ACA -- it could certainly be done through regular order, not reconciliation. But hey, nice diversion!
Also, let's consider some of the fun procedural fuckery the Republicans will have to engage in to push this thing through. For it to meet the requirements to pass under reconciliation -- that is, with 50 Republican votes plus a tie-breaker by Mike Pence -- it has to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO announced Monday that, thanks to the Republican rush job, it will only be able to partially score the bill by next week, determining only whether Graham-Cassidy would affect the federal budget deficit more or less than the House's "American Health care Act" from earlier this year. The CBO score won't include a detailed financial analysis, any examination of how the bill would affect insurance markets overall, and -- most importantly -- it won't provide an estimate of how many people would lose coverage. Still, that partial score might be enough for the Senate parliamentarian to decide it counts as a "CBO score."
Disaster averted for now. One disaster, at least.
Jimmy Kimmel's baby is lucky. His heart defect is only physical.
Cassidy, said Kimmel, "just lied right to my face." He went on to explain why exactly Graham-Cassidy fails to even come close to covering everyone or being more affordable, pointed out the huge number of healthcare organizations that have taken a stand against the bill, and encouraged his viewers -- a far bigger audience than anyone in the Senate has -- to call their representatives and senators:
So, listen, health care is complicated. It’s boring. I don’t want to talk about it. The details are confusing, and that’s what these guys are relying on. They’re counting on you to be so overwhelmed with all the information you just trust them to take care of you, but they’re not taking care of you. They’re taking care of the people who give them money, like insurance companies. And we’re all just looking at our Instagram accounts and liking things while they’re voting on whether people can afford to keep their children alive or not.
Most of the congresspeople who vote on this bill probably won’t even read it. And they want us to do the same thing, they want us to treat it like an iTunes service agreement.
As for people who'll complain that Jimmy Kimmel is politicizing his son's heart defect, Jimmy Kimmel said, YOU'RE DAMN RIGHT I CALLED THE CODE RED:
Before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I’m politicizing my son’s health problems, I want you to know: I am politicizing my son’s health problems because I have to. My family has health insurance, we don’t have to worry about this. But other people do, so you can shove your disgusting comments where your doctor won’t be giving you a prostate exam once they take your health-care benefits away.
Just to be clear, Kimmel said clicking "like" on his video wasn't enough: You've got to call Congress. And while he's at it, he wants Bill Cassidy to stop mentioning his name (we're pretty sure Cassidy already did, long ago): "There’s a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you, it’s called the lie detector test. You’re welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime."
By the way: Jimmy Kimmel's son Billy is doing great:
ALL BABIES should be doing great. Get on the phone, hit the email, call your senator -- and if your senators are Democrats, call to tell them to use every parliamentary trick possible to run out the clock.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.