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The climax of the Senate Republican health care fight bill is coming into focus and points for consistency: It’s just as stupid and nihilistic as the process leading up to it has been, and will give way to yet more stupidity if it works as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hopes.

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The idea is that late in the week, as the Senate votes in rapid-fire succession on a glut of amendments (a mandatory process known colloquially as vote-a-rama), McConnell will introduce a final amendment that trumps all the others. Republicans have taken to calling this plan “skinny repeal,” which describes a scaled-back health care bill whose main effect of would be to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s coverage requirement: the individual mandate. McConnell’s amendment would wipe out everything that came before, and substitute this “skinny repeal” in its place.

As I argued here, the moniker “skinny repeal” is a devilish piece of spin, because while it accurately describes the breadth and ambitions of the plan, it completely misdescribes the consequences of repealing the mandate, which would be severe. According to recent Congressional Budget Office findings, repealing the individual mandate alone would lead many healthy people to drop their coverage, precipitating an increase in insurance premiums that would drive sicker people out of the market reluctantly. Combining these interlocking effects, the CBO forecasts the coverage loss would amount to 15 million people.

While “skinny” isn’t a particularly honest word for a bill that would ravage insurance markets in this way, it is a great device for allowing Republican senators to pretend their vote isn’t particularly meaningful—that it’s a placeholder allowing the congressional health care debate to continue. But just as it is unwise to take Senate Republicans at their word when they say they will vote against a bill, it is also unwise to assume that the not-so-skinny repeal bill would just move the legislative process into its next, penultimate phase: the conference committee, where House and Senate Republicans would hash out a final bill.

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Source : https://newrepublic.com/article/144064/republicans-real-deceitful-endgame-repeal-obamacare

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