Let's chase this down; this just came over Axios. Here's the story.

Someone who has not been following this story would not see this as the proverbial lady singing to signal that its over. But that is what I am sensing and why I believe this is worth pursuing. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz are still backbench Republicans. Many of their positions are downright ugly including the one we'll be discussing. But the world has changed in six years.


Like it or not we are dealing with tangible harms. When Trump goes after immigrants you know there will be tears. Many will be shed by complete innocents. Obama was no angel when it came to ICE-ing non-citizens. But the GOP won the election regardless of the fact that they will be complaining if his health law is further ravaged.


The tangible harm in Trumpcare lies in denying millions insurance and leaving Medicaid unavailable to more and more Americans. The particular damage that Cruz, and now Lee, want to cause is to folk with preexisting conditions. If I know I have such a condition I do not want to be told I cannot get medical care. But I cannot afford to be priced out of the market.


The essence of the Cruz-Lee position is what they call the Consumer Protection Option, delightful GOP-speak for allowing insurers to float all manner of programs that expose patients to all kinds of exemptions. This would be granted on condition that such insurers offered at least one plan that does not exclude those with preexisting conditions.

The stage would be set for massive confusion and the temptation to gamble with one's own health future.

Cutting corners

The conclusion that this is suicidal for Trumpcare is not hard to draw. It has aways been a hastily-drawn and careless slap at President Obama, just as the Trump regulations and agenda have been.

Axios concludes that the Cruz amendment will make "coverage unaffordable for sick people."

A more draconian conclusion is attributed to senior GOP Senate staffers who say that "touching pre-existing conditions protections will automatically sink the bill."

War and health

The bill will be dropped either way if I am right. The Cruz amendment will probably fail. If it does Cruz and Lee are out. In the event, it succeeds moderates will jump ship in substantial numbers. One or two is substantial when you are working just with the GOP. Trump may be very unhappy, even to the point of going to war over it. Sorry to bring that up but it is not beyond him.