Rss@dailykos.com (joan Mccarter) · Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 1:44 pm
When it comes to Trumpcare, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly including much deeper cuts to Medicaid than were in the House version of the bill—cuts that were already unsustainable. So instead of $834 billion out of the program, the Senate bill would make it closer to $1 trillion, hastening the end of the program. So-called moderates in the Republican conference say they don't like it, but considering their long-standing tradition of doing whatever McConnell tells them to, they're not convincing anyone.
While the idea might help convince conservatives like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas or Mike Lee of Utah to view a final proposal more favorably, it could be problematic for moderates like Portman or Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, who faces re-election in 2018.
A spokesman told CNN Portman remains opposed to dropping the growth rate below the level of the House bill, which along with ending Medicaid expansion would reduce spending on the program by $800 billion over 10 years. Several other more moderate members of the conference have voiced concern over the idea.
If Portman were really concerned about his constituents, he wouldn’t support the House bill, either. But he's clearly set a low bar. West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is another "moderate" grumbler, saying "I think that's a problem. I think that sort of defeats the purpose of keeping people on, and at a level at which the program can be sustained. […] I don't look favorably on it, that's for sure."
But Republicans are not "keeping people on" Medicaid.