For months now, the Republicans have been doing all they can to ram through a disastrous – even deadly –
massive tax cut for rich people healthcare bill. Finally, the Senate had come up with a version that looked like it might pass – but then moderate Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Libertarian Rand Paul (R-KY) said they would vote for it under no circumstances. They had different reasons, of course – Senator Collins knew it would be a potential death knell for the most vulnerable among us, while Senator Paul thought the bill wasn’t conservative enough and didn’t actually repeal the Affordable Care Act.
After Collins and Paul came out against the bill, which the GOP is hilariously calling the Better Care Reconciliation Act, that only left one vote that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could lose and still pass his bill and get it to Donald Trump’s desk, with Mike Pence acting as the tie-breaking vote.
Everything changed when Senator John McCain (R-AZ) had to have emergency surgery to remove a blood clot over his left eye. He is now at home in Arizona, and we wish him a speedy recovery. This, however, was a game changer. It meant that without McCain’s vote, McConnell was one vote short. So, of course he shelved the vote until McCain’s return.
Well, as of Friday night, none of that matters, as Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) came out against the bill because they, like Rand Paul, don’t think it is cruel enough to the poor, the elderly, children, and disabled. However, despicable as their reasons may be, for the moment that matters not. McConnell does not have the votes he needs to pass this bill. For now that is a win for us.
Now, all of that being said, a word of caution – these people have been vowing to get rid of the Affordable Care Act for the last seven years. It is what they promised their Obama-hating, mouthbreathing base, so they won’t give up. Public pressure works. Keep calling your Senators and telling them not to kill us.
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images