For House GOP Members, The Morning After AHCA Vote Is Not So Pretty
When the House Republicans passed the AHCA yesterday that will cause millions of Americans to lose health care, they celebrated, bringing in beers to the Capitol and then going to the White House and having a love-in with Donald Trump. But, like any of us who have partied just a little too hard, sometimes you wake up the next day and think “what did I really do”.
Republican Representative Chris Collins from upstate New York is one of those vulnerable GOP House members who was besieged by his constituents at town halls when Trumpcare 1.0 came out. But, despite those protests, Collins was always a lean yes on the more damaging Trumpcare 3.0 and voted for the bill yesterday. Like most of the people who voted yesterday, Collins had to admit he had not read the entire bill but claimed that his staff had and that he clearly understood the components of the bill. But when asked whether he realized that the bill would cut $3 billion from New York State’s Essential Health Plan which helps subsidize insurance for around 19,000 people in Erie and Niagara counties, counties that Collins’ district covers, he replied, “Explain that to me”. With that comment, Collins himself wrote the attack ad to be used by his challenger in 2018.
Collins probably joins a couple of dozen other GOP members in worrying about what the Republicans actually did yesterday, whether they voted for the AHCA bill or not. There are 23 Republicans who live in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton and 14 of those actually voted for the bill. And today, the respected Cook Political Report changed their view on 20 current GOP seats, moving them into a more favorable position for Democrats. Many of these seats still lean Republican but Democrats chances in all of them have improved because of the vote taken yesterday.
There is still a long time until the 2018 election and, of course, anything can happen. In the short term, many Republicans will have the cruelty and irresponsibility of the bill explained to them, especially when the CBO score gets released in the next week or two. But it will be up to Democrats to explain it to the voters in 2018 if they are to have any chance of retaking the House.
I’ve also written about this and other issues on my personal blog at [tidalsoundings.blogspot.com]