The most consistent goal of Republicans in all this fighting over Trumpcare has been the ultimate destruction of Medicaid. Sure, the so-called moderates have tried to either slow that down, or make it less drastic for their own states, but they have all agreed on the idea that it should be cut dramatically, and that its structure should be fundamentally altered so that it ends up being just another block grant program that gets shrunk to nothing over time.
This is where there is real danger in the “skinny repeal” strategy Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems to have settled on.
It’s gaining support, including from Nevada Sen. Dean Heller who’s strongly considering it. That’s just
McConnell and the White House want in this least-common denominator approach: 50 votes that get something to conference, so that they have more leverage on those 50 senators for what comes out of conference.
What comes out of conference will almost certainly be some from of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, and it will include those massive Medicaid cuts that will cut 15 million people out of the program in the next 10 years—and even more as the restructuring of the program kicks in. By 2036, the CBO says the program will be cut by 35 percent.
The Senate parliamentarian has nixed a lot of the things that Republicans have wanted in this bill, but Medicaid cuts are still allowed. It might not be included in what goes into the conference with House maniacs, but you can count on it being there when it comes out.
Repealing Obamacare is a nightmare. Millions would lose their health insurance, and the cost of premiums would skyrocket for many people. Call your Republican senator at (202) 224-3121 and give them a very angry piece of your mind. (After you call, please tell us how it went.)