AHCA: GOP and its Ugly Poke

One of the most immoral and unethical episodes of American government unfolds today as the House votes today on the American Health Care Bill (AHCA) H.R. 1628, a bill which violates the GOP’s promise to allow three days advance notice before a vote, the text of which had not been made publicly available before last night and will only receive an hour’s debate, and the economic impact of which has not been analyzed and scored by the Congressional Budget Office.

Today the GOP-led House votes blindly on a purported pig in an ugly poke.

Nothing about this GOP-spawned atrocity serves the public’s interests — not even the estimated 2% who will obtain tax cuts from this legislation if it clears the Senate. The financial benefits for these über-wealthy who, already owning more than most of the rest of the country combined, do not need them. These cuts will eventually be neutralized by degradation of the overall economy after consumer spending tanks. Short-sighted gains yielding long-term losses.

Utterly stupid. Highly unethical.

In B-school I was taught that an ethical business decision was one made for long-term shareholder value, with reasonable decency and distributive justice.

If this is the business of American government, AHCA fails to meet those criteria.

For the über-wealthy there is no long-term improvement in value.

For Congress, there is no reasonable decency in cutting benefits — even when demanded by a minority of voters — to those most vulnerable in order to hand over money to those who do not need it. They are literally taking money from babies and mortally ill to hand over to rich people who will never even feel the weight of the addition to their bank accounts, amounting to little more than a rounding error for billionaires.

There is no decency in voting for legislation which most certainly will result in American deaths in the thousands from cancer and other diseases. Nor is there decency in signing away lives in some unacknowledged Malthusian attempt to limit population growth — a great permanent amelioration of their condition — by increased mortality rates.

There is no decency in voting for a bill which treats women as disposable annoyances instead of the font of America’s future, treats sex crimes against them as excuses to hurt them further.

There is no decency in cutting funding necessary for students requiring health-related aids in special education.

And there is absolutely no decency whatsoever for Congress to place itself above shared suffering. They are exempting themselves from the worst effects of AHCA on those with pre-existing conditions by voting for Amendment to Public Health Services Act H.R. 2192 while slipping in threats to working American’s employer-based health care insurance.

There is no decency, only shame, in Congress’ scuttling off into the shadows at the end of the day to avoid dealing with the repercussions of these offenses against their constituents.

For the average American — and most average Americans will be directly affected by the AHCA — there is no justice.

Not until November 2018.

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.

17 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Latest whip count at 11:28 am EDT indicates GOP has the votes needed to pass AHCA. There are a few vacillating, though.

    Still no final text or CBO score as of 10:28 am EDT.

    Vote is expected sometime between 1:00-1:30 pm EDT.

    To call your representative: 844-432-0883 or 866-665-4470

    You may find DC number is busy or voicemail is full; call your rep’s local office if that’s the case. Click through to your rep’s website to find local numbers.
    Or fax your representative; Faxzero offers free faxes to Congress.

    Need a call script? Scroll to bottom of page at this link.

    This bill is a unity vote, a demonstration of strength under Ryan’s leadership. If this bill passes, people will die just because he needed to consolidate power. The entire Obamacare repeal saga has been absolutely disgusting and immoral.

    EDIT — 1:05 pm EDT —
    Had enough of this one-party death march? Ready to fight back? Here are some alternatives to party organizations.

    The Indivisible Project
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/IndivisibleTeam

    Flippable
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/flippable_org

    SwingLeft
    On Twitter: https://twitter.com/swingleft

  2. John Casper says:

    Thank you.

    Just up at the WSJ, “GOP Health Bill Jeopardizes Out-of-Pocket Caps in Employer Plans
    Last-minute amendment would allow states to obtain waivers from certain Affordable Care Act requirements”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/little-noted-provision-of-gop-health-bill-could-alter-employer-plans-1493890203

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (Wingnut-SC) tweeted “A bill — finalized yesterday, has not been scored, amendments not allowed, and 3 hours final debate — should be viewed with caution.”

    • Rayne says:

      Think that WSJ piece is the one Andy Slavitt excerpted in his tweet I linked in my post. He hadn’t provided a link to the article, but then I can’t blame him for not wanting to point traffic to a Murdoch/Newscorp property.

      If the bill was finalized yesterday according to Graham, it was very late last night and somebody misrepresented its status to TPM’s David Kurtz.

      Thanks.

    • harpie says:

      This page got started this morning and people have already donated over $230,00.
      ActBlue: Give to the Democrats who will run against the Republicans who voted for Trumpcare 

      We set up nominee funds for Congressional races where a Democrat will be running against a Republican who voted ‘yes’ on Trumpcare. That means that whichever Democrat wins the primary in the districts listed here will receive the money raised from this form once they are officially the challenger. Give now to make sure these Republicans do not remain in office.

       

      • Charles says:

        Thanks, Harpie.

         

        By my estimate, if progressives could get $5,000 into every congressional district represented by a Republican, we could run a race there. With slightly over 200 Republicans, that’s just a million dollars. The Act Blue page is trying to raise half that sum, and is well on its way.

         

        Now, obviously, $5,000 represents very little: a store-front, telephone line and website for 6-12 months, basically. A real campaign requires contacting a minimum of 100,000 voters. So, a  lot more money is needed. But with $5,000 in seed money to create the campaign, it doesn’t take a huge number of people in the district to put up $10 or $20 apiece to provide basic direct mail to those 100,000. An interesting statistic is that if every eligible voter ponied up $10 per year for campaigns, that would raise over $2B per election cycle. That’s plenty to wage a competitive campaign in every district.

         

        This is doable. It relies on people taking on their duties as citizens for real, not just leaving it to the roughly 1% of voters who fund campaigns, and the even smaller number who put in serious time to running them.

  3. Ol' Hippy says:

    It seems this bad bill has just been passed in the House, and they’re starting to celebrate. I wish just once they could see what it’s like to live on minimum wage, pay rent, food, Dr. bills, insurance, transportation, for say 4 months. Then would they be so hellfire enthusiastically willing to pass a bill that threatens their very existence? They might as well stick a fork in the working poor because they’re done!

  4. Mary M McCurnin says:

    We are assuming that the GOP and Trump will fall in on themselves. What if we are underestimating them? Trump may never be impeached. And, perhaps, there won’t be another real election. Or am I just overly paranoid?

  5. Alumbrados says:

    It’s a blood tax. It kills U.S. citizens to give billionaires more money, without the spending on actual warfare.

  6. Rapier says:

    The purpose of the GOP in this although few know it is to reduce health cares portion of the GDP.  ACA made it certain to grow  it won’t when something like this passes.  Health care in the US is a racket which costs at least 50% too much, maybe 70%.  Admittedly this is partly the fault of Americans who think, to quote  Huxley who said it about California, “they think death is an option”, and thus act accordingly. That and their eternal belief in Snake Oil.

    Nobody likes paying thousands a year for something they may not use in any one year for much of their lives and even when they do it provides zero pleasure.  Except in those cases where you wake up, alive.  Still spending all that money is drag. It’s $9K per person now I think. So anyway the GOP thinks it wants freedom, or something, but they really want to lower the cost for government, so the can spend it on something else. Well spend it on whites people actually as long as they are forced to spend money on people at all.. If they had any balls they would simply pass a law saying no free health care for niggers and spics. One sentence and be done with it.

    At any rate this would cause health cares percentage of GDP to fall and  it going to cause economic problems. As in bankruptcies and closings. A crude way to trim the fat. One way or another the status quo isn’t going to hold so this crude thing is the tipping point. Done for all the wrong reasons. Hell they don’t even know the reason.

    • martin says:

      Hell they don’t even know the reason.

      Yes they do.  They hate Obama and will burn to the ground anything he did.

  7. harpie says:

    The GOP breeds their pups for characteristics like:
    1] short-sight
    2] tight-fist
    3] small-mind
    4] mean-spirit

  8. harpie says:

    And, for a little levity: Pigs don’t fly, but they may float.
    Chicago Tribune:

    Drawing inspiration from Pink Floyd [which was inspired by Orwell’s “Animal Farm”], temporary installment would float pigs in front of Trump Tower sign

    • harpie says:

      huh,

      Merriam Webster asks: Did You Know?

      Levity originally was thought to be a physical force exactly like gravity but pulling in the opposite direction, like the helium in a balloon. As recently as the 19th century, scientists were still arguing about its existence. Today levity refers only to lightness in manner. […]

      No, I didn’t know that. Also, “levity” is the origin of “levitate”.

       

  9. P J Evans says:

    That ActBlue fund is now well over $1 million, and still rising. Who could have foreseen … that people like having ACA coverage?

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