Saturday, July 22, 2017

Senate parliamentarian performs unspeakable acts on corpse of GOP healthcare bill

Over, and over, and over again, I told you to keep an eye on the Senate parliamentarian because the Republicans' healthcare bill had some serious problems with the "Byrd Rule."  The Byrd Rule requires that any bill considered under reconciliation rules (and thereby immune to the filibuster) must be strictly budgetary.  The most obvious place I called foul was the GOP's substitute for the individual mandate, which blocked people from the exchanges if they had a lapse in coverage for too long.  Clearly not budgetary, but the GOP recognized that they needed something in place of the individual mandate.

Well, I don't know the laws about corpse desecration, but let's just say that if such laws exist, the Senate parliamentarian just broke all of them.  And while Trump is looking into presidential pardons for himself and his flunkies, I wouldn't count on a pardon for this...

The bill was dead when Lee and Moran jumped ship, and McConnell flailed by trying to resurrect the repeal-and-delay idiocy.  Hence, my "dead parrot" references.  But, you need to understand just how serious it is that the parliamentarian called foul on the lapsed coverage provision.

The GOP understands the necessity of the individual mandate.  It was, after all, their fucking idea.  They disowned it when it ran off and married a black guy, but deep down, they get it.  As a reminder, here's this...



The individual mandate was the Heritage Foundation's plan from 1994.  They get it.  The lapsed coverage provision is there for a reason.  And they know it.  They know they can't build a plan without either the individual mandate, or something regulatory aimed at the same objective.  And, if it is regulatory rather than budgetary, they now know the parliamentarian has some creepy corpse fetish, and will not only kill the bill, but do things to the body that will give you nightmares.

What does that mean?  It means the GOP has no options for a single repeal bill.  They can still do a series of minor bills, which I have been saying from the start was the smart thing to do, but a single repeal bill is off the table.  They can't use reconciliation because they need to either leave the mandate in place (a non-starter for the Freedom Caucus and the other hard-liners), or concoct a regulatory fix, which makes the bill ineligible for reconciliation.  In theory, they could use the nuclear option and over-rule the parliamentarian, but only if they have the votes to do that.  Collins and Murkowski?  No fucking way, and I doubt that Capito or Heller would go along with that either, particularly the way that piece of fucking shit, Trump, has been treating Heller.  So, they can't use reconciliation, and they don't have the votes to go nuclear.  That's it.  It's dead.  Dead, dead, dead.  Not mostly dead, just fucking dead.

Lesson:  Do not fuck with the Senate parliamentarian.  She (yes, she) is a fucking Reaver.

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