A: Apparently so.
Lookit, this is not on the Democrats. This is on the Republicans, their agenda, and how they sell that agenda to Californians.
The Republican AHCA (American Health Care Act) really speaks for itself. It’s not something any Republican Congressman can spend much time defending except to say the word “choice” a couple of times hoping that we wont catch on, but then to focus on the fact they just did what they could to replace Obamacare (which I should be calling the Affordable Care Act – ACA).
As I was reviewing the 10 California Republicans that voted for the AHCA, their districts, the number of registered Democrats v Republicans in, margin of victory, etc, I came across this nugget from Representative Paul Cook (R – Yucca Valley).
Here are the quotes that stand out:
•After nearly two years of discussion within the White House, they forced through Congress a 2,000-page behemoth called the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, by a purely party-line vote.
•Unlike other major changes in federal health care policy, such as the Medicare expansion under President George W. Bush, the ACA had no bipartisan input or support.
•The Obama administration’s refusal to build a bipartisan consensus, coupled with the inherent and increasingly expensive flaws of the ACA, meant that the ACA would be unlikely to endure political change in Washington, D.C.
Lookit, this is all baloney, pure and simple. If you have were unfortunate enough to have paid any attention to the right wing talkers since 2009, this was all about the above. A bill that had too many pages that no one read, a Party and President that refused to work with the other side, and politicians that didn’t even read the bill.
That was the rhetoric, there was no policy to back up their gripes because they didn’t want what they might call a “big government” policy. Their goal was and is to allow the market to do it’s thing (not the whole story, but that is the main gist). If that means some people don’t get insured it’s kinda their fault b/c, well, because they should be working, and not find themselves between jobs for too long. Not only that, but after paying for food and shelter they should have enough left over to pay for insurance.
The fact there wasn’t a policy behind the conservative 24-7 grievance-information complex which focused on government’s intrusion into health care and the African American President who lead the charge was made clear in the process that gave us, on May 4th, the AHCA.
What is so frustrating about this entire process, and how I can understand exactly where Republicans are coming from, is the ACA itself was an olive branch to the conservative principles of the other side. It was based in large part on RomneyCare in Massachusetts which was based largely on a right wing think tank’s response to HillaryCare in the early 1990’s.
This is why, I don’t feel an iota of remorse calling for 53 of 53 Californian Representatives hailing from one Party. Californian Republicans do not have the power to distinguish themselves meaningfully from the worst anti-government rhetoric and policies of the national party and the cost of having an agenda that results in policies that work against the majority of their constituents should be electoral extinction.
Below are the results of the (party-line) vote for the CA delegation to the 115th Congress from govtrack.us. If you are interested in the raw data or can’t view the image below, I compiled the CA delegation’s votes on this Google Doc. (You’ll have to go to the second tab).
My suggestion going forward? Listen carefully to what the Republicans have to say about why they voted for the AHCA given their constituent’s needs and find out if it makes sense to you. Remembering that in the House each one of these Representatives comes up for re-election every 2 years.
That’s 2018 people! Let’s get to work. (or keep on doin’ what we’re doing).