Gleeful Democrats see Trumpcare as political suicide for House GOP: ‘They are staring death in the face’
Republicans may be celebrating the passage of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) in the House of Representatives on Thursday, but many Democrats believe that the GOP has signed its 2018 death warrant by supporting the doomed bill.
The New York Times said on Friday that the controversial bill — which has the potential to throw more than 24 million Americans off their healthcare coverage — may be the tipping point that sparks a massive backlash against the Republican Party and hands both houses of Congress to the Democratic Party in 2018.
“I think they are staring death in the face,” said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA) to the Times. “They asked their vulnerable members to take an enormous gamble and risk on an act of faith that I guarantee will not pay off.”
The hastily cobbled together and amended bill was not even scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) before the House put it to a vote. Many Republicans in the House aren’t clear on what’s in the bill, but voted for it anyway — counting on the Senate to substantially alter the bill or kill it altogether.
“Republicans kicked a hornet’s nest, and it is not too soon to begin saying goodbye to some of my Republican colleagues from moderate districts, because this will cost them dearly,” said Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL).
“Democrats believe that the potential ramifications of the House-passed measure — millions losing insurance coverage, a diminished array of benefits, no definite guarantee of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions — provide them with powerful ammunition against Republicans,” wrote the Times‘ Carl Hulse.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) — a centrist Democrat who has voted with Republicans on issues like gun control and fracking — said on Thursday that voters are going to remember who took away their healthcare.
“I said, ‘Mr. President, 172,000 West Virginians got insurance for the first time,’” Manchin told Politico.com. “They’ve got something they never had before. They don’t know how they got it, they don’t know who gave it to them, they don’t know the Democrats, nothing about, ‘It’s Obamacare.’ They don’t know any of that. All they know is they’ve got it.”
“And you know what? They voted for you, Mr. President,” he said. “They’re going to know who took it away from them.”
The Times quoted Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who said, “It is a pretty big mistake. They are taking something away.”
“Every Republican is going to have to carry the burden of this,” said Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA).
Hoyer said the Democrats have a deep bench for 2018 with a number of candidates itching to run and oppose President Donald Trump’s agenda.
“We have too many wanting to run,” he said. “They are just coming out of the woodwork because they smell victory in the air and they are angry about what the Republicans are doing.”