Trump and Senate Republicans learned absolutely nothing from their failure in July. This week, their underhanded 11th-hour attack on Obamacare is officially defeated.
Time after time, Republicans in Congress have spitefully tried to take away health care from millions of the most vulnerable and sick, and time and time again, they have been smacked down by the American people.
Now, the latest attempt, the Graham-Cassidy bill, has officially died without a vote.
Sen Roberts leaves GOP luncheon saying joint decision was “if the votes are not there not to have the vote (on Graham-Cassidy)” pic.twitter.com/GA2XS0G2d4
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) September 26, 2017
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 26, 2017
The ignominious end of Graham-Cassidy, which would have cut trillions from Medicaid, kicked up to 32 million people off their insurance, and ended protections for pre-existing conditions, came after GOP senators faced weeks of furious phone calls from constituents and concerted opposition from insurance companies, hospitals, medical associations, and patient advocates.
Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the bill’s main sponsors, Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, all frantically sold this Senate bill as a push for “federalism” and the last chance to defeat Obamacare.
One by one, the “moderate” GOP senators bolted from the bill, from including Maine’s Susan Collins and even Arizona’s John McCain. Meanwhile, hard-right senators like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul demanded the bill be even more extreme.
GOP leadership even resorted to directly bribing or exempting the states of holdout senators, to no avail.
GOP megadonors like the Koch brothers demanded Republicans in Congress pass health care repeal and tax reform this year, or they might cut them off in 2018. Now that they have failed to pass the former, and squandered months they could have spent working on the latter, McConnell and his top allies will have some serious explaining to do.
It is also a blow to Trump, who wasted what little political capital he has in D.C. feebly trying to twist arms, via his usual tactic of trolling on Twitter. The ordeal has left Trump looking feebler and less competent than ever.
There is no guarantee this is over. But on Tuesday, McConnell admitted defeat and said, “We plan to move forward on our next priority.”
Trump, meanwhile, said he is “disappointed in certain so-called Republicans.”
Ezra Levin and Leah Greenberg, co-directors of Indivisible, issued a triumphant statement:
Today, Indivisible and the rest of the resistance scored a major victory. Despite repeated attempts, Trump’s number one legislative priority remains a pipe dream nine months into this Congress. The unified conservative federal government’s attempt to strip health care away from millions failed for one simple reason: people across the country stood up and fought back.
The Resistance should take pride in its victory. And start working out how to bring that victory to the polls.