As Congress prepares for what could be its last ditch effort to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamcare, Dems, activists ,and the media are ramping up criticism of the Graham-Cassidy bill, including repeatedly saying it will take away protections in insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions that were included in Obama’s failed government-run health care program.
The trash talk about the GOP bill, which would return health care policy decisions to the states through federal block grants and provide waivers from Obamacare regulations, began the minute it was unveiled.
But the spin spun out of control when ABC TV comic Jimmy Kimmel had Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on his show recently.
Kimmel brought on Sen. Cassidy and the pair discussed the “Jimmy Kimmel test,” a provision that would ensure that any new health care law would include language that would guarantee that a child’s health care coverage is paid for during the first year of his life.
“This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face,” Kimmel said of Cassidy’s remarks on the show.
At a rally on the grounds of the Capitol on Tuesday, Democrats lined up to criticize the bill, including how it will no longer protect people with pre-existing conditions.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) was not at the rally but has called the legislation a “moral garbage truck fire.”
Former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said the bill was “cruel.”
On Wednesday morning, Cassidy went on CNN to try to set the record straight. He was questioned by New Day host Chris Cuomo about what Kimmel had said on his show about the legislation that Cassidy helped craft along with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ron Johnson (R-MN), and Dean Heller (R-NV).
— New Day (@NewDay) September 20, 2017
“I’m sorry he does not understand,” Cassidy said. “Under Graham, Cassidy, Heller, Johnson, more people will have coverage and we protect those with pre-existing conditions.”
“States like Maine, Virginia, Florida, Missouri — there will be billions of more dollars to provide health insurance coverage for those in those states who have been passed by by Obamacare and we protect those with pre-existing conditions,” Cassidy said.
Cuomo tried to say that the legislation would not be the same as Obamacare when it comes to pre-existing conditions.
“The protection is absolutely the same,” Cassidy said. “There’s a specific provision that says that if a state applies for a waiver it must ensure that those with pre-existing conditions have affordable and adequate coverage.”
Cassidy also said he believes the bill, if it becomes law, will actually lower costs for all American consumers. He also said critics are working in earnest to destroy the legislation.
“What is being circulated is by those who wish to preserve Obamacare and they’re doing everything they can to discredit the alternative,” Cassidy said.
Politico reported that Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn.org, has vowed that activists would return to Capitol Hill for daily events next week.
Politico also falsely reported on the bill and pre-existing conditions, stating the protests would take place “as [Majority Leader] McConnell squeezes his on-the-fence members to support the bill, which would transform Obamacare funding into block grants for states, make deep cuts to Medicaid and undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”