What's our "moderate" Republican senator going to do?
The Republicans will release the details of their health care proposal tomorrow. The Congressional Budget Office should be out with their analysis next week and apparently the Republican leadership is pushing for a vote before the July 4 recess.
What's West Virginia's senator, Shelley Moore Capito, going to do? The specifics of the proposal have not been released but the more that I read and write about this, the more I've become convinced that she will vote for it. The best analysis that I've read recently comes from Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo. Marshall starts with what he calls the "Iron Law of Republican Politics": GOP moderates always cave. He then discusses Capito:
Axios just reported that Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is expressing concern over Medicaid cuts in the Senate Trumpcare bill. “I don’t look favorably on it, that’s for sure,” Capito told Axios.
It’s been clear from the word go that taking an axe to Medicaid was the entire point of this exercise, indeed, an inevitable end point given the budgetary priorities. These are beyond ending Medicaid expansion. They’re the starvation diet Republicans put Medicaid on after kicking everyone off their coverage kicks in.
Marshall is right --Capito has been playing this game for months. He concludes:
This isn’t negotiating or putting a foot down. It’s play acting. It is so consistent, routine and predictable that it needs to be reported as such. Much like hiding behind the lack of a legislative text, on the off chance Sen Capito is serious, she should do something to make that clear. Otherwise, it’s just a yarn, just more nonsense to hide the ball and pave the way for the preordained outcome.
I'm sure that they'll toss Capito a bone or two so that she can talk about opioid addiction and of course our local "newspapers" will describe her as "standing up for West Virginians" regardless of how many of them eventually lose their health insurance.
McClatchy News Service explains that the bone they'll be throwing Capito and Ohio Senator Rob Portman won't even come close to addressing the opioid problem
Two Republican senators from states hard hit by the opioid epidemic want $45 billion for drug treatment programs folded into the Senate’s Obamacare replacement bill that will be unveiled on Thursday.
But health experts say their 10-year funding request won’t come close to providing the services needed by untold thousands of opioid abusers who are expected to lose their private health insurance and Medicaid coverage under the GOP legislation. That’s because opioid abusers typically have other health problems, like HIV, Hepatitis C, chronic pain or mental health problems that require additional treatment and services.
Funding only patients’ substance abuse treatment without addressing their other needs would likely prove ineffective, said Dr. Corey Waller, who chairs the legislative advocacy committee of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
“You can’t treat any medical condition in isolation,” Waller said. “It just seems illogical at every level.”
The $45 billion proposal is being floated by Republican Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Rob Portman of Ohio to make up for drug-treatment services that would be lost if the Senate repeal measure includes, as expected, massive cuts in Medicaid funding and in subsidies to purchase Obamacare marketplace insurance.
Yeah, Capito is going to cave.