Recess of Rage

McCarthy, Denham, Valadao, Nunes, in the Central Valley.

LaMalfa, McClintock, in California’s rural north.

Knight, Cook, Calvert, in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.

Royce. Rohrabacher. Walters, in Orange County.

Issa, Hunter, in San Diego.

All 14 Republican Congressmembers from California voted for the American Health Care Act, a bill that:

  • would leave 4-5 million Californians uninsured;
  • would cut tax credits in Covered California and raise health costs for those enrollees by an average of $2800;
  • would eliminate the Medicaid expansion and cap & cut the overall Medi-Cal program by $24 billion/year within a decade;
  • would undermine key patient protections, especially minimum benefit standards and the prohibition of charging people more for coverage.

If the content wasn’t bad enough, the politics and process was also ugly for a bill that:

  • polled at 17%, that was the subject of massive and organic protest against it and little grassroots support,
  • was crafted without any stakeholder engagement–even to GOP-aligned industries,
  • has no health organization in support, no industry or stakeholder support but rather opposition from virtually every trusted brand or messenger in the health field,
  • was so obviously poorly crafted and full of internal contradictions that even conservative health wonks panned it,
  • had no hearings or CBO score and was in print for less than a day,
  • had no positive message to advance about its purported benefit,
  • was blocked a few earlier times but only passed when it got worse taking on an unpopular provision undermining pre-existing conditions protections.

The only substantive (though hardly compelling) argument for this bill is a massive tax cut for the wealthiest (and drug companies, insurance executives, and tanning salons).

But we should hear from them: Congressmembers should be grilled on why they voted for this bill when they are back in California this week–a Recess of Rage from May 5th-15th. We should keep them accountable. Lots of rapid response events are already underway: last night, today, tomorrow, and beyond. We’ll keep you posted.

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