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Wednesday, May 03, 2017


The truth in your gut

by Tom Sullivan

Stephen Colbert's blowhard character made "truthiness" a thing when he promised "to feel the news at you." As much as us liberal elitists hate to admit it, that is how an awful lot of people (no baskets here) make key decisions. With their guts.

Responding to Jimmy Kimmel's tearful, on-air explanation of his newborn son's emergency heart surgery and defense of Obamacare, former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) checked in with his gut yesterday and tweeted this response:

No doubt Walsh knows on an intellectual level that he pays for a lot of other somebodys' defense — trillions cumulatively — in other countries that pay no U.S. tax. But we're talking gut here, not head. Shedding our sons' and daughters' blood for foreigners is one thing, but sharing the cost of health care for fellow Americans? Hell, no.

Now, sure, we could logically debate fiscal conservatism, libertarian philosophy, and the value of social Darwinism for culling the herd, but your gut already tells you everything you need to know about Mr. Walsh's pre-existing condition. Many in his party share it, Mo Brooks. Sadly, the only treatment for it seems to be an eye-opening personal tragedy. Even that is experimental.

Barring a caucus-wide road-to-Damascus experience, Republicans in Congress still want to repeal Obamacare care and replace it with something more Darwinian if not Dickensian. The Republican health care plan was hanging by a thread before Kimmel spoke out. But Kimmel's moving statement puts sitting Republicans' plan for repealing Obamacare in a tougher bind, the Washington Post reports:
On Capitol Hill, influential Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) came out against the plan, dealing a major blow to proponents trying to secure enough votes to pass it in the House. Across the country, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s emotional story about his newborn son’s heart condition reverberated on television and the Internet. And former president Barack Obama, who signed the bill Republicans are trying to dismantle, took to Twitter to defend it.

All three voiced concerns about losing a core protection in the Affordable Care Act for people with preexisting conditions, as is possible under the latest GOP plan. Such growing worries threatened to derail the revamped attempt to revise key parts of the ACA — or at least send Republicans back to the drawing board.
The Republican whip count is shaky:
“I told the leadership I cannot support the bill with this provision in it,” Upton said. “I don’t know how it all will play out, but I know there are a good number of us that have raised real red flags.”

A Washington Post analysis shows 21 House Republicans either opposed to or leaning against the bill, and 22 more either undecided or unclear in their positions. If no Democrats support the bill, the Republicans can lose no more than 22 GOP votes to pass it in the House.
Kimmel urged the congress to get past the partisan squabbles, but it is not partisanship that is the problem, writes Isaac Chotiner at Slate:
It’s an ideologically deranged party and its know-nothing leader in the White House. The fact that approximately half the voters in this country support that party is a much less comforting thought than the one about America coming together to care for kids like Billy. Until we face up to that pre-existing reality, we don’t have any chance of ensuring that we live in a society that truly cares for its most vulnerable citizens.
The Kimmel video went viral on Tuesday:

Congress is feeling the heat. You bring the fire. If you haven't already, now is your chance.