Senior Republican senator admits heartless repeal bill isn't even about health care


On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley told Iowa reporters that he's hellbent on passing the worst repeal bill yet — just for political gain.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley could have offered any number of statements, however misguided, to explain his support for the Republicans' devastating repeal bill.

Instead, Grassley made a candid confession about why his party's pushing so hard. “Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign," he told reporters. "That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”

His admission came immediately after Grassley hinted that it might be easier to come up with reasons to oppose the bill.

"You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered." That's because the bill, a joint effort by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, would eviscerate protections for those with pre-existing conditions and cause catastrophic premium increases. Thirty-two million fewer Americans would have coverage by 2026 if it passes.

Contrary to Republicans' claim that Graham-Cassidy would give the states more control over health care, the senators' bill would cut funding to 34 states. And that's a substantive feature of the bill Grassley might want to heed. Arizona alone stands to lose $19 billion by 2027, while Alaska and Maine would lose $2 billion each. These costs may prove a sticking point for John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins, whose "no" votes sank the last repeal bill in the Senate.

Grassley's slip is just the latest evidence of Republicans' unraveling in the face of an onslaught of criticism.

From lying to constituents to holding hearings to provide cover and restricting debate over the repeal bill to less than two minutes, despite its implications for millions of people, his Senate colleagues are also betraying signs of desperation.

There's no relief in sight for the stressed-out Republicans so long as they're pushing an Obamacare repeal bill rightfully termed "the worst yet" purely for political gain.

Of course, if Donald Trump succeeds in his goal of undoing President Barack Obama's legacy, there will be no relief for Americans for years to come.