GOP will spend less than 2 minutes debating a bill to decide health care for 40 million kids


The latest Republican bill to repeal Obamacare would be the most brutal cut to child health care in modern politics. Republicans plan to spend only 90 seconds debating it on the Senate floor.

In their latest Obamacare repeal attempt, Republicans have made clear that they do not care about regular order or Senate tradition, and are blowing up the schedule to get the nightmarish Graham-Cassidy bill passed.

Senate Republicans have organized a couple of sham hearings, but will move forward without a full CBO score and no time to mark up or amend the bill.

Even more shocking, due to the way they have forced the bill through the reconciliation process, they will only be allowing 90 seconds of debate on the Senate floor.

Rushing any significant legislation like this is bad enough, but to do so when the primary victims will be children is utterly cruel.

Graham-Cassidy's main provision is to end the Medicaid expansion, institute per-capita caps, and distribute funding as block grants to states. The effect would be to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the program, and transfer much of what is left from blue states to red states.

Medicaid provides health care to 30 million children, and half of all births are covered by the program. Cuts this deep would force states to kick millions of kids and new mothers off their coverage.

Furthermore, Medicaid also funds occupational and speech therapy for millions of special needs students in public schools all across the country. These programs would be cut in droves if Medicaid funding falls, further hurting the most vulnerable.

In fact, the latest repeal push could hurt millions of kids even if the bill does not pass.

Little Lobbyists, an organization that advocates on behalf of children with complex medical needs, called the bill "terrifying."

"This bill is looking to cut all of the safety provisions in place for families across the country," said Austin Carrigg, a parent with the group, in a statement to Shareblue Media.

"So many of us we have wondered if our children would have a tomorrow, which makes these moments all the more important," Carrigg continued. "Give them the chance to just be kids!"

Senate Republicans have until Sept. 30 to pass all reconciliation bills, including reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If Republicans take too long on Graham-Cassidy, they will not have enough time to get CHIP to the floor, and 9 million kids covered by the program could lose insurance.

The idea that Republicans would even want to debate something as monstrous as pulling health care from millions of poor children is bad enough. That they think they can debate it in less than two minutes is beyond terrifying.