Donald Trump and the Republican Party are in trouble when it comes to their signature promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The bill is historically unpopular, and with good reason. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the Senate version of the bill will throw tens of millions of people off of their healthcare, and really hit the most vulnerable among us – the elderly, the poor, children, people with disabilities, and people with addiction issues – the hardest. Also, many of these people are Trump’s own voters. None of this matters though; it seems that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with the people in Trump’s White House, just want a win – the American people be damned.
Well, it seems that these people are so hell-bent on passing this monstrosity of a bill into law that they are literally willing to commit bribery in order to get it done – and admit to it on the record. A White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to be able to discuss internal conversations candidly said to Axios’ Jonathan Swan:
I think we’re going to pass this. I really think they’ll bribe off the moderates with opioid money and then actually move policy to shore up Mike Lee and Ted Cruz.”
These moderates include Senators like Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), for whom things like funding for Medicaid, the opioid crisis, and Planned Parenthood are absolute must-have provisions. Also, people like Ohio’s Rob Portman, whose own Governor, John Kasich, has come out against Mitch McConnell’s meancare bill. The conservatives, such as Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), are bucking against the whole thing because, amazingly, it is not cruel enough. That’s why the second White House official that Jonathan Swan spoke with is likely the one with the more realistic path forward:
I think the gap is too wide and they are getting zero help from POTUS. Unpopular presidents pushing unpopular proposals usually fail.”
Hopefully the latter is true, and they can stop it with this dangerous “repeal and replace” nonsense, and actually be forced to work with Democrats to fix the existing system and fund it for at least the next decade in order to save our healthcare.
All of that aside, though, it is absolutely stunning that an official from the White House actually admitted to wanting to commit what could arguably be described as a crime to push this horrible and deadly legislation through the Congress and into law.
This is a new low, even for the already historically slimy Trump White House.
Featured image via Olivier Douliery – Pool/Getty Images