Three things are provably true this morning:
1. Healthcare is complicated!
2. The GOP Congress has no idea what they are doing when it comes to enacting actual, workable, constitutional policy.
3. 2018 is the year of reckoning for these Republican Bozos.
Let's start with the "Upton Amendment," which was introduced in the past 24 hours in order to bring "moderates" to the table?
Rep. Fred Upton will introduce an amendment that would provide $8 billion over five years to help protect people with pre-existing conditions, an attempt to bring moderate holdouts to the table.
What the amendment does: It's a fund to pay the penalty for not being previously insured for those who get priced out from the market based on health status.
So Fred Upton adds an amendment that spends $8 million to pay fines that are in the bill? But only if you have a pre-existing condition AND a lapse in coverage, and does nothing to stop states taking the "option" to "let" insurance companies jack up your premiums if you're a cancer survivor?
Chris Hayes' Twitter stream has been instructive this morning;
So they have no idea how much this Trumpcare bill will cost, who it will affect, and whether the amount they propose will even do what they say they want it to do.
You know who could tell them all of that? The Congressional Budget Office.
They don't care how much it costs, whether it works, or who it hurts. It's a tax cut for billionaires and "keeping a promise" to the stupidest and most vicious in their base.
Two further fails on this. One, they won't admit that Obamacare IS the Republican Plan for Healthcare in the first place. Matt O'Brien at Wapo:
It's no surprise, then, that moderate Republicans who didn't like this bill when it "only" took health insurance away from the old and poor don't like it any more now that it would take health insurance away from the sick as well. Enough of them are already against it that it almost certainly won't pass. Which brings us to the GOP's two fundamental laws of health care. The first is that Republicans can't get the far right's support without losing the center right's — and vice versa — so that no matter what they do, they can't pass a bill. And the second is that the only Obamacare replacement GOP moderates would support is, yes, Obamacare. If you want people with preexisting conditions to be able to get covered — and they do now — then you either have to have the government do so directly or use a combination of carrots and sticks in the form of subsidies and mandates to get the private sector to. There's no conservative alternative to Obamacare, in other words, because Obamacare is the conservative alternative.
That's why it's only a matter of time until Republicans settle on an even bolder and newer strategy for not replacing Obamacare: admitting that, for many of them, the only real problem with the law was its name.
And second is the utter media fail in covering just how disasterous this Trumpcare bill actually is. Think Progress:
But the fact that Fred Upton just flipped his vote due to a small change to the underlying bill is hardly the most salient thing that news consumers need to know right now in order to assess the merits of Trumpcare.
Congress isn’t simply debating some minor amendment. It isn’t debating whether a single lawmaker can be coaxed to vote yes by a little more federal funding. It isn’t debating whether a phone call from Mike Pence will convince some backbencher into supporting the bill.
It is debating whether to put the health and lives of millions of people at risk in order to line the pockets of the rich.