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The Daily Countable: Has Health Care Jumped the Shark?

by Countable | 9.20.17

Good Wednesday morning everyone, from all of Team Countable, and from me, Managing Editor Andrea Seabrook.

Fun Fact: Exactly 40 years ago today, "Happy Days" jumped the shark. Well, Fonzie (AKA Henry Winkler) did in the episode that built a meme before memes were a meme. Example of its staying power: earlier this year Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle quipped that with the election of Donald Trump, "democracy has jumped the shark." Jokes aside, the question on DC's hive-mind today? Is the GOP's Health Care bill streaking toward Fonzie's waters-ski ramp? While dorsal-finned Democrats gnash their teeth below? (Man, I can stretch a metaphor like bad beach taffy!)

Here’s what your government is doing today:

Republican senators are being whipped — and I mean that in every sense of the word — on their last-ditch, eleventh-hour, do-or-die health care measure, the Graham-Cassidy bill.

  • Whipped by the White House, which sees this as the GOP's last chance to repeal Obamacare

  • Whipped by the clock that's loudly ticking down the final days in which Republicans can pass a bill with only 51 votes. Time runs out on September 30th at 11:59pm

  • Whipped by their own GOP governors back home (more on that in a sec), and

  • Whipped by late night host Jimmy Kimmel, whose scathing critique of Graham-Cassidy just last night is likely the hardest blow to its potential popularity. It's a must watch:

But Who Are They Listening To?

That's the question of the day, no doubt. 'Course, you are the people they actually represent, so hit that Take Action button and tell them what to do! Here's our round-up of the Graham-Cassidy bill, and here's our piece about how the bill could effect women's health care.

While GOP Senators are being courted, coaxed and cajoled by half of Washington, they're most certainly turning an ear back toward their home states, where the Graham-Cassidy plan would have its biggest impact. They're not always finding allies in their fellow Republican governors, though.

  • Maryland Governor Larry Hogan writes, "Unfortunately, the Graham-Cassidy bill is not a solution that works for Maryland. It will cost our state over $2 billion annually while directly jeopardizing the health care of our citizens."

  • New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu says, "While I continue to strongly believe that Obamacare must be reformed, it must be replaced with something that works for New Hampshire...Unfortunately, under this plan, New Hampshire could possibly lose over $1 billion in Medicaid funding between 2020-2026."

  • Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker says, "The proposal would dramatically, negatively affect the commonwealth of Mass. I mean, we're talking billions and billions of dollars over the course of the next four or five years...It assumes the cost of health care across the country should be the same everywhere."

To be fair, there are certainly Republican governors who support Graham-Cassidy, or who are at least willing to entertain the bill (consider the tepid words of Senator Graham's own state executive and fellow partisan Henry McMaster: "I'm studying it."). But the fact that the national GOP is hardly united behind the idea is an important sign of the political climate around health care in America.

At a Glance 👀

The White House: Trump @ UN in NYC

  • President Trump continues meetings peripheral to the United Nations events, including with
  • King Abdullah II of Jordan
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May
  • Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
  • "African Leaders" (per White House press release)

The House of Representatives: OUT OF SESSION

  • Returns to Washington next week

The Senate: IN SESSION

  • 9:00am EDT: Hearing in the Committee on Aging Hearings to examine disaster preparedness and response, focusing on the special needs of older Americans. Watch it live and archived here.

  • 2:30pm EDT: A Homeland Security subcommittee on "Federal Spending and Emergency Management" holds a hearing on year-end spending -- and you better believe they've had a lot of it.

  • Behind the scenes, GOP leaders madly whipping votes for last-ditch effort on Obamacare repeal.

  • Adjourns for the week.

It's the kind of day in the halls of Congress when, by mid-afternoon, we reporters salute one with a single phrase: "jet-fumes." You can practically smell them in the air, as lawmakers high-tail-it back to their home states at the end of another exhausting — ahem — three-day work week.

Countable's always around though, ready to amplify your voice however we can. Send your ideas! And see you tomorrow.

— Andrea Seabrook, Managing Editor

Talk to Andrea directly on Twitter, @RadioBabe. Hit the Take Action button to tell your Reps what you think.

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