Here we go again on health care. Today the Republicans will try again to engross a ‘repeal and replace’ of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Not because there is anything seriously wrong with Obamacare. Certainly nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a little cooperation. No, they want so desperately to repeal and replace because – after having demonized Obamacare since the day it was enacted – because they said that they would.
Many of you probably saw the emotional opening monologue that Jimmy Kimmel gave after he came back to his show shortly after his son was born, needing open heart surgery almost immediately because of the heart defect he was born with.
Kimmel is not a political comedian, but he actually made an appeal around ‘pre-existing conditions,’ noting that one shouldn’t have to be rich (as he is) in order to have the possibility of saving your child.
At least shocking if you’re a conservative Republican, apparently. Oh my God!, he made an argument for covering pre-existing conditions!
Of course, pre-existing conditions are already covered under Obamacare. That’s one of its most popular provisions, if not the most popular provision.
The only way that Republicans can get the support of their Tea Party wing is by fucking with the requirement of coverage of pre-existing conditions. They want to allow states to opt out of the requirement, as well as opting out of many other requirements. In order not to lose the moderate wing of their party, the Republicans have added a $8 billion sweetener to high risk pools which may (or may not) get funded in future fiscal years.
The measure faces a “wall of opposition from health care providers, patient advocates and retirees.” It’s almost certain to die in the Senate. But who cares? The Republicans just want to be able to say to their constituents that they ‘voted to repeal and replace’ before their members have to go back to town hall meetings.
Although I don’t know. If they do vote to screw the protections around pre-existing conditions, they might really get to hear a handful at their town hall meetings.
 Republicans have in the past try to fudge the issue by requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions but allowing them to charge however much they want in order to cover them. For anybody but the super-wealthy, that effectively means no coverage, of course.
 Remarkably enough, the Senate will almost certainly not abolish the filibuster for legislation – they’ve already abolished it for judicial appointments – so Republicans would need to swing about eight Democrats for any health care legislation they want to pass.