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No Skinny Love

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As most of you know, the Republican Senate will vote on a “skinny repeal” of the ACA. This is terrible legislation that would probably cause most insurance exchanges to collapse. Some of the clowns who will vote for this are hoping that the House will not just vote for their bill but will go to conference (where it would presumably be made even worse.)

Everything about this process is disgraceful, and every one of the 50 senators who voted to proceed owns it fully no matter how much they piously complain about it (indeed, especially if they piously complain about it):

Nobody can tell exactly what Senate Republicans are doing with Americans’ health care, largely because they keep lying about it.

Five days ago, John McCain called on senators to pay more heed to governors’ words of caution about steep Medicaid cuts. Then he made a dramatic return to the Senate floor, denounced the entire process through which the Senate health care bill had been assembled, and then voted with leadership to continue the process. Nonetheless, he insisted that he opposed the underlying Better Care Reconciliation Act. But then when the BCRA came up for a vote, he voted for it, offering the excuse that the vote was procedural.

But if denouncing both the process by which a bill has been assembled and the substantive ideas it contains doesn’t lead you to vote against leadership on procedural matters, then what do your words even mean?

McCain is often an outlier among Republican senators. But in this instance, he’s being incredibly typical. Mitch McConnell is operating with a narrow Senate majority and basically zero margin for error ever since Susan Collins got off the BCRA bus. Objections to his approach are flying from virtually every direction of the caucus. Yet the health bill keeps shambling forward, since Republicans seem comfortable lying to the American people about essentially all aspects of the process, up to and including their own position on it.

That is the story of the health care process that has consumed the past several months in Congress: the almost unceasing parade of lies.

Read all of Matt’s piece — it’s really good. This has been a disgracefully dishonest and undemocratic process, and it’s not a coincidence that all of the legislative proposals are terrible and are massively unpopular. Trump becoming the Republican nominee is perfectly logical; congressional Republicans are no more capable of honest discourse and are no more serious about governing.

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