What’s It All About? Chuck Grassley (And Juanita Jean) Explain…

I’ve had several conversations during the past few days that have been depressingly similar: the topic of the GOP’s latest effort to repeal Obamacare comes up, and the person with whom I’m talking says something like “I don’t get it. They know this bill would be a death sentence for thousands of Americans. Polls show that its unbelievably unpopular–even most Republicans don’t support it. Why are they so hell-bent on passing it?”

To which I have had no answer, because I’m equally baffled. Or I was, until Juanita Jean shared Chuck Grassley’s explanation.

Grassley supports the Graham-Cassidy bill and, bless his heart, took to the airwaves to explain why.

“You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” Grassley said. “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”

Translation: sure, this bill is terrible policy. It won’t help anyone–it will raise premiums for people who are still able to get insurance; it will make it impossible for millions of others to get insurance; it will redistribute federal funds from blue states that expanded Medicaid to red states that refused to do so; and it will allow the states to decide whether insurers can once again refuse you based upon pre-existing conditions. (It will also play havoc with a sixth of the American economy, which is probably why every national healthcare organization opposes it.)

But we promised our rabid base!

Grassley does identify one aspect of this appalling bill that he likes–it allows the states to “tailor” healthcare to the specific needs of their citizens.

Allowing states to shape health care benefits and regulations to match their populations will better account for the geographic and economic diversity of the country.

“What might fit Massachusetts and New York and Maryland doesn’t fit Iowa very well,” Grassley said.

Juanita’s response to that is too good to paraphrase:

You know, because somebody living in Georgia ain’t at all like somebody living in Alabama.  Hell, they don’t even root for the same college football teams so how the dickens do you expect them to have the same health care needs?  Little known fact: cancer does not kill you in Nebraska. I mean, you have to call into work sick for a couple of days, drink some apple cider vinegar, and you’re new and fit by Friday. However, hangnails will land your butt in intensive care in South Dakota.

With her usual laser-like precision, Juanita Jean honed in on the real issue–that black President who had the unmitigated gall to expand access to healthcare!

I have an idea. Let’s repeal the word “Obamacare” and replace it with the words “Affordable Care Act.” Don’t change anything else – just that. Everybody happy now?

During a recent discussion about the human and economic damage passage of the Graham-Cassidy Bill would cause, one of my sons asked a pertinent question: “How do these people sleep at night?”

That’s a question I still can’t answer.


  1. Can we count on voters to remember the Republican’s failed attempt at killing health care for all in November 2018? Or will the spin machine and talking points be enough for them to return to Washington and refuse to govern?

  2. And in yesterday’s NYT: “…Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado painted a dire picture for his colleagues. Campaign fund-raising was drying up, he said, because of widespread disappointment among donors over the inability of the Republican Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act …”. The full article, it’s a doozy:


    It never was about healthcare, it is all about money. Surprise!

  3. Also, the Dems better provide 24/7 babysitting service for some of the Blue Dogs i.e. Manchin, McCaskill, Donnelly. They could be easy marks, no doubt the Rs are going to try to buy them off. The stakes have never been higher.

  4. Reports this week indicate it is the DONORS that are demanding the “R” folks to pull the trigger on this awful bill.

  5. And while this “repeal and replace or not replace or maybe not really repeal” pissing contest continues – and it will continue – any and everything connected health care costs to the “citizens” is steadily rising at a faster rate. When health care monthly premiums amount to an employee’s salary for one full week – or more – but pays nothing till thousands of out-of-pocket expenses are paid by that “citizen”; the health care system is not a healthy system to be stuck in. If – IF – the Senate gets this current bill passed; it will simply be returned to the House which sent their version to the Senate, they will NOT pass it because it is against the bill they passed so they will rewrite it. And the beat goes on!

    Juanita Jean tells the truth and shames the devil of our current administration and the leeches in the health care system who are bleeding us dry, with her direct observations. To answer the question posed by Sheila’s son, “How do these people sleep at night?”…their excellent health care plans provide all necessary sleeping pills to aid them in getting a good night’s rest…or their beauty sleep.

    Primary physicians are now simply high-paid information and referral specialists; I have health care issues I do not report to my physician rather than meet the requirement of following advice to schedule appointments with expensive specialists I do not need. Who will then schedule me for expensive tests I do not need; the basic costs for specialists and testing is billed to Medicare and I have out-of-pocket-co-pays to add to the profits of health care providers. I won’t repeat my experience with the $22,000+ repeated tests by a specialist and Emergency Room doctors and nurses for a simple necrotic ulcer on one toe. This resulted in an application of Bacitracin, a band-aid and referral to a podiatrist.

    Senator John McCain’s relatively simple surgery to remove a blood clot but which uncovered his diagnosis of brain cancer, basically a death sentence, is now in the same position hundreds of thousands of the general public is in. Juanita Jean’s comment, “You know, because somebody living in Georgia ain’t at all like somebody living in Alabama.” has been carried over into Arizona to one of the Republicans previously calling for “repeal and replace” the ACA. WE need to stop calling it “Obamacare”; Republicans consider that an insulting title and WE have gone along with their “name-calling” insult. They are not insulting the health care bill; they are insulting President Obama.

  6. “With her usual laser-like precision, Juanita Jean honed in on the real issue–that BLACK PRESIDENT who had the unmitigated gall to expand access to healthcare!”

    That’s what it is all about. Let’s put them ALL: Blacks, Jews, Latinos, Asians, LGBTs, Women et al in their place. [I apologize if I have left anyone out]

    “How do these people sleep at night?”

    The reason they can all sleep so well is that they’re living in a 100% DREAMWORLD, day and night.

    I’m afraid ONLY the SPECTER of a CIVIL WAR will wake SOME of them up.

  7. Without intending to do so, Senator Grassley told the American people all they ever need to know about the Republican Party. When you and your pals get that low, you need to leave the stage.

  8. The fact that all of this doesn’t make sense will NOT stop these FOOLS. German military intelligence (Abwehr) knew the German people were moving toward the abyss as early as 1938. That did no good. Their warnings went unheeded. And we all know the outcome.

    The Republicans are nothing more than a bunch of COPYCATS.

    cop’y-cat n. an imitator: chiefly a child’s term—adj. done in imitation [a copycat crime]
    ~Webster’s New World Dictionary

  9. irvin, I suspect that congress members get the plane that goes like this:

    “Oh, got a tummy ache, Senator? Not to worry. The doctor will see you as soon as you get here. Need to see a specialist, not to worry, we can get you in today. Need to have that ingrown toenail fixed? Not to worry, we have a surgical team waiting now. And hospitalization? Not to worry, the private room is all ready for you. Pay for?? Not to worry, the taxpayers will pick up the bill.”

    It’s called the “Not to worry” plan.

  10. Of course it’s all about money but it’s all about class as well. Like any good banana republic Republicans want the rich much richer and the poor much poorer. Why? The rich work harder. Why some of them even drive themselves to work.

    They deserve slaves.

    They will continue to pursue this path until we stop them dead in their tracks. It’s our country.

    Meanwhile Ds are getting lots of blame for not doing anything when in fact there is no progress more important than preventing Rs from throwing away decades of it.

  11. What’s missing?
    The GOP blah-ed that the two items at the TOP of their agenda were in this order:
    1. Repeal and replace Obamacare.
    2. Tax “reform”.
    Did they say it was imperative to do “1” BEFORE they could address “2”?
    They keep on trying, in vain, to do “1” FIRST.
    Why don’t they try “2” FIRST, and leave “1” for 2019 when they MAY have the votes?
    Any validity to this?:
    Seems obvious they MUST do “1” FIRST because it is critically linked to “2” IN THAT ORDER.
    What has REPEAL-FIRST got to do with TAX REFORM?
    Any body care to venture a guess why this might be so?

  12. Comedian Louis Black, “…we are the only country who’s decided to turn illness into a goldmine.” Follow. The. Money. Eh?

  13. Greetings Helen. Thank you for the info. Interesting reading. Sounds like a solid plan for all of us. I’m on M/C and pay a monthly fee deducted from my SS Ck and then I have my own MSP plan which costs me a $ or 2. I get my dope thru the VA and that is a big savings.

  14. I am sick of hearing Republicans complain that Trump isn’t keeping his campaign promises…they were not “promises”…they were threats. Now they are turning on one another for not all banding together to blindly pass those threats…actually to pass MORE of those threats, to maintain loyalty to their party. A party to which Trump has never belonged until 2015. I have nothing but praise for those Republicans who are standing up for Americans and America and trying to protect our health care. NOT by maintaining “Obamacare” but the ACA until the problems, which have always been made public, can be worked through. Whatever reason John McCain has for voting against the threat of repeal and replace after supporting it through the campaign; I believe it will be his legacy to this country. It will be remembered long after his POW days, his survival of torture and illness and choosing to stay in POW custody with his troops when offered a chance to return to the U.S. He was not presidential material but, contrary to Trump’s ugly claims otherwise, he was a war hero and it more heroic in his stand against destroying the entire health care system of this country and leaving people to die.

  15. “You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” Grassley said. “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”

    This is by far one of the more ridiculous statements that I’ve heard from Grassley over the years. So, in essence, they have to screw the American people and destroy this country’s health care system because they are honor bound to do it? Really?? What possible honor could there be in doing such a thing? That people like Grassley think this way is just appalling and shows just how far the Republican Party has sunk. They and it need to excised and it needs to be done pronto.

    Kudos to Juanita Jean as well who is also spot on in her comments – refer to the ACA as the ACA and not Obamacare which the Dems let slip by which was a huge mistake. The level of hate that these fools have against Barack Obama is just astounding and it colors all their thinking being the closet and not so closeted racists that they are. That hate trumps their allegiance to their own constituents and to this country and in no small way they are all traitors to the American people and its welfare. To be a witness to this repulsive spectacle is very, very hard to cope with and getting more so every day.

  16. Coincidentally, I am about through with writing a blog on Obamacare versus Republican bills to go back to the cave which I just began writing this morning. One of my chief complaints (aside from the fact that there is no universal coverage at afforable prices in the Republican versions) is that some 25% of premium dollars paid go to executive bonuses and stock options and other administrative expenses as a result of keeping Wall Street into health care, a giant sum of money that could otherwise be applied to real health care costs found, for instance, in primary care and cancer wards. Apparently Republicans favor making the rich richer while the poor die and try to tell us that such is good policy. Huh? Two and two are five, right?

    Obamacare, like many other programs, was passed with a view toward tweaking its terms down the road. It is admittedly imperfect, based, as it is, on Romney’s Massachusetts template that favored a profit-centered private health care industry. I only favored it since I thought it was a first step to single payer, the cheapest and best health care system on planet earth in force in almost all of the advanced countries, where nobody is excluded and pricing is lower due to the economy of scale etc. Thus I agree with the Republicans that we should get rid of Obamacare; but only if it is supplanted by single payer. Their ham-handed pro-industry proposals should be sent back to the cave where they belong and the proven single payer proposal implemented, and with no governor/state involvement in its administration.

  17. The Rs are bowing to the pressure from the Kochs and other billionaires who never wanted health insurance to be affordable for the average citizen.

    The Rs have ‘claimed’ Repeal and Replace for years while their true goal was only to Repeal. They never intended to replace it.

    The reason repeal must happen before tax ‘reform’ is that once the ACA is repealed they can work to reduce taxes and claim that there won’t be enough revenue to replace it. The ultimate win for the billionaires.

  18. The previous version of Trumpcare was loaded with tax code rewrites. Nearly every paragraph referred to an adjustment to the tax code, mostly in favor of the providers, rarely the customers. It was and is a way to control and profit from the illnesses of the lower classes. The uber rich can afford to pay whatever is required to get the very best healthcare available anywhere in the world.
    However, in order to maintain their financial status, they must continue to unload any liabilities, like sick people and preventive care for those not already sick, women, children, the elderly and, of course the poor of all races, including their own.
    If there is a hell, I hope they become permanent residents in a place where they suffer the worst pain possible while someone tells them to get a job and pay for treatment/pharma themselves.

  19. Tell your son they sleep well at night because they get prescriptions for sleeping meds from their doctors. Too bad if this abomination passes somehow they won’t be able to get those anymore as that will be a pre-existing condition and thus disqualified for care under this bill!

  20. No,the bigger question is why have the Democrats not offered an effective counter–not only to the Repubs– but to Obama/HeritageFoundation/RomneyCare. When the Democrats had the majority and controlled government,they became complacent and by their own volition decided to support the insurance and pharma executives. The Democrats decided to follow the money rather than to help people. Democrats are just as guilty as Republicans when it comes to depraved indifference to the lives of the less fortunate among the American population. The ACA is a Republican program passed by a Democrat president. Access to insurance is NOT access to quality healthcare. Everyone seems to know this except the the Democratic-Bots.

    Instead of actually doing something to bring the U.S. into the modern industrialised world by establishing universal healthcare…..We’ve been inundated from the Democrats by much more important messages such as OMG,RUSSIA!

    That’s emblematic of the impotency of the DNC as of 2017. Hell,it’s emblematic of the preceding decades of Democratic impotency.

  21. I really need a button or emoji on this blog, and after each comment to say “Yes. I agree! Well said!” To all of you. I’ve often wished for that. Any chance of getting one? Or several different ones? ????❤️

  22. Pence says that he and Trump could not “in good conscience abandon this cause”. How is taking health care away from millions of Americas a “cause”? Hopefully there are enough Republicans who are not that heartless.

  23. William; why do you believe John McCain and a few thinking Republicans keeps saying this health care decision need to be BIPARTISAN? It is because the Democrats are not involved in any area of health care decision making. This was and is Mitch McConnell’s decision in the Senate.

  24. i thought the new plan the republicans pitched,was called,”dont care?”now, whoever thought obama was the name,was obviously a bigot in tone… like big media,rich people paying rich people to tell the middle class,to blame it all on the poor people…. 2017 ,and we still cant afford health care?….wall streets mob rules again…the poor,addicted,born with issues,mental issues,why dosent the rich just admit were in the way,and they want us gone…kinda like germany,1932…if ya live in north dakota,we have a total of 3 providers in the health industry,(all corprate)and we wonder why we cant afford it. unless ya bribe the state,you dont get to sell here…

  25. Thought: their plan is to NOT repeal it while making a show of trying REALLY HARD to repeal it, for the purpose of building toward the multi-trillion dollar looting known as tax reform. McCain takes one for the team and says no because he is going to die and has no political future. Their virulently racist, stupid base will not allow them to ignore the presence of that-dude-from-Kenya-care, thus the necessity of the show. But they know repeal would ultimately be political suicide, especially since they have seen that they can instead safely undermine it until it collapses, and then they can forever blame that-dude-from-Kenya for it, thus preventing any future attempts to empower the proles by allowing them to live and die with dignity.

  26. 45’s ONLY goal is to do his best to undo anything a Black President was able to accomplish during his eight years in office. He’s rampantly racist and really not all that bright. Who voted for this guy? Oh, yes–the Russians did. It’s a conundrum.

  27. Remember when Trump campaigned that he’s provide better coverage at lower cost for EVERYBODY? He said he didn’t want to leave people dying in the streets. He also said prescription costs were outrageous and wanted prescription discounts. After one meeting with pharmaceutical execs, he commented no more about prescription discounts. After he was elected, he didn’t even PROPOSE language providing better coverage at lower cost for everybody. He left the details to Congress – leading from behind – for which the GOP denigrated Obama.

    Trump was no deal maker – he wasn’t even at the table and apparently didn’t read the plans developed by others. He doesn’t like to work that hard. He doesn’t like to read briefing papers or anything longer than one page. He doesn’t even like to read paragraphs – only bullet points will do and they must include many comments applauding him.

    So I have a plan for him.

    Mr. President, your campaign plan on health care was the greatest with…

    * Better coverage

    * At lower cost

    * With coverage for EVERYBODY and

    * Prescription discounts negotiated by government so our meds cost no more than

    It’s a winner’s plan Mr. President. Now let’s see you put your fantastic deal-making skills to work with your fellow Republicans (Chuck and Nancy will help) to make American health care plans GREAT AGAIN.

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