Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Healthcare activists hold signs during a protest against the Trumpcare bill on June 21, 2017 in San Francisco, California. Dozens of healthcare activists and senior citizens staged a protest outside the San Francisco Federal Building to express their opposition of the American Heathcare Act bill that is being drafted behind closed doors by Republican senators. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

Heartless! Senate Trumpcare Plan Every Bit as 'Ugly' and 'Cruel' as Expected

"The Senate healthcare bill is the disaster we knew it would be. It cannot be allowed to pass."

Jake Johnson

After weeks of secrecy, the Senate GOP's Trumpcare plan—described as "a tax cut wrapped in the veneer of a healthcare bill" that could portend a "near-apocalyptic scenario for the poor"—was made available (pdf) to the public on Thursday and is largely living up to the gruesome expectations of analysts and critics.

"It's exactly what you'd expect from 13 Republican men and a bunch of lobbyists."
—Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)
The bill is not yet in its final form and, according to reports, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is still considering input from corporate lobbyists, but the contents released online have already sparked a flood of alarmed criticism, vows of opposition, and protests outside of McConnell's office.

In its current iteration, the bill:

  • Repeals most of the Obamacare taxes, a boon to the richest Americans
  • Eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood
  • Limits the availability of tax credits
  • Ends Medicaid expansion, a crucial component of Obamacare that insured millions, by 2024
  • Imposes sharper cuts to Medicaid than the House version of Trumpcare over the long-term—and could essentially phase out the program entirely
  • Provides significant room for states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients

Though many Republicans have expressed hesitation about backing a deeply unpopular piece of legislation that would have a devastating impact on many of their constituents, McConnell has remained insistent upon bringing Trumpcare—which Senate Republicans have formally labeled the Better Care Reconciliation Act—to the floor for a vote next week.

Commentators and activists summarized the bill in much the same way they had in the weeks leading up to its release due to the fact that, as the Washington Post notes, it "largely mirrors the House measure."

Both, if enacted, would rapidly alter the structure of the American healthcare system and increase, by tens of millions, the number of people without insurance.

"Trumpcare doesn't just repeal Obamacare," political analyst Stephen Wolf observed. "It repeals the last 52 years of advances in healthcare policy."

Faiz Shakir, the national political director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), argued in a statement the legislation would "endanger the lives and liberty of many Americans."

Shakir continued:

Heartless! Now we know why Senate Republicans have done everything they can to hide the contents of their health care repeal bill from the American people. By eviscerating Medicaid, this bill threatens the liberty of people with disabilities, who will be forced to live in nursing homes and institutions instead of their own homes. By defunding Planned Parenthood, this bill threatens the health of 2.5 million women and men in our country, many of whom rely on the health centers as their only source of care. And by throwing tens of millions of people off their insurance, this bill disproportionately impacts communities of color who will lose access to care and coverage.

In a blog post on Thursday, Indivisible co-executive directors Ezra Levin and Leah Greenberg deemed the bill "cruel" and "ugly," and outlined an action plan for those looking to resist its passage.

"Heartless! Now we know why Senate Republicans have done everything they can to hide the contents of their health care repeal bill from the American people."
—Faiz Shakir, ACLU national political director

"We are under no illusions that victory is assured here," they concluded, "but victory is possible."

Democratic lawmakers, who in recent days have responded to grassroots pressure by vowing to forcefully oppose the legislation, were also quick to respond to the plan's release.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) pointed out that Trumpcare's contents are hardly surprising.

"It's exactly what you'd expect from 13 Republican men and a bunch of lobbyists," she wrote.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'And Maybe More': Biden Says He's Open to Reforming Filibuster to Win Voting Rights

"It's a simple choice between a free America or one chained by the past," said one advocate. "Our democracy hangs in the balance."

Julia Conley ·


In Face of Planetary Emergency, US Climate-Related Financial Risk Report Denounced as 'Pitiful' Failure

"Finding consensus between those who see or don't see our climate reality," said one critic, "is not democracy in action: it's homicidal."

Jon Queally ·


Schumer Endorses 'Inspiring Community Leader' India Walton as Buffalo's Next Mayor

The U.S. Senate majority leader's move comes as some key New York Democrats refuse to back the democratic socialist.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Who Will You Throw Overboard?' Manchin Targeted for Trying to Sink Democratic Agenda

West Virginians gathered at the senator's yacht to demand that he stop blocking the "popular and needed" Build Back Better package.

Jessica Corbett ·


'We Shouldn't Do It at All': Manchin Admits He's the Enemy of Democrats' Ambitions

The right-wing West Virginia Democrat and fossil fuel investor has previously confessed his intent to quash his own party's sweeping $3.5 trillion Build Back Better package.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo