Can we avoid a health care horror?
So instead, they lie outright about what their bill does. Slate's Jamelle Bouie provided one of the best compendiums of falsehoods being offered on behalf of this bill. Jimmy Kimmel called out Cassidy for failing to live up to what the senator himself called the "the Jimmy Kimmel test." Kimmel described this as a pledge that "no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can't afford it." Cassidy, Kimmel charged last week, "lied right to my face."
Trump insisted in a tweet: "I would not sign Graham-Cassidy if it did not include coverage of pre-existing conditions. It does!" Actually, it lets states undermine this coverage.
Then there is the much-repeated lie that ACA repeal bills are about giving states and individuals more "choice" in health care. Right, and I have the "choice" of buying a fleet of Rolls-Royces. The bottom line: No money, no choice.
And if Obamacare is so bad, why are Republicans reportedly trying to buy the vote of Sen. Lisa Murkowski with a special provision that would, in effect, allow Alaska to keep the Affordable Care Act pretty much as is? Why not give every state this option by killing Graham-Cassidy altogether?
This week is a testing time. It's a test of whether the movement that successfully defended the ACA this summer can rally once more. And it's a test of a handful of Republicans who claim to take the health care issue seriously. No one who votes for this bill can ever make that claim again.
E.J. Dionne's email address is email@example.com. Twitter: @EJDionne.
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