In the wee hours this morning, the U.S. Senate voted on the health care bill they referred to as the “Skinny” repeal. It was a rushed effort, and that’s an understatement at best. After multiple health care bills that hadn’t gotten enough votes to enter into open debate, this week McConnell and President Cheeto were determined to get something passed.
I’ll admit: it terrified me when the Republicans voted to debate the newest travesty of a bill earlier this week. I mean, they only got this far with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the 50-50 tie, but this is still a big deal. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would threaten the health care, and therefore lives, of millions of American voters. Even replacing the act with one of the proposed Republican health care bills wasn’t going to change that. Things looked dire.
I really don’t understand why Republicans have been so opposed to ObamaCare in the first place. It’s a bill that wouldn’t have been introduced had the public not needed it. I’m a prime example. Without my health insurance through the ACA, I’d be left without while I attend graduate school. It gives me security while I get my life in order and become a professional educator.
But whatever. To make a point that the ACA is failing despite all the evidence to the contrary, the Republicans have claimed for seven fucking years that it needs to go away. They’ve thrown together legislation that’s scary in the details, as they give insurance companies leave to refuse care for those with preexisting conditions and defund Planned Parenthood. It’s a hissy fit that could cost thousands if not millions of lives in the coming years.
So, this morning, thanks to John McCain and two other Republican Senators, the “Skinny” Repeal didn’t go through. The bill lost, 49 to 51.
That. Was. Really. Close. I can’t emphasize this enough. This was a bill that was thrown together with even greater speed and half-assedness than previous ones, yet it came the closest to getting passed. Had not three Republicans grown a spine, we’d all be freaking out this morning.
Well, I think we need to freak out anyway. That was close. That was really close. We just dodged a serious bullet. But there will be others, and the next one could easily hit its intended target.
So, in the meantime, call your congressmen. They need to know that their constituents care about what is going on, and that we are watching their every move.