Hopes by the Trump regime to get to a point where Trumpcare legislation is cruel enough and kills enough poor Democratic voters to satisfy House GOP Freedom Caucus members are quickly turning to ashes as what constitutes the slightly less monstrous rump of House Republicans are fleeing in droves from the plan.
It's a bad sign for Republicans ahead of Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the Capitol tonight. From a senior Republican source:
While we haven't picked up any votes yet, this concept is already showing signs of losing a ton of them.
The Freedom Caucus and conservative group perspective: The bill's text is changing for the worse, and it no longer looks like some of the Obamacare regulations will be waived. Conservatives are growing doubtful that the White House and House leadership are willing to get rid of Obamacare's ban on charging sick people higher premiums. Conservatives also want to know what leadership has to say about the "medical loss ratio," or the Obamacare regulation limiting how much of insurers' revenue can be profit.
They're also not happy about the accusation that getting rid of the Obamacare ban on charging higher premiums would nullify its protections for pre-existing conditions.
A Freedom Caucus source: "We've never ever wanted to go after pre-existing conditions. That's spin (well a lie) meant to undermine us. Pence said he supports our plan of reforming, and funding changes to high risk pools, specifically to deal with pre-existing conditions."
House leadership perspective: Where the plan is heading will potentially lose more votes than it picks up. The Freedom Caucus, they say, is moving the goal posts again and trying to shift blame.
And all indications are that the meeting with Mike Pence last night didn't help at all, more meetings will reportedly continue, but the odds of an actual vote ahead of Easter recess are approaching nil. The basic issue persists: after seven years and the largest margin in the House since the New Deal, House Republicans still don't have the votes to pass their own health care legislation, and there's no reason to believe they ever will, mainly because their barely unrestrained glee at killing millions of people keeps getting in the way of their plans.
The Freedom Caucus wants to dump millions of people into "high-risk pools" which is to say that "They'd be able to afford their individual insurance plans if they weren't lazy poors" and "I'm glad they're not driving up insurance premiums for my constituents still on group employer plans" although technically, they will be. But of course who's counting, poor people don't actually count.
Meanwhile the slightly less evil Republicans don't want any part of this plan because they know it's going to get them killed in 2018 elections. People hate it. Most importantly, Republican primary voters hate it because even they've figured out at least some of them will be losing their health insurance, meaning they can't pay for health care and will, you know, get sick and die.
The answer to the age-old question of "Republicans: evil or stupid?" is, as always, both.