The gang of four conservatives (Schrödinger’s Senator, Ayatollah Ted, RoJo teh Stupid, and Mike ‘denser than diamonds’ Lee) who are preventing amply be-chinned Mitch McConnell’s lap dance for the Koch brothers, are unlikely to be swayed to vote in favor of this thing unless it becomes meaner. But of course, any so-called moderates who are concerned, very concerned will cave. It’s what they do.
Only hours after the release of the Senate health care bill, four conservative senators put out a statement saying they can’t support the bill in its current form. As of now, moderates have held their fire, saying they need to finish reading and analyzing the bill.
Why this matters: The best way for a member to ensure they get the changes they want is to threaten to withhold their support. Moderates haven’t done that yet; conservatives have. That means the bill could very well move to the right over the next few days.
The assumption: “Moderates always cave,” one senior GOP aide told me. “I don’t know if conservatives will cave. That’s the pickle.”
If you read that carefully, you will see what a dilemma this puts ol’ Mitch in. He cannot sweeten the deal for Ted Cruz & Co. and sweeten the deal for moderates. If the moderates go on record as being opposed then McConnell is figuratively checkmated.
Let’s see who is reading and analyzing the bill, the very concerned, very concerned moderates:
- Sen. Susan Collins: “I very much want to see the CBO assessment of the impact on coverage, the impact on insurance premiums and the impact of the changes in Medicaid.”
- Sen. Cory Gardner: “Gotta get through [the bill] and digest it.”
- Sen. Shelley Moore Capito: “When I get a chance to sit down and look at it, hopefully later this afternoon,” she’ll be looking at the Medicaid provisions and opioid funding in particular.
- Sen. Rob Portman: “I look forward to examining this new proposal carefully and reviewing the analysis by the Congressional Budget Office when it is available. If the final legislation is good for Ohio, I will support it. If not, I will oppose it.”
- Sen. Dean Heller: “As I have consistently stated, if the bill is good for Nevada, I’ll vote for it and if it’s not – I won’t.”
These are the Senators to pressure, they have the Kryptonite to stop this thing. If these are your Senators, call them and let them know you’ve got their backs on this vote IF they have the courage of their convictions. But also let them know that if they cave (as predicted) that you will be marching to their offices with the (electoral) tumbrels in tow.
Let’s write down their names and see how they vote when this thing is puked up.