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The Washington Post has the final TrumpDon’tCare vote count.

On Thursday, House Republicans successfully voted to unwind major parts of the Affordable Care Act. But they barely got it through their own chamber: After having to pull a version of this bill in March for lack of support from both conservative and moderate Republicans, it passed by just a margin of four votes.

All 193 Democrats opposed the bill, alongside 20 Republicans — primarily moderates who thought the legislation rolls back health-care benefits too much.

Here’s an overview of what happened, what’s in this shit sandwich, and some prognostication from AMGA. Since I received it as an email that can’t be viewed as a webpage, you get the whole thing.

House Passes ACA Repeal Bill

This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by a vote of 217 to 213. The vote represents a significant victory for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his leadership team, which had been under tremendous pressure from the White House to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is the second attempt to pass the AHCA, as the last effort was withdrawn from House floor consideration in late March. The House voted without a “score” from the Congressional Budget Office, which had previously reported that the original AHCA would produce $150 billion in savings and result in 24 million people losing their insurance.

Key provisions of the AHCA include:

  • Effectively ends the individual and employer mandate
  • Ends funding for Medicaid expansion
  • Transitions Medicaid from an entitlement program to a per capita or block grant-based model
  • Replaces premium subsidies based on income with tax credits based on age
  • Postpones the “Cadillac Tax” on health plans
  • Repeals taxes on higher income individuals, insurers, and drug and medical device manufacturers
  • Allows health plans to charge older customers higher premiums
  • Allows states to opt out of requiring plans to cover essential health benefits

Since March’s failed attempt, Republican members have amended the AHCA to garner support. To appeal to the conservative branch of the House, Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) proposed an amendment that would let states opt out of requiring plans to cover essential health benefits. The amendment also would create a process for states to opt out of community rating standards, which under current law prohibit health plans from charging more to patients with pre-existing conditions. To insulate patients from higher premiums and other out-of-pocket costs that result from changes to community rating standards and secure moderate Republican support for the AHCA, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) introduced an amendment that provides an additional $8 billion over five years to provide premium assistance to patients who may have higher premiums because they have pre-existing conditions or failed to maintain continuous coverage. While policy experts have agreed that this funding may be insufficient, it effectively provided a reason for undecided moderate Republicans to support the bill.

Senate Passage
The Senate could start AHCA consideration as early as next week. It remains unclear when and if the AHCA will come to the Senate floor, as several Senate Republicans have expressed concern with the House bill. In any event, we expect the Senate to consider significant changes to the House passed bill. This would require the House to vote again to approve the bill; however, any changes the Senate makes may not be palatable to House members, which may diminish prospects for passage in the House.

2018 Outlook
An important factor to remember is that the AHCA may have political ramifications in the 2018 reelection season. There are currently 23 House Republicans in districts that voted for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016. House Democrats need to gain 24 more seats to control the House. Last month’s recess proved that many House Republicans already have faced backlash from their home districts for supporting the AHCA. Republican House members taking a tough vote on a bill that could die in the Senate presents an opportunity for Democrats in the 2018 reelection season. Failing to enact the AHCA would leave the ACA in place, putting House Republicans who voted for the bill in a vulnerable political position in terms of reelection. Within the last month, Republicans have faced tighter than expected margins to retain Republican-controlled House seats that were vacated.

AMGA will continue to monitor this situation and report any significant updates as the process continues.

CNN is of course painting this as a VICTORY FOR TRUMP because The Narrative.

I know some people must be tired of being urged to call their representatives.

So I will instead urge people to call their senators.

Update: Here’s the statement from CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

Today is the first of what I am confident will be many historic days ahead as we move toward patient-centered healthcare instead of government-centered healthcare.

I have worked in the field of Medicaid for 20 years and have heard from many mothers like myself who have shared their struggles and their hopes for a more affordable, more sustainable healthcare system. It is important that our most vulnerable citizens, the aged, the infirm, the blind and the disabled have more choices, greater access and peace of mind when it comes to their healthcare.

The bill that was passed today is a great first step achieving this goal.

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  • DamnYankees

    I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but it’s genuinely hard to convey – or even understand for myself – the mendacity of this vote. On every level – substantive, procedural, communicative – this is an abomination.

    This is a bill which guts health care for tens of millions of people for the sake of giving tax cuts to rich people. It will kill people. It permits insurance companies to deny you coverage if you are sick. The bill exempts Congress from its own mendacity despite Congress saying it does not. There is zero health care policy reason for any of these changes. It will kill people, all so the GOP can cut taxes on rich people.

    This is a bill which passed prior to to being scored and without the Congresspeople having read the bill. There were zero hearings. Zero. The bill was never marked up by a single committee in any open process.

    This is a bill which passed because the President and Congressional Leaders have lied about its contents in such a direct and staggering manner its hard to wrap your arms around. These people are going on TV and just saying that the bill does the literal opposite of what it does.

    I know we’re all desensitized to everything now. I haven’t even mentioned the staggering hypocrisy of all the above in light of the GOP’s reaction to Obamacare itself. It’s just so hard to hold in ones head the staggering, staggering mendacity of this bill. People will try to convince themselves that no one could be this cruel, this stupid, this evil – and they will try to excuse the bill and the way it passed.

    We can’t forget this vote and what it is means and what it is. It is a sublimely hateful act. Nothing less.

    • wengler

      At its most fundamental level, it’s a declaration of war by the rich on everyone else.

      • so-in-so

        The war has been going on forever. They just deployed a new weapon (which actually kills people, rather than just scoring political points).

        • wengler

          It’s usually cloaked in phrases like ‘tax cuts’ or ‘welfare reform’ though. This is a very upfront statement of ‘Fuck You, You Die!

          • Alex.S

            Yes. The standard rotation is “cut taxes” -> “the deficit!” -> “cut social programs”.

            Because everything had to be done in one go for reconciliation, it’s just a straight cut social programs to cut taxes.

            The bill isn’t pretending that this will improve people’s health care or health insurance. Of course, Republicans are in an ugly fashion.

            • Gregor Sansa

              If the Senate passes this bill more-or-less as-is — I’d guess a 5% chance — I’m guessing maybe 50K people die. If they pass something that’s “fixed”, that’s maybe another 20% chance 15K people die. Altogether, that makes the fact that this passed the house an event worth something like 5500 lives.

              Those are numbers from nowhere, so they could easily be off by a lot. But the point is, this, today, was a disaster comparable in scale to the direct effects of 9-11.

              • busker type

                yeah.

    • PunditusMaximus

      I agree, which is of course why I am not “pragmatic”.

      • That’s great for you, but if you strain your arm patting yourself on the back, you’d better hope someone’s figured out how to kill this bill by then.

        • PunditusMaximus

          I didn’t hire James Comey. I’m not the one you’re mad at.

          • Yeah, but you also didn’t get the ACA through Congress.

          • rhino

            No, you’re the one I am disgusted by.

    • sibusisodan

      Well said.

    • NewishLawyer

      Here are my theories:

      1. The House GOP assumes or knows that this is going to die in the Senate. This allows them to do endless redmeat for the base re repealing Obamacare while not suffering any adverse affects or consequences. And I suspect the Senate benefits as well because blowhard pundits will just praise the Founders and the Senate for being a check on the madness of the people.

      2. The GOP believes that they are so insulated because of gerrymandering and/or culture war/racist issues that they can do all the tax cuts for billionaires and won’t suffer any adverse effects.

      3. They are so ideologically committed to repealing Obamacare that it is full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes.

      • BeckySharp

        This bill passed so that Trump and the Republican House members can say “We kept our promise to repeal Obamacare!” Full stop. They don’t know what the bill does, they don’t care what it does. They just want to have something to get keep the base believing in their “Promises kept!” tagline.

        What happens now? The pressure’s off because they voted to repeal Obamacare just like they said they would. Now it’s up to the Democrats to keep the pressure on by getting stories in the news about just how horrible and regressive this bill actually is.

        • los

          Promises kept!

          Gop’s CharnelCare

        • Hondo

          “Now it’s up to the Democrats to keep the pressure on by getting stories in the news about just how horrible and regressive this bill actually is.”
          Yes, great plan. Cause there’s so many great investigative journalists at the NYT and CNN just waiting to publish the facts.
          I bet Bret Stephens will savage the House Repubs in his next column. I cannot fucking wait.

      • LeeEsq

        The safe assumption is that all three are true.

    • The Lorax

      “Damn Yankees says it exempts Congress. The GOP says it doesn’t. All we can say for sure is that there is partisan gridlock in Washington yet again. This is NPR News.”

      I’m thinking about getting on the afternoon show; I’m just down the road from Culver City.

    • I agree with you 100%. And when the Trumpers start to feel the pain, they will 100% blame the Democrats for it.

      • busker type

        some will, some won’t

      • MAJeff

        We can look forward to NPR stories all about, “Folks in this Pennsylvania town believed Trump when he said he’d create a better health care system. Now that TrumpCare is being put into practice, they say that dying due to lost benefits is a price they’re willing to pay for the glory of the Orange Leader.”

  • Cassiodorus

    I’m guessing they put the removal of their exemption in a second bill so they can just let that bill die, while also pointing to it to say they didn’t exempt themselves.

  • jehrler

    Swingleft.org has set up a donation link to spread your donation among the 35 targeted districts where the republicans representatives voted for this abomination.

    https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/ahca-reps

    I’ve donated both to the swingleft funds for MN-02 and MN-03 (our actual rep is a solid dem) but tossed some more into this distributed fund. Let’s bank the passion and emotion to provide funding for whomever the dem candidate will be in these swing districts for 2018.

    Make them pay.

    • The Lorax

      More than 600k raised today. Thanks for that link; I donated!

  • Thom

    As someone directly affected by this, I am wondering if those who know a lot about the Senate, and inter-chamber negotiations, can predict what will come of the legislation. If so, please comment.

    • socraticsilence

      I think its at best 50-50 that the bill ever recieves a Senate vote. Current whip estimates have 70+ “No” votes.

      • LosGatosCA

        Way too optimistic.

      • Gary K

        Josh Marshall’s Iron Law of Republican Politics: “GOP moderates” will always cave.

    • aab84

      As someone also directly affected, the Senate is literally going to ignore it, but that’s not necessarily good news.

      The House bill has no chance of passing the Senate, and almost certainly won’t even get a vote. Instead, the Senate will write its own, more moderate (but still completely terrible) bill. They’ll pass that, then go to a conference committee, at which they’ll adopt most of the Senate’s stuff and almost none of the House’s stuff. They’ll then dare the Freedom Caucus to vote it down for being too moderate.

      • wengler

        This means that the freedumb caucus is going to save us once again.

        • aab84

          I don’t think so, actually. Once you get to that point, the pressure to vote in favor of the final bill will be insane. I doubt even the Freedom Caucus will hold out. House progressives didn’t when this happened with the ACA. The Freedom Caucus is more stubborn, but I don’t see them voting to keep Obamacare when they’re one step away.

          I’m not remotely an expert, but I’ve always thought that if they could get something, anything through the House, a bill would ultimately end up on Trump’s desk.

          • wengler

            No, they’ll vote against it. They are not rational actors.

            • lahtiji

              Especially since the vogue for being primaried from the right took hold.

          • TopsyJane

            Once you get to that point, the pressure to vote in favor of the final bill will be insane. I doubt even the Freedom Caucus will hold out.

            They will have to weigh being held responsible for the failure to kill Obamacare versus voting for a bill that is too nice. Some will vote against but not enough to sink whatever emerges from the Senate. I agree with you – whatever the Senate sends back to the House will be approved and Trump will sign anything that’s put in front of him. We’re done. Hope I’m wrong.

            • busker type

              I think this is exactly right,
              except that we’re not done. we have to fight like hell to make whatever the senate does less bad.

        • Hondo

          Tank de lawd faw de freedum circle jerk!

      • The Lorax

        This is my take, too.

    • I’m already hearing they’re planning to ignore this one and draft their own bill.

    • nemdam

      The odds may be low, but if 2016 taught us anything, it’s that we can’t take ANYTHING for granted. Anyone who is represented by an R Senator must make their voice heard.

    • Aaron Morrow

      Are you asking about suspected policy changes to the bill to allow it to pass the Senate?

      – Removal of clauses that don’t affect deficit: allowing health plans to charge older customers higher premiums, and the opt-out to cover essential health benefits.

      – The cutting and gutting of Medicaid will occur over a slightly longer period of time. Thanks, Collins!

      Unless Nelson or someone else can trick Cassidy, Collins and another Republican Senator into talking about Cassidy-Collins for a year and a half, the above is my best case scenario.

  • socraticsilence

    The attack ads off this will be justifiably vicious:

    Why does Congressman X want Rape Victims to be charged more for Health Insurance?

    • Daragh

      The problem is, the news media won’t sully themselves by pointing out that claims like this are true, while those from the GOP are blatantly false, and Fournier types will write tongue-clucking op-eds about ‘civility’ in response, and no-one, but no-one, will actually inform the public about the content of the policies that affect their lives or how they were crafted and by whom. Which is why we’re at this godawful place in history.

      • aab84

        No offense, but this kind of nihilism gets really, really tiresome. The AHCA is polling at 17%, largely because the media has accurately reported on the myriad ways that the bill is fucking terrible. Like 60% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of health care, including a decent chunk of Republicans.

        If what you’re saying were true, people would be evenly divided on the bill. They’re not. There’s every reason to think a bunch of Congresspeople just cost themselves their jobs today.

        • los

          AHCA is polling at 17%, largely because the media has accurately reported on the myriad ways that the bill is fucking terrible

          and only shallowly – UHCA is that bad to be huuuuuugely unpopular.

        • There’s every reason to think a bunch of Congresspeople just cost themselves their jobs today.

          Believe it when I see it. Their constituents may hate the ACHA, but they hate Democrats much, much more.

          • rhino

            They are going to lose their jobs in *primaries*.

        • DAS

          largely because the media has accurately reported on the myriad ways that the bill is fucking terrible

          I am actually surprised by how good the media has been on the AHCA. For example, the actually covered GOoP Congresscritters’ ducking their constituents at townhalls, rather than taking their usual tack of complaining about rude, dirty hippy outside agitators bullying poor, salt of the Earth GOP Congresscritters.

          How was it that the media’s coverage on this issue was better than usual? What can we do to further encourage this kind of coverage?

          • brewmn

            The media only reported on the horribleness of the bill because they were reporting what people were saying at the town halls. They would have been happy to report the Republican lies about the bill if the Republicans hosting those town halls hadn’t been running away like frightened rabbits at the time.

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            Another reason for Democrats to try to minimize the in-fighting: it doesn’t give the media any juicy Democratic gossip to focus on instead.

            If the most interesting story is the GOP shitshow, they’ll cover it. They want eyeballs most of all.

      • Daragh

        And here we are – exhibit fucking A from Ron Fournier.

        • Tyto

          Charles Pierce is beautiful in that exchange.

          • Aaron Morrow

            Judges will disqualify any reply containing vague appeals to the word “leadership.”

            *sniff* Beautiful, just beautiful.

        • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

          Did you perhaps misplace your expletive?

      • nemdam

        Don’t forget they will blame Deomcrats for not “working” with Republicans on the bill.

      • Karen24

        Use social media. You know how I knew Trump was likely to win? Reading my Facebook and Twitter feeds which were dominated by stupid Trump stuff and ads for quack medicine. Now, they’re dominated by #Resistance and complaints about the Congressional Republicans. So, ignore the press and use social media. OFTEN,

    • los

      socraticsilence says:

      Why does Congressman X want Rape Victims to be charged more for Health Insurance?

      RWNJ counterattack: “Liberrils are taking our religious Freedums!1!”

      • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

        I think the response will be, it was the Rape Victims fault so the taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay a dime for this sl_t.

    • PunditusMaximus

      Narrative. You need narrative.

      Shot. Camera slowly focuses on an alley. It’s nighttime. A virginal young woman with strawberry blonde hair comes to, slowly. Her clothing is torn, and she has scrapes. The implication is obvious.

      She answers the phone. “Mom. Mom. Come get me.”

      Break

      She staggers into the car. Mom is a nice white lady. She is devastated, stoic. Helping her daughter. “We need to get you to a hospital.”

      Young woman looks panicked. “No! No hospitals. Take me home. I can barely afford insurance as it is. Rape is a pre-existing condition now.”

      Focus on Mom’s stoic face. A tear trickles down.

      • Hondo

        Don’t quit your day job.

      • los

        GOP would project a loop of this ad onto a large screen at their next convention.
        Underneath, printed on a sign at the credit card paybooths, “Donate now if this is your MAGA!”

  • wengler

    I wonder how many hospitals will go bankrupt and shutdown because of this bill. There are dumb things, there are corrupt things, and then there is this. Let’s just go and vote for something that we don’t even know the effect of, because it will make liberals unhappy.

    Republicans need to be named and shamed.

    • los

      I wonder how many hospitals will go bankrupt and shutdown because of this bill.

      4 hour drive to ER – now redstaters will be able to buy only out of state insurance.

      • los

        4 hour drive

        “It’s not just for abortions condoms anymore.”

      • nemdam

        Quick! Send the NYT out to make sure Trump voters in red states still support him!

        • los

          “Interview? She’ll be home in a few days. Would you like to wait?”

        • Why bother? They still do.

          • veleda_k

            Yes, but how can we truly understand until the NYT interviews half a dozen of them?

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            A woman in WV lies, dying, in her bed.

            “Donald Trump Jr raped my daughter and now her health insurance is too expensive anymore. So that’s one strike against him. I say you get three strikes, and that there’s one. But I still think Trump really wants to Make America Great Again, so I’d vote for him again.”

            • PunditusMaximus

              Becky McCrackerson? Is that you again?

  • so-in-so

    So, GOP = Mass Murderer.

    Can we make that a thing?

    • los

      they have

    • Monty

      How about this:

      What separates today’s GOP from the likes of Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein or Bashar al-Assad?

      The GOP openly celebrates the mass-murder of their own countrymen…and nobody in the press corpse will call them monstrous.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      “Republicans don’t give a shit about people”

  • It is important that our most vulnerable citizens, the aged, the infirm, the blind and the disabled have more choices, greater access and peace of mind when it comes to their healthcare.

    In the Divine Comedy, Dante portrays the tormented spirits of men still alive in his day, with the explanation that a truly wicked person’s soul will be snatched out of their body by Satan, with a demon being left in its place to live out the rest of their life.

    I’m not a religious person, but sometimes it’s hard to ignore the evidence that Dante was right.

    • PunditusMaximus

      That’s not a terrible metaphor for what happens when someone lets the entitlement take over and internalizes the domestic abuser mindset.

    • farin

      The Trump administration has made me wish pretty consistently for the literal truth of Inferno. Only a just-but-bloody-minded god could possibly give them what they deserve.

      • bluejohnnyd

        The past couple days combined with a final exam on gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases coming up has me seriously considering which horrible, non-communicable diseases would make the best poetic justice for major GOP lawmakers.

        • farin

          Consumption by rats.

        • Domino

          Best of luck on your final!

  • los

    health plans to charge older customers higher premiums

    dog kibble and dog vet

  • dudleydowrong

    As I’m just starting to read about the fact this piece of shit bill passed the House, a car drove by my house blaring ‘Gimme Shelter’ by the Stones. The song had just gotten to the part where Merry Clayton sings ‘Rape, Murder’ with such intensity her voice cracks.

    Seems ominous

  • nemdam

    I’m not sure if this is appropriate, but on a day when one of the most cruel bills ever passed in a Western democracy becomes reality, Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush were mocking Hillary on Twitter. I don’t even want to dignify the tweets with a link, but you can find them if you look.

    The emotions of today are too numerous and complex to express in such a short time, but I will simply say that resistance must involve accurately showing the MSM as the utter frauds they are. This isn’t possible without their complicity.

  • lahtiji

    That quote from Seema Verma (another obvious anagram) is beyond Orwellian.

    • los

      CMS Administrator Seema Verma

      as we move toward patient-centered healthcare instead of government-centered healthcare.

      conservative verbal stew dished out from their dumpster, for the occasion.

    • farin

      Verma

      A literal worm.

    • busker type

      yeah, somehow that’s the most disturbing part for me. What kind of monster spends their life working in medicaid and says shit like that.

  • TopsyJane

    CNN is of course painting this as a VICTORY FOR TRUMP because The Narrative.

    Uh, it is a victory for Trump, just as the failure of the previous bill was a loss for Trump and depicted as such in the media. We can hope that the victory is of the Pyrrhic sort. Right now that is only a hope. Trump won today and we lost.

    • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

      America lost today. The fact that we lost also is secondary for me.

  • upstate_cyclist

    Spoke to staff of Florida’s two senators today. A rather panicked staffer of the Stuffed Suit of Miami told me that the senator was in favor of the ACHA. And of course Bill Nelson’s office had no statement to give, because… who knows.

  • Warren Terra

    The list from your email is missing some features:

    No more meaningful protection for pre-existing conditions; the only provision is funding for a “risk pool”; risk pools have previously been shown to work, the funding is 1/20th to 1/100th of what would be needed, and it’s not even restricted to funding this compensatory mechanism.

    I saw indications Lifetime Caps might be back

    Support for special education, including of kids with special medical needs, is removed

    Members of Congress and their families are exempted from all this bad news.

    • upstate_cyclist

      There was a companion bill that was supposed to fix this “oversight” that passed before the important vote. Given that this was all a procedural hurdle to get the reconciliation process to move to the senate, it doesn’t matter anyways.

    • Origami Isopod

      Not directly related to TrumpDontCare, but the VA is talking about closing 1,100 hospitals. Support Our Troops… until it costs more than a $3.99 ribbon magnet for the back of your SUV.

      • los

        VA is talking about closing 1,100 hospitals. Support Our Troops

        Slakkabowts1! Git them uwff my lawn!1! Sinnd thim back too Vinniezwella11!!

         
        Urnest T. Blogger

      • Linnaeus

        Well, if the liberals hadn’t spent so much money on health care and Obamaphones for undocumented gay immigrants, that wouldn’t be happening, would it?

  • Ramon A. Clef

    I’m going to have to wait to call Senator Waterboy’s office until I can be reasonably certain that I won’t start my sentence with, “I’m calling to tell that motherfucker…”

    This was supposed to be in response to upstate_cyclist, above.

    • Karen24

      I wouldn’t wait if I were you.

      • Senator Waterboy deserves every single expletive that can be directed his way. I suspect I will use plenty of profanity in my phone call.

        Whether this bill passes the Senate will pretty much make the difference between whether I can ever attain self-sufficiency (if it doesn’t) or not (if it does).

    • upstate_cyclist

      I shall be calling back tomorrow to get some clarification and in part to see if the little YRA minion that answered the phones didn’t just blurt out Yes in a panic.

      Also, I have started to enjoy appealing to those answering phones. While the Senator is clearly incapable of feeling shame, maybe there is still some humanity in the worker bees that populate his offices. Maybe…

  • David Hunt

    I’ve already written to my Congressman and informed him that I’ll vote and donate against him forever as a direct result of this vote. Calls to him after work.

    Does anyone know whether it’s less useless to call my own Senators (Cruz and Cornyn) or to contact theoretically persuadable Senators?

    • Origami Isopod

      Indivisible.org, I believe, says that elected officials care only about the opinions of the people who can pull the lever for them. So it’s probably better to read Cruz and Cornyn the riot act.

    • los

      David Hunt says:

      less useless to call my own Senators (Cruz and Cornyn) or to contact theoretically persuadable Senators?

      I bookmarked this answer to another question


      Emily Ellsworth‏Verified account @editoremilye 11 Nov 2016
      Second, writing a letter to the district office (state) is better than sending an email or writing a letter to DC.

      Emily Ellsworth‏Verified account @editoremilye
      But, the most effective thing is to actually call them on the phone. At their district (state) office. They have to talk to you there.

      marletat‏ @marletat 13 Nov 2016
      Replying to @editoremilye
      I have called local offices, district offices, Washington offices and got an ans mach and a full voice mail.

      Emily Ellsworth‏Verified account @editoremilye 13 Nov 2016
      Some reps just don’t answer, so you’ll need to see if you can drop by, go to a town hall, or send a letter.

      Marifaeles‏ @Marifaeles 12 Nov 2016
      Replying to @editoremilye
      And do not forget to include a small contribution. It is always acknowledged. :)

      • los

        letter

        Emily Ellsworth‏Verified account @editoremilye 11 Nov 2016
        We repped half a million people, it was impossible to read and respond personally to all letters. Impossible.

        This [letters] was something in particular that I cared about as a staffer and worked very hard on, but the sheer volume of emails is overwhelming

        So, we batched them with computer algorithms and sent out form letters based on topic and position. Regardless of method received.

        • los

          Emily Ellsworth‏Verified account @editoremilye 11 Nov 2016
          Also, recognize that your letters and your emails get seen by staffers, just like your phone calls get answered. That’s the way of it.

    • los

      Phone Calls

      But, phone calls! That was a thing that shook up our office from time. One time, a radio host gave out our district office phone # on air.

      He was against our immigration policy and told our constituents to call. And they did. All. Day. Long. All I did all day was answer phones.

      [Maddow et al could recommend calling, like this?]
      It was exhausting and you can bet my bosses heard about it. We had discussions because of that call to action.

      If we started getting a pattern of calls, I called up our DC office and asked if they were getting the same calls and we talked.

    • los

      Town Hall

      Emily Ellsworth‏Verified account @editoremilye 11 Nov 2016
      If you want to talk to your rep, show up at town hall meetings. Get a huge group that they can’t ignore. Pack that place and ask questions.

      We held town halls consistently that fewer than 50 people showed up for. And it was always the same people. So, shake it up.

      As always, please be kind but firm with those staffers. They will listen and talk to you. I always, always did.

      • los

        Emily Ellsworth‏Verified account @editoremilye 12 Nov 2016
        Another FAQ: how do I know if my representative is having a town hall meeting?
        Sign up for their email list and you’ll get notifications.

    • los

      If you run an advocacy group, invite local staffers to show up to your events. Let them talk to people you work with and set up meetings.

      I loved getting out of my office and meeting with advocates in immigration, healthcare, education, science, and every type of work.

      my thread if you’d like to share: editoremilye/i-worked-for-congress-for-six-years

      • los

        (that’s Emily Ellsworth‏’s storify)

    • upstate_cyclist

      On the Texas duo, I’d say call just to get a +1 in their caller logs. They keep track of this shit, even if it won’t sway a vote. Make them know someone is watching from the other side and gives a shit.

      My best recommendation regarding other Senators is to find those that represent family members or friends that might be adversely impacted by the legislation. Might be harder to get through with an out of district number but its worth it. They will know that money from those out of state will be flowing to their district to help campaign against them.

      Calling Senators you have no connection with whatsoever is kinda a waste IMUIO.

  • dbk

    I’m following the fb comments on the IL-18th’s congressman’s announcement of his vote for the AHCA Version 2.0.

    This is a solid Republican district, has been for ages, and I can guarantee that IL-18 is in play in 2018.

    • bluejohnnyd

      Ditto VA-01. Wittman is getting pounded on his facebook page.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Peter Roskam, my mealymouthed shit of a congressman, voted for it. What a surprise.

    If this passes the Senate, I will have to pay $600 more a month for health insurance, since I’ve been out of a job since Christmas. Oh wait, I’ll get a “credit” on taxes that I wouldn’t pay anyway because I have no income other than the occasional freelance job.

    Basically, this is the difference for me between being able to retire early as an option and being screwed if I don’t find a job fast.

    Fuck every Republican that ever lived.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      Even ole Abe Lincoln?

      • Davis X. Machina

        He was a bone-deep Henry Clay Whig till his dying day. The whole Republican thing was just to get on the ballot.

        Note to self: Were there WINO’s?

    • Dr. Acula

      If this passes the Senate, I’ll likely lose my coverage completely by the end of 2018, and won’t be able to buy coverage at any price.

  • vic rattlehead

    To punish the oppressors of humanity is clemency; to forgive them is barbarity

    • vic rattlehead

      It is time that equality bore its scythe above all heads.

    • Robespierre

      +1794

  • LeeEsq

    Republicans to America, “Drop Dead, literally.”

  • Bronze

    I intend to call senator Moran of Kansas to tell him that if he votes for this bill, or any reformed version, that I will vote for him to be primaried out of office by a more moderate republican. This is the exaction situation for which I registered republican in Kansas.

  • vic rattlehead

    Far down the list of worst things, but my grandmother in law might end up having to move back in with my in laws. They’re all solid Democrats, but I’m sure that’ll happen to solid Republicans. Who will never connect the dots. Sigh.

  • Linnaeus

    So I logged in to Facebook, which I haven’t done in a while, and I noticed that one of my friends (who is a pretty strong liberal) posted a graphic that was very critical of the House vote on the AHCA. Sure enough, the first two comments to the post were (paraphrasing):

    “The Democrats put health care under the control of government. Get ready for your health care to change every election.”

    and

    “Government messes up everything it touches”.

    Seriously, the Republicans could openly murder people on live TV and these guys would find a way to blame “Democrats” or “the government”.

    • PunditusMaximus

      “The Government” is conservative code for “people of color.”

      Pretty much every derogatory proper noun conservatives use is code for “people of color”.

      A lot of things make more sense once one sorts this out.

  • Azza

    If it’s any consolation, Australia is the only country to enact a single payer healthcare system twice.

    Labor passed the Medicare act in 1974 over massive opposition from insurers, doctors and the conservative majority in the senate. The conservatives returned to power in 1975 promising a better, cheaper, fairer version of Medicare which they achieved by abolishing it in stages between 1975 and 1983.

    Although they had won the largest majority in Australian history in 1975, 125 seats in a house of 150, the conservatives lost seats at every election between 1977 and 1983, ultimately losing power (against expectations their landslide would give them a generation in government) after 8 years.

    Health was a major issue at the 1983 election and the Medibank act passed in 1984. The conservatives have not dared touch Medibank in any major way since although they have occasionally tried to pass alleged improvements.

    FDR was talking about US Republicans in 1936 but it’s true of every conservative party:

    Let me warn you and let me warn the Nation against the smooth evasion which says, “Of course we believe all these things; we believe in social security; we believe in work for the unemployed; we believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die, we believe in all these things; but we do not like the way the present Administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them – we will do more of them, we will do them better; and, most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything.”

    • los

      FDR:

      will not cost anybody anything

      Lemme tell ya secret. The last guy who drove this was a granny who forgot to go to church on Sundays and left a bridge to Las Vegas in the back.
      Just for you i won’t tell my boss that we ain’t gonna take that bridge out.
      So yer gonna get that bridge free, but only if you buy this toaster in the next ten minutes, cuz i got an appointment i can’t miss in about an hour with my parole officer…

      • Dr. Acula

        Yeah, but I’m sayin’, that TruCoat, you don’t get it and you get oxidization problems. It’ll cost you a heck of lot more’n five hundred–

    • Azza

      Wow, Trump just endorsed single-payer healthcare in his meeting with our prime minister. Admittedly he couldn’t remember Prime Minister Turnbull’s name but you can’t win em all. And at least Trump didn’t address him as ‘Mr President’ this time.

      Right now Obamacare is failing. We have a failing healthcare. I shouldn’t say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better health care than we do.

  • I don’t count on there being 51 Senators unwilling to do something bad.

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