The women did the heavy lifting, the man got all the credit, or, how the Republican repeal failed

John McCain provided a crucial vote to kill “skinny” repeal of Obamacare Thursday night, and he deserves credit for doing the right thing. But we need to talk about how much credit he’s getting—and who’s being overlooked. Because this:

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Senate Republicans originally put together an all-male panel to kill Obamacare, shutting the six Republican women in the Senate out of the process. Then that group fell apart and the repeal bills, such as they were, were crafted in secret—still without input from the very women who were making clear that their votes would be hard to get. 

Collins and Murkowski voted against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s series of poorly thought through, cruel bills from the beginning. Donald Trump’s interior secretary

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In shocker, Senate Republicans fail to strip health care from millions in dead of night

A remarkable thing happened in the Senate tonight. Enough Republican Senators realized that they could stop a bill that they did not want to become law by voting against it. The skinny Trumpcare bill failed, 49-51, when Republican Sens. Susan Collins (ME), John McCain (AZ), and Lisa Murkowski (AK) voted no. We might have to say nice things about McCain for a while. Stupid Sen. Dean Heller (NV), who has the most to lose, did not take this opportunity and voted with his leader.

Enough Senate Republicans decided that they couldn’t use the excuse House Speaker Paul Ryan gave them in his half-hearted endorsement of the House and Senate going to a conference committee to vote for this thing. They didn’t want to  kick sixteen million people off of their health insurance next year. Or maybe they were just embarrassed by the whole dismal farce of a legislative process this whole

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CBO scores skinny Trumpcare: 16 million lose coverage, premiums increase 20 percent by next year

We’ve got skinny Trumpcare or Zombie Trumpcare 5.0—or the John McCain Surrenders the Last Shreds of His Integrity bill—finally on the floor and the CBO worked fast to figure out what it’s going to do.

What it’s going to do is kick 16 million people out of their health insurance in the next year. An election year. Because the bill doesn’t include Medicaid, by some miracle, the loss of insurance is somewhat curtailed compared to other bills the Republicans have been struggling with.  Besides that, it’s going to increase premiums in the non-group market “by roughly 20 percent relative to current law in all years between 2018 and 2026.” It’s also going to mean a death spiral kicks in, because as fewer healthy people sign up, the higher premiums go and more insurers leave the markets.

That’s as it stands now. The House may or may not decide to

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Senate Republicans release ‘skinny’ healthcare repeal bill, schedule vote for dead of night

What a joke:

Mere hours before the Senate prepared to vote on a “skinny repeal” health care bill that would get rid of Obamacare’s individual mandate, among other provisions, Senate Republicans finally released the bill they plan to vote on.

The Health Care Freedom Act would repeal the individual mandate, which requires people to buy insurance or pay a fine; the law’s employer mandate, which requires employers to provide coverage to their employees; and its medical device tax (temporarily). States would also have the ability to waive some Obamacare requirements for health plans.

True to its name, the “skinny repeal” bill is a mere eight pages long.

Several Senate Republicans, like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, say they don’t want this bill to become law, but of course they’re probably going to vote for it anyway. These phonies claim they’re satisfied by assurances that House Speaker Paul Ryan

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Russia sanctions heads to Trump’s desk after Senate approval, putting him in a bind

The Senate put their stamp of approval Thursday on a sweeping sanctions bill that will now go straight to the desk of Donald Trump. The New York Times writes:

The Senate vote, 98-2, followed the passage of a House bill earlier this week to punish Russia, Iran and North Korea for various violations by each of the three American adversaries. In effect, it would sharply limit the president’s ability to suspend or lift sanctions on Russia, and won near unanimous support across the Republican-led Congress. […] Now the president will face a decision he had hoped to avoid as the legislation slowly churned through Congress.

White House aides have acknowledged privately that a veto would be politically awkward — at the least — for Mr. Trump to justify during the continuing investigations into whether his campaign colluded with Moscow.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Thursday the White House would “wait

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John McCain and friends demand that Paul Ryan doesn’t let the bill they want to pass become law

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ_, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) all really, really don’t want the skinny Trumpcare bill they are going to vote on in the coming hours to become law. They really, really hate it. They just held a press conference to say so.
 
Johnson says “‘virtually nothing we’re doing in any of these bills’ are keeping their promise to fix the problems with health care.” Graham called it a “fraud,” “disaster,” “pig in a poke” and also “half-assed.” McCain, again, said they needed some bipartisanship here.

So they’re all voting against it, right? Wrong.

This whole exercise was to say that they are going to vote for this bill just as long as House Speaker Paul Ryan promises he won’t let it become law. They are demanding a bipartisan conference committee with input from all the governors. And what will

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Senate Republicans continue to pretend like McConnell isn’t totally screwing them on Trumpcare

The wheels are falling off this thing we call Congress over Trumpcare, and it’s all going to come down to whether anyone can trust Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Which means we, as a nation, are fucked. At the lunch today in which Senate Republicans were supposed to be writing the next iteration of the bill—the one that leadership said would pass tonight—the discussion instead was “focused on whether they can be assured House won’t pass skinny, will conference. Senate doesn’t want it to become law.”

Just let that sink in: they don’t want the bill they are about to pass—the bill that they promised was coming for the last fucking seven years—to become law. From what it looks like, McConnell made that promise to them.

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