The Senate bill jettisons standards for care so thoroughly that, under its terms, it isn’t clear what it would even mean to be covered. — Amy Davidson in The New Yorker
First, remember that when a senator says he or she is opposed to the bill “in its current form,” that is code for, “change the current form, and I may no longer be opposed.”–Norm Ornstein in The Atlantic
“There has never been a rollback of basic services to Americans like this ever in U.S. history,” said Bruce Siegel, president of America’s Essential Hospitals, a coalition of about 300 hospitals that treat a large share of low-income patients. “Let’s not mince words. This bill will close hospitals. It will hammer rural hospitals, it will close nursing homes. It will lead to disabled children not getting services. . . . People will die.”
AHCA will pass. Having crippled Obamacare, the GOP has no alternative–it is no longer possible to do nothing. They have no way out–no exit strategy, no retreat path, no alternative but to forge ahead. Consequently, AHCA will pass. The GOP leadership, McConnell and Ryan, will do what it takes. They will wheedle and cajole as necessary, promising to reward some and threatening others, to get just enough votes. Republicans may worry that President Trump may badmouth their work later, but they can be sure he will sign their bill no matter how mean it is.
So what next? It is impossible to predict when either major party might attempt comprehensive health care reform again. We may see bandaids on the worst consequences of AHCA–tax credits to ease the pain is one possibility.