Apparently, the United States Senate is heading toward a Thursday vote this week that will have a lasting effect on everyone’s health care.
Senate Republicans, hidden behind closed doors to craft this new health care proposal, unveiled their plan last week. Democrats, quite naturally, were disturbed that the Republicans decided it was better to work behind closed doors, without any bi-partisan input, to put together this new health care proposal. They are also upset, again quite naturally, that other Senators, and more importantly, the American public will have such a short time to pore over its contents before the expected Thursday vote. Even some Republicans have voiced displeasure at the secrecy of a select few of their own party.
It wasn’t unexpected that the proposal was the buzz on Sunday morning television political talk.
I’m no expert on such matters and, Lord knows, I’ll never profess to understand the goings-on in the Senate and House in these days of party-line politics. I grew up during a time of bipartisanship and, oh how I wish some of those days would return. Democrats working with Republicans and Republicans working with Democrats: isn’t that what our forefathers wanted for this great experiment called democracy? Isn’t that what they believed would happen? Isn’t that the path to good legislation?
If we are to believe news reports out of Washington (and, I believe most of us do, although we have an individual in the White House who would have us all believe it’s mostly “fake news”), the newly unveiled health care plan is nothing more than a massive tax cut for the wealthiest one percent of Americans, disguised as a plan to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, the so-called Obamacare.
I’ll be the first to admit that Obamacare is fraught with problems, but many of those are the result of uncertainty in the health care system. There are plenty of ways Republican Senators could make the system work better for many more Americans.
At least four Republican Senators have said they won’t vote for the plan in its current form and several others have voiced concern. If there are seven Senators against the GOP’s new health care plan, it will fail. If every Democrat votes against the proposal, and they’re expected to do so, only three Republican Senators casting possible “no” votes would kill the bill.
I have a simple question. Why aren’t either Iowa Senator, or even one, listed among the possible “no” voters if it comes up before the whole Senate? It’s quite obvious that the GOP bill will hit certain Americans the hardest, among those the elderly, rural folks. Last time I checked, Iowa had lots of so-called elderly residents, and most of those folks live in Iowa’s rural areas. Yet, it wasn’t the folks living in cities, like Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, who have elected Senator Chuck Grassley every year since 1981 (and six years prior to that in the House of Representatives). It wasn’t folks living in Des Moines who sent Joni Ernst to the Senate in 2015.
Yet, this proposed legislation would hurt Sen. Grassley’s and Sen. Ernst’s constituents the hardest.
President Donald Trump went on television and stated matter-of-factly that a new health care plan would not disturb Medicaid, would not hurt the poor and would be a plan that was friendly to all Americans. So, now he says he’s going to work hard on those Senate holdouts to get them in his corner on this new health proposal.
So, does that mean that Trump lied before?
Oh, no, say it ain’t so, Joe!
Our President telling a lie? Why, just look at what he’s said over and over and over in the past. He told us that Barrack Obama wasn’t an American citizen. He told us that he’d have won the popular vote if bus-loads of illegal voters hadn’t been driven into New Hampshire to cast votes for Hillary Clinton last November. He told us that Obama had “bugged” Trump Tower. He said that “James Comey better hope there are no tapes” of a meeting they had in the White House (to which Comey replied, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes”). He blamed Obama for a failed mission that killed large numbers of women and children. He blames Obama for the death of the young American recently returned to America from North Korea. He told us an American ship was headed toward Korea when it was actually headed in the opposite direction. He told us in recorded comments that he was a sexual predator, even saying he walked in on nude contestants in a teen beauty pageant because “I run the pageant, I can do what I want.” He told us he didn’t de-fraud countless Americans through his so-called Trump University (then paid $25 million to settle the case). And he told us his inauguration drew the largest crowds in history, even though we saw photo evidence to the contrary.
In a national television interview, Trump admitted he fired James Comey because of the Russian investigation. If that’s not obstruction of justice, I don’t know what is.
The saddest thing of all is that his core supporters are the folks who could be hit the hardest with this new health care bill. Trump has proven over and over that he doesn’t care about his core. One day, those voters will realize the mistake they made in putting this man in office.
He said over the weekend that he wants a health care system “with heart.” Well, this current proposal rips the heart out of health care for millions of Americans.
Bill Haglund is a retired writer for the Boone News-Republican and Dallas County News and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.