You'd think the Senate GOP would have learned a thing or two about taking their lumps from this year's multiple failed attempts to repeal Obamacare outright. Not so: according to pretty much every leading newspaper, Senate leaders are expanding their tax plan to include a repeal of the Obamacare insurance mandate.
Don't get me wrong—the tax plan was already a bad look. Most of the cuts made would benefit the wealthiest 1% of citizens, and the plan may put affordable housing at risk. (At risk of being hit the hardest, depending on which elements of the different House and Senate versions make it into the final bill: grad students; residents of high-tax states like California and New York; Americans with significant medical expenses.) Despite these clear and present dangers, however, liberal and progressive activists have had a hard time rallying opposition against the tax plan.
But that could all change if the Senate goes through with its plan to eliminate the individual mandate as part of the revised tax bill. After three high-profile failures to repeal Obamacare in 2017 alone, the American people have made it clear that they are not about to let Capitol Hill fuck around with their medical coverage. Nothing could be more effective at mobilizing a largely pro-Obamacare populace than to let this tax plan be branded a "healthcare bill" in the minds of the public.
Mitch McConnell, the living embodiment of Dana Carvey's turtle impression from Master of Disguise, claimed that this change would "fix a problem in the Senate bill where many taxpayers would see a tax increase because of the loss of state and local deductions." I guess it's time for all of us to remind Senator Mitch Dana Turtle Carvey McConnell that we don't consider "wrecking healthcare" an adequate solution.
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