The Republican Party will not rest until they strip health care away from poor people. Despite it supposedly being “tax reform” season, the GOP has decided that they will tie that gigantic rock to another one they have yet to push up a hill: Obamacare repeal. Senator John Thune confirmed that they will try to scale two mountains at once.
Three Senators killed the GOP's previous health care plan, and those three have yet to make a firm commitment on this new development.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the House GOP tax plan adds about $1.7 trillion to the debt over the next decade, and despite Senator Bob Corker suddenly finding a conscience over Trump and telling The Washington Post that he will not vote for anything that increases the debt, there seems to be some important caveats to his position.
Bottom-line: even though the repeal of the individual mandate (which is a thread that unravels the entire law once you pull on it) is in as much peril as it has been this year, these three Senators have yet to cross the picket line, and the law cannot be passed without their votes.
Additionally, the Affordable Care Act is not the only health care policy in the crosshairs of GOP budget hawks trying to figure out how to pay for billionaire tax cuts AND get the debt figure underneath $1.5 trillion so as to ensure that Democrats cannot filibuster this bill (per Senate rules).
So here's where we stand: last week, the House Republicans released their plan—which is one big giveaway to billionaires partially financed by making it harder for orphans to find homes. This caused predictable outrage in the pro-life community (since being pro-adoption goes hand in hand with being pro-life), and the Senate's version puts the adoption tax credit back in their bill, and takes money from the Affordable Care Act and Medicare to pay for tax cuts for billionaires.
The lesson is that no matter the cost, the GOP's only motivation to cut taxes is to hand more money to those with more than they will ever need, and this plan is the embodiment of that drive—but don't take it from me, here's a former strategist for John McCain, and the chief strategist for John Kasich's 2016 presidential campaign, speaking out about the evil in this bill.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.