17%. That is how many Americans approve of the current form of the Senate proposal to replace Obamacare compared to the 55% who disapprove. That is a stark 38% difference, and somehow Republican Senators are still adamant about repealing and replacing Obamacare. I have never heard of any piece of legislation getting passed with such little public support.
Furthermore, I would think that Republicans in the Senate would be worried about their constituency’s backlash in response to supporting this bill, and some are. This is why McConnell has suspended the vote on the bill until after the July 4 recess. This delay is a temporary victory like Bernie Sanders has said, as Republicans will look to finagle votes however they can to get this bill passed with the least amount of public attention as possible.
On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office came out with their report on the Senate bill. It hurt the Republicans chances of passing the bill because it projected 22 million more people would go uninsured than on the Affordable Care Act by 2026. Moreover, the bill would slash Medicaid by about $772 billion through 2026. Also, according to health analysts, by getting rid of guardrail requirements and waiving the essential health benefits package, the bill could hurt people with preexisting conditions. Ultimately it will be up to the states to decide how they would like to insure their citizens leaving the most vulnerable people in this country possibly at risk.
Putting the actual bill aside, I would like to mention how sneaky the Republicans have been in creating it. Two weeks ago, Bernie Sanders brought up this point in a tweet saying, “Senate Republicans just released the schedule of hearings, committee markups and public testimony for their health care bill.” This would be great if Republicans had done this, but the schedule that Sanders took a photo of was a blank sheet of paper.
Throughout the process of passing Obamacare, Republicans criticized Democrats for not being transparent, despite the multitude of hours debating and revising the Affordable Care Act as it took almost a full year to pass all of Congress. On the contrary, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, attempted to push their bill through the Senate in just weeks. There was a group of just 13 male Republicans working on the repeal of Obamacare in secret without input of from across the aisle. This is hypocrisy at its best as even some Republicans are having second thoughts about pushing the bill through so quickly.
Finally, the Senate Republicans’ replacement for the ACA is more of a tax cut than a health care bill by cutting over $750 billion dollars from Medicaid and giving huge tax breaks to the rich. We must keep fighting against this “health care” bill because the battle is not over and Republicans will try to use all the tricks in the book to get this piece of legislation passed.