If it didn’t mean the certain deaths of millions of Americans, this bill would be the perfect piece of rope for the Trump Administration and the GOP to hang itself by for election cycles to come.

By Andrew J. Pridgen

The GOP, front-row hecklers for the last eight years, have had seven trips around the sun to come up with a viable, workable alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

They didn’t even come close.

Like a sixth grader who stays up all night playing video games before his science project is due then gets up early and spends the morning frantically gluing styrofoam balls to the ends of toothpicks and fabricating data for a project entitled something like, “Monitoring Wind Growth Energy Analysis Alternative Energy Plans for the Entire Solar System” then presenting it to the class while teacher makes a mental note to call a parent conference to make sure “everything is OK at home” — what the obnoxious, drunken with power, slovenly naysayers in the peanut gallery delivered isn’t just shit on a stick — it is shit that can’t find a stick that deigns to be seen with it.

Let’s get to the finer points of Trumpcare (aka The American Healthcare Act — aptly named because it mostly sucks, it delivers nothing and everyone is laughing at it right now) before we get to the why Democrats should not stand in the way of its passage.

The bill does a few things notably well:

  • Cuts coverage for Twenty-four million people within the next 10 years than now, conservatively. The number of uninsured people in this country would go to 14 million within the first year of its enactment. By 2026, the total number of uninsured Americans would be around 52 million under this plan.
  • Gets rid of ACA (Obamacare’s) income-based tax credits, which provides access to more money for people with lower incomes. It will instead give anyone with an annual salary below $75,000 a tax credit based on age which may work out well for young folks and may spell the premature end of life for the sick and elderly.
  • Spikes premiums up to 20 percent more in the first year of the plan’s enactment compared to current Obamacare rates.
  • Leaves Planned Parenthood without federal funding which would result in thousands of additional births and diseases — which, in turn, would spike Medicaid costs in the short- and long-term.
  • Eliminates the Obamacare rule that protects older people from higher premiums. Insurers may be able to charge older individuals (i.e. people who voted for trump) 66 percent more than if we kept Obamacare.

…Some House Republicans, especially those whose seats up for election in 2018, have spent the last couple weeks since House Speaker Paul Ryan’s PowerPoint of Shame shying away from the giant bag of dog doo to be lit on fire and thrown at the doorstep of every American. As of early this week, an estimated 26 House Republicans oppose the bill, which would leave Ryan well short of the 216 votes he needs to move the bill along.

Many of the most outspoken critics are from states that went for Trump whose constituents are covered, by in large, by the ACA. They include Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) “I don’t think that the bill that is being considered is the bill that ultimately will be the one we vote on”, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) “the CBO score was, shall we say, an eye-popper”, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), “I think the prudent thing for the part to do is to look at the CBO report and see if we can address some of the concerns”, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) “I don’t think Americans care whether this bill passes by Easter or Memorial Day” (or ever).

Despite the pieces-of-corn-in-shit fineries of this half-baked plan, Trump and leaders in the House are still trying to push it through this week. The president himself is busy doing what he does best, admonishing individual dissenting members. “He warned us that there are consequences if we don’t come together for us as a party and also for individuals,” Sen. Richard Hudson of (R-NC) said after a closed door session Tuesday morning. “He wasn’t threatening in any way. He was just giving us a pretty clear warning.”

That’s like saying a mob boss told you, “I’m not going to break your legs …but don’t be surprised if you end up hobbling around on crutches.”

You know, that kind of “clear warning.”

Trump also singled out one of the bill’s biggest critics Sen. Mark Meadows (R-NC) saying he’s “coming after” him. Of course, #teamtrump later used Trump’s (and every five-year-old’s) go-to excuse — that he was “kidding.”

He wasn’t kidding.

The biggest current problem for Trump is he has no political capital. Sixty days into his regime and he is on the verge of having the lowest approval rating of any modern president, he’s under F.B.I. investigation for Russian influence on the 2016 election and beyond, he lies about everything, including a recently fully exposed whopper about his predecessor wiretapping him and he and his family have done nothing but exploit the office for personal profit and gain.

Plus, he doesn’t work, ever. He watches TV and wastes taxpayer money on pep rallies, golf outings and having his wife and son live in New York while his older children and their families play in Aspen. All this happens as he threatens to purge basic human needs programs like Meals on Wheels and PBS funding from his proposed budget. Trump has no loyalty in DC, save for those who are also set to personally financially benefit from his time in office. Unfortunately, most of those folks share his same surname.

Forces from the right are even aligning against him. Juggernaut conservative factions currently against Trump and Trump Care include the Heritage Foundation and Americans for Prosperity, which is the Koch brothers’ political cabal.

The backers of the party would have preferred simple repeal and let insurance companies fuck rubberless the American people (yes, with no Planned Parenthood to go to.) Evil as that seems, a plan like that have at least been consistent with what they were selling most of the last half decade. But Trumpcare’s bag of anemic feces, which leaves in the most vulnerable parts of the ACA, is far from what the Deal-Maker-in-Chief promised when he assured the public a repeal and replace would provide “insurance for everybody” and “great health care.”

Which brings us back to House Democrats who will not, to a person, vote to repeal Obamacare. The now-powerless minority awash in two months of lies, Russia ties, gutting of the state and justice departments, more lies …and then more lies about lies, now has the power — to bring about this motherfucking flame out by simple concession.

That’s right. If they did vote Trumpcare through, the bill would lead to outrageous premiums, overcrowded ERs, a healthcare industry in total revolt and, likely, the deaths of millions of Americans.

That’s something no politician, no matter how heartless or partisan, wants on his watch, period.

But take away the fact that we’re, you know, talking about actual lives — and think about this as a chess move for a minute. The approval of Trumpcare would all but guarantee a Democratic sweep in the 2018 midterms, the retaking of the House, the instant crippling of the already anemic Trump regime …and can you say Kamala Harris and Joe Kennedy in 2020?

I fucking can.

Policy wonks and considerate experts have long left or been fired from the inner circles DC to go hide in a consulting gig till this regime blows over.

What’s left, from the president on down, is a sort of D-grade population of miscreants and underqualifieds with hangers on and familial hacks who grouped together to closely resemble a tinpot dictatorship who don’t have the chops to dictate.

Long-time DC survivors have been expecting an onslaught of Trumpists arriving to fill the cracks of the departed since early November, but they haven’t come. Maybe they don’t exist. The administration is either too inept or too undesirable but to attract anyone beyond the best of the worst flies and you already know them by name (and frankly, some, like Manafort and Flynn have already been spun out because of Russia ties.) You see it in the cabinet picks, in the press secretary, in the, um, other skeletal spokespersons and their Glamour Shots. These aren’t just the people you’d pick last to be on your dodge ball team (mostly from fear they’d turn against you), these are the people who aren’t allowed in the fucking gym.

So that’s why a bipartisan group like the Congressional Budget Office can pick apart a flaming pile of legislation like Trumpcare in under 24 hours. Why Ryan is hemorrhaging support faster than the Cobra Kai, and why Trump’s threats, frankly, are as empty as his promises.

Andrew J. Pridgen is the author of “Burgundy Upholstery Sky”.

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