Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Chapter 148,325

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Memo to Graham, Cassidy, Grassley, and et al: SORRY THE SYSTEM DIDN’T ACCOUNT FOR YOU.

Zombie Repeal And Replace Version Four is upon us, and its very existence exposes a great many things about how the amazing American government system you learned about in Schoolhouse Rock, or you learned about when your parents forced their retro nostalgia Schoolhouse Rock DVDs on you, is in fact incapable of coping with a critical mass of complete assholes.

The latest version of Trumpcare, which Trump doesn’t understand and had nothing to do with but will sign anyway because it’s a version of “repeal and replace” is just block granting Medicaid and taking away all the regulations associated with the block grants. Keep in mind that “block grants” are how Republicans destroy federal programs. They take the money the federal government would have spent, then send a fraction of that to the states. States can’t run deficits, so they can’t make up the difference on their own through deficit spending, so the programs get cut and it’s the state’s fault.

Passing it on to the states without any federal control means they can also avoid the blame when the states inevitably do all the things the Graham-Cassidy bill doesn’t stop them from doing, like letting insurance companies jack up rates on people with pre-existing conditions, deciding not to cover any damn thing they don’t feel like covering, or forcing cancer patients to battle to the death for one vial of chemo.

The one thing they will make states do is impose caps. Including lifetime caps, which are basically upper limits of how sick you’re allowed to get for your entire life. Get really sick as a baby, then get hit by a car when you’re 19? Sorry, no coverage for you. Your parents should have thought about that before they had a baby with a birth defect in the first place.

Nobody wants this. The only people supporting it are rich asshole lawmakers who it won’t hurt, and poor asshole MAGA-ites who don’t understand it and think any explanation of it that makes it sound bad is fake news. So why is it even up for another vote, and why does everyone have to yell at their Senators again to remind them nobody wants this? Well, here’s the thing.

Most of the rules that govern the Senate (and, to a lesser extent, the House), are set up in such a way that the only thing stopping senators and representatives from abusing them horribly is shame and personal restraint.

Basically, legislative rules are the equivalent of a “take a penny, leave a penny” dish at a cash register. Enough assholes, and the only things in the dish are a used condom and a note that says “SOSHALIZM SUCKS”.

So they’re basically trying to use the cover of multiple hurricanes devastating the southeastern US and the exhaustion of the direct action forces to get something, anything, passed because they said they would, a fact Chuck Grassley inexplicably admitted yesterday. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

”You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered. But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”

Simply put, the American system wasn’t designed to handle the election of 268 people this fucking venal, opportunistic, and stupid. But that’s what we have, and then some.