Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 04: Activists hold signs during a Stop 'Trumpcare' rally May 4, 2017 in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC. Congressional Democrats joined activists for a rally to urge not to replace Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

'Total Garbage': Senate GOP's New Trumpcare Bill Even Worse Than Original

"I knew this bill was unfixable. What I didn't count on was that it would get worse."

Jake Johnson

As dozens of protestors led by Reverend William Barber crowded the halls of the Capitol and labeled the GOP's healthcare agenda "political murder," Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a new version of their Trumpcare plan that one critic mockingly described as "new and improved total garbage."

"The new Trumpcare bill is awful by design. The tool we have to fight it is simple: public pressure on senators."
—Ezra Levin, Indivisible
The newly released plan leaves massive and widely condemned Medicaid cuts intact while adding a new amendment—put forth by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)—that would allow insurers to offer cheap "bare-bones" plans which would wipe out a range of protections for all patients and specifically harm those with preexisting conditions.

Here's how Buzzfeed's Hayes Brown portrayed Cruz's efforts to "save" his party's bill:

CNN further noted that keeping the Medicaid cuts in place means "15 million fewer people could insured by the program by 2026" if Trumpcare becomes law.

Aside from the injection of extra funds aimed at appeasing so-called "moderate" Republicans who expressed concern that the bill does not do enough to address the opioid epidemic, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to be committed to keeping the most destructive elements of the bill in place, analysts observed.

One lobbyist told Vox's Dylan Scott that McConnell seems intent upon "going right rather than center."

"I knew this bill was unfixable. What I didn't count on was that it would get worse."
—Andy Slavitt,
former acting administrator of Medicare and Medicaid

As a result, at least one skeptical Republican Senator—Susan Collins of Maine—has already signaled that she will likely vote against a motion to proceed with the legislation, while several others remain undecided. If the bill is to pass, McConnell can only afford to lose two votes.

"I knew this bill was unfixable," concluded former acting administrator of Medicare and Medicaid Andy Slavitt. "What I didn't count on was that it would get worse."

Resistance groups used the unveiling of Trumpcare's latest iteration as an opportunity to urge activists to keep up the pressure, and further acts of mass civil disobedience are reportedly being planned.

"Don't fall for McConnell's trap. The new Trumpcare bill is awful by design, but it's not doomed. It's not the final version," wrote Ezra Levin, co-executive director of Indivisible. "The tool we have to fight it is simple: public pressure on senators."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who spent this past weekend rallying the Trumpcare opposition in West Virginia and Kentucky, reiterated a point he has made frequently in recent months.

"Make no mistake about it," he wrote, "thousands of Americans every year will die unnecessarily if the Republican legislation is passed."

Topher Spiro, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, marked up Cruz's amendment to demonstrate how disastrous it would be for consumers.


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

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

GOP Silence on Trump's Call to Axe Constitution Reveals 'Full Embrace of Fascism': House Dem

"Last week the leader of the Republican Party had dinner with a Nazi leader and a man who called Adolf Hitler 'great,'" said Rep. Bill Pascrell. "Yesterday Trump called for throwing out the Constitution and making himself dictator."

Kenny Stancil ·


Protesting Fuel Poverty, People Tell UK Government to 'Keep Everyone Warm This Winter'

As energy bills—and fossil fuel profits—continue to soar, demonstrators around Britain demanded immediate action from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and members of Parliament.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Turn Off the Tap on Plastic,' UN Chief Declares Amid Debate Over New Global Treaty

"Plastics are fossil fuels in another form," said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, "and pose a serious threat to human rights, the climate, and biodiversity."

Kenny Stancil ·


EPA Urged to 'Finish the Job' After Latest Move to Protect Bristol Bay From Pebble Mine

"Local residents, scientists, and the broader public all agree that this is quite simply a bad place for a mine, and it is past time for the EPA to take Pebble off the table permanently," said one activist in Alaska.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Zero Tolerance for Corruption': Grijalva, Porter Demand Answers on Alleged Trump Pardon Bribery Scheme

The Democrats believe a real estate developer donated to a Trump-aligned super PAC in exchange for the pardons of two other men.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo