My partner is this endeavor, Managing Editor Steve Berman, wrote a thought-provoking piece earlier about why we need to support Graham-Cassidy. I’m of the opposite view across the board. His piece was over 3,000 words. Mine will be tiny. He referenced others. I will not. He supports it. I do not.
Thankfully, I have very few problems with his reasons for supporting it. They aren’t foolish. Misguided, in my humble opinion, but definitely not foolish. Republicans in the Senate have their own reasons. Those are the foolish ones. There are five reasons why GOP lawmakers are supporting this bill. I’m not referring to their talking points. I’m talking about real motivations::
- They need a win. There have been so few despite control of every facet of government
- Removing the individual and employer mandate
- Attempt to stop single-payer from picking up steam
- Do what they promised (or a strange variation of it) before the midterm elections
- Use (false) federalism to pretend like they’re a small-government party
There are really only two reasons why they shouldn’t support Graham-Cassidy. Unfortunately for the GOP, these happen to be the two most important reasons, period.
- Premiums will rise faster than they already are. When you take away the mandates (good) without taking away other requirements such as preexisting conditions (bad), you forcing premiums and deductibles to go up while making quality of coverage worse. It’s like taking the pseudo-balance that Obamacare tried to create between high- and low-risk cases and pulling only from one side. No mandates mean low-risk consumers will bolt while high risk cases such as preexisting conditions are still required. This is why the GOP has suddenly stopped screaming about high premiums after incessantly chanting about them for seven years. They realize that with Graham-Cassidy, Americans will, with 100% certainty, pay much more for their health insurance.
- Single-payer. It’s not a coincidence that Bernie is pushing it now knowing perfectly well it has no chance of succeeding yet. He needs it on the books that the Democrats were trying to fix the system at the same time the Republicans were destroying it. The fastest path to single-payer is to give the Democrats massive credibility by delivering a program such as Graham-Cassidy that will raise costs for Americans. As their premiums explode, the Democrats will say, “Hey, with our plan, the $2200 bill you’re paying every month for health insurance will go away. The GOP had their shot. Now we need out shot.”
Ask a conservative Republican voting for this if they think it’s going to work. Their answer will invariably be that it will “be better than what we’ve got.” They believe that if they pass nothing that President Trump will turn on them. He will. If this bill had been introduced five months ago it wouldn’t get 35 GOP votes. At this point, they’ll take anything they can get their hands on. That alone spells doom for America if it passes. I, for one, am not excited about the Graham-Cassidy-Stepping-Stone-To-Single-Payer Bill.