The Senate health care vote (on whether to move forward with a repeal of the ACA) is finished. The scores stand thus:
- Two Republican Senators voted no: Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. (They were both women, and their colleagues and constituents have predictably showered them with vicious abuse.)
- Every other Republican voted yes. Including brain cancer patient and unlikely-hero-candidate du jour John McCain. Including those who had promised not to vote on a repeal without a replacement. Including all the ones who listened with concerned faces to constituents describing how they would have died without the ACA, and begging with tears in their eyes not to be stripped of their health insurance. They listened to the protesters chanting “don’t kill us” from the gallery, and they voted yes anyway.
- 100% of Democrats voted no. Just like they promised they would.
Remember this next time you’re tempted to think “both parties are the same,” or “Washington is incurably corrupt” or “a plague on both their houses.” (One more “no” vote would have been enough today.) Remember this scorecard next time you consider the wisdom of abandoning core progressive policies in the hopes of enticing a few moderate Republicans into an uneasy alliance. Remember who kept their promises, and who sold the lives of millions for a tax cut on the wealthiest individuals and corporations. Remember all those cowards — war heroes and philanthropists and parents of sick children among them — predictably falling into line despite whatever personal qualms they may have harbored. They don’t even know what’s in the bill they just voted for, except that it will leave 32 million people without healthcare. Apparently that was good enough to vote for.
Today, Republicans have proved once again that their promises mean nothing. They have shown that they are willing to watch millions of Americans suffer and die preventable deaths if it is in their immediate political and financial interest.
We’ve seen this before, again and again, despite our misplaced faith in the decency of Republican politicians. This time, please, let’s remember it.