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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.

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(445)
  • Meganne
    09/20/2017
    ···

    This bill is terrible on so many levels. First, it's a procedural disgrace. 90 seconds of debate, no public hearings, and no bipartisan work. Second, it robs democratic-dominant states who expanded Medicaid to reward states that did not expand Medicaid. Third, millions of people will likely lose coverage. Finally, every person will be affected, even those of us with employer sponsored insurance. Vote NO.

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  • Rebecca
    09/20/2017
    ···

    This is absurd! Stop this bill from passing. It is harmful, cruel, irresponsible, and morally reprehensible.

    Like (136)
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  • Mary
    09/20/2017
    ···

    I wonder if you really care about your constituents. This bill is unconscionable.

    Like (90)
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  • Terry
    09/20/2017
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    There should be no wording in healthcare that says pre existing, period.

    Like (61)
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  • Juliane
    09/20/2017
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    This is not legislation as it was intended. This is a partisan ram rod bill that is unpopular across the entire nation. A horrifying example of tone deaf politicians pushing through a pet bill that will actually KILL PEOPLE !! VOTE NO!

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  • Daniel
    09/20/2017
    ···

    Single Payer Healthcare is the only way to go, folks. Let's start with 'Medicare For All'. OMG, higher taxes. BUT, No Premiums, Co-Pays, Way Cheaper Drug Prices, Everyone's Covered, No Matter What. No Sleezy Insurance Companies to deal with. Better Care.

    Like (44)
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  • Nancy
    09/20/2017
    ···

    Please make sure Obamacare is funded. Work with Republicans and Democrats to fund a workable bill. You're playing God with peoples lives. How will that play in 2018?

    Like (38)
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  • Deidre
    09/20/2017
    ···

    NONE of these people should stand a chance of reelection!

    Like (35)
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  • Susan
    09/20/2017
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    Just a reminder that if you vote for Graham Cassidy bill you will be murdering millions of people and costing states billions of dollars. And we'll be doing everything in our power to make sure the only way you ever set foot in Congress again is as a tourist.

    Like (34)
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  • Kelly
    09/20/2017
    ···

    Please, please, please don't vote for this bill! It does NOT pass my test! It will leave me and millions not being able to afford healthcare. Why can't we have affordable universal healthcare for all? If other countries can do it why can't we? If we can't do this then how can we say we're a great country? We're not! This administration does not care enough about the majority of Americans. Wake up and listen to us!!

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  • Dustin
    09/20/2017
    ···

    Healthcare reform needs to benefit the people, not insurance companies. We need protection for all, not just for the wealthy.

    Like (22)
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  • Katharine
    09/20/2017
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    NO on the Graham Cassidy bill. Personally, its about time we, the people, fought for a single payer national health insurance! All residents of the U.S should be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctor, hospital, preventative, long term care, mental health, reproductive,dental, vision, prescription drugs and medical supply costs!!!! If anything, Obamacare has opened the door to the necessity of 'Medicare for all.' Get rid of the billions that flow from the pharmaceutical and insurance lobbyists in Washington!! Example:;: After surgery for prostate cancer, my brother was told to take a particular medication to advance the healing. It was going to be $2,000 for thirty pills which insurance would not pay. However, he was given a Canadian website where it is actually $30 to purchase the same amount of the medication. There is something wrong with this picture. As Americans we must continually fight for healthcare for all!!!

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  • Don
    09/20/2017
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    Stop the bill

    Like (13)
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  • Judith
    09/20/2017
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    Well when the RNC will be paid off $400 million by the Koch Bros only if they pass the ACA repeal, (see The Guardian article) we all know why they are insisting on repeal.

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  • Curt
    09/20/2017
    ···

    This plan is no better than the others and far worse than the ACA. Please do not vote in favor of this bill. Also choosing to stop funds from going to the ACA is an evil idea. Forcing the failure of a health care program because it does not suit your agenda is simply EVIL. The ACA has some issues. Come up with a better plan that helps people instead of increasing corporate profits at the cost of American citizens health, or leave the ACA alone and funded. Answer to the people not the corporate lobbyists.

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  • Nathan
    09/20/2017
    ···

    I'm glad I can count on my Minnesota delegation to keep fighting this latest health care outrage, in the form of the Graham-Cassidy bill. We're proud of you!

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  • Linda
    09/20/2017
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    The main reason for the hurried up anti healthcare Graham-Cassidy plan is the withholding of Koch Bro campaign funds for the GOP until Kochs get repeal of the ACA. GOP stands for greed over people. Wake up voters and oust these greedy republicans. Democrats believe healthcare is a right. Republicans believe it is a commodity for tremendous profit.

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  • Darren
    09/20/2017
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    Vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill!!

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  • Mark
    09/20/2017
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    The proposed healthcare bill brought by the Senate Republicans MUST NOT PASS! Stop these repeated attempts to deprive millions of people of their healthcare to appease the big contributors and the big insurance lobby. It's not as if this bill will do anything but cause terrible harm to people who can't pay exorbitant prices for medications and medical care. I'm talking specifically to YOU Peter Roskam! If this gets to the House, I expect you to represent your constituents’ best interests and vote no to this!

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  • Gerardo
    09/20/2017
    ···

    Senator Rubio do not vote yes on this bill it is not a healthcare bill millions of hard working families like mine will suffer. Put the interest of your people first.

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