Why Don't These Rude People With Disabilities Just Let Graham-Cassidy Kill Them Quietly?
Protestors being removed one-by-one. pic.twitter.com/HZPPYI3nrj
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) September 25, 2017
Monday afternoon, the Congressional Budget office released a partial score of the Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal bill. And while the Republicans' attempt to rush the bill through didn't allow enough time for a full analysis of how many people would be tossed off insurance, the CBO was at least able to say that the "number of people with comprehensive health insurance that covers high-cost medical events would be reduced by millions." It was enough for Maine Senator Susan Collins, who'd been saying she would wait to see the CBO score before saying how she'd vote on Graham-Cassidy. And that vote is now a definite no.
John McCain and Ron Paul had already said they would vote against the bill, and unless one of them changes his mind (still a possibility, because they are Republicans in 2017), Collins's no vote means Graham-Cassidy should be dead, at least for the current year. The whole damn reconciliation clock will be reset in January, so no, this isn't over. Now would be an excellent time for constituents of Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and West Virginia's Shelley Moore Capito to make it clear they should speak up and drive a stake through the heart of Graham-Cassidy. Just the bill, you bloodthirsty Terrible Ones. We got rules, you know.
Before the CBO score and the announcement by Collins, some very rude disability activists from the grassroots lobbying group ADAPT disrupted Monday's Senate hearing of Graham-Cassidy, the one gesture the Senate made toward even a hint of normal procedure. Seems people with disabilities don't seem to understand how important it was to Republicans to kill off healthcare to tens of millions of Americans to please big-dollar rightwing donors. Over 200 protesters made their way into the hallway outside the hearing room, although only seven of the activists using wheelchairs were allowed into the hearing room itself, plus another 20 or so temporarily abled folks.
The protesters' chants of "No cuts to Medicaid! Save our liberty!" led Orrin Hatch, head of the Finance Committee, to recess the hearing while the protesters were arrested. Just before Hatch called the recess, he muttered "Let's let em get it out of their system," according to REBECCA SCHOENKOPF, FACEBOOK LIVESTREAM REPORTER, who was so disgusted she had to turn the damned thing off after a while. [It was several hours; Bill Cassidy had already lied about "$39,000 premiums," Lindsey Graham was an UNBELIEVABLE piece of shit, and I was all the way through SANTORUM, who for unknown reasons thinks he didn't get his ass kicked out the Senate a decade ago. Do not ever make me be the one to watch the hearings again. -- Ed] Hatch also admonished the protesers, as if they were elementary school children acting up on a field trip, "If you want a hearing, you better shut up":
They didn't shut up, so Hatch turned that Dirksen Senate Office Building right around and recessed the hearing. That freed CSPAN of the unpleasant spectacle of the Greatest Nation On Earth dragging people out of wheelchairs to arrest them because they selfishly insist there be no cuts to funding that guarantees their ability to live independently. Bummer for that plan, though, since reporters have phones, like Vox's Jeff Stein:
I've been covering health care activism from day one and this is a sight that is still hard to make sense of pic.twitter.com/gFaR6V0yHv— Jeff Stein (@JStein_Vox) September 25, 2017
HuffPo reporter Matt Fuller captured co-sponsor Bill Cassidy giving no fucks at all for people who'd be affected by turning healthcare funding into ever-shrinking block grants to the states (and boning all protections for people with pre-existing conditions, like some of the pre-existing conditions seen here):
Bill Cassidy doesn't seem to be phased. pic.twitter.com/3Ioi7aa2ZH— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) September 25, 2017
Cassidy actually had to yawn, he finds people fighting for their ability to live independently so tiresome:
Bill Cassidy is literally yawning as protestors are carried away. pic.twitter.com/TqINKjrLx6— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) September 25, 2017
Nobody's health insurance is safe.
A CBS News poll released Monday shows only 20% of Americans support the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal, and that's including the over 25% of those who didn't have an opinion of the bill. When narrowed to those who actually know enough to have an opinion, that comes to over two-to one disapproval:
With those low numbers, we're going to rate this ballpark estimate by ThinkProgress's Lerner TRUE:
Capitol Police said they had arrested 181 people during Monday's healthcare demonstration:
Nobody got dragged out of a wheelchair, mind you. The cops were simply reuniting them with their mobility devices.
Oh, but it wasn't all horrible: Oregon's Ron Wyden bought pizza for the protesters (add your own pizza-based conspiracy theory here):
The deadline for passing some sort of hell-spawned eldritch horror by reconciliation won't actually come until Saturday at midnight, kids. There's still plenty of fuckery the Rs could yet get up to. Keep your senators' website and some holy water handy.