There will be a lot of revisionist history among Republicans leading up to the 2018 election, but none will be as remarkable as the spin Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) is trying to make out of the mess he created for himself over the Affordable Care Act. Remember Heller's agonizing path to a bad Trumpcare vote? First he was opposed to any repeal of Medicaid expansion, then he was okay with a slow phase-out. Then he was opposed again, and then he was humiliated on national television by Trump and took two really stupid votes to both advance and pass a repeal. But Heller insists he wasn't all over the place, blowing with the political winds in his votes. No, he was doing strategery, he says. He was, he says, actually saving Medicaid. Single-handedly.
In a stunning interview that aired Sunday morning on the program, “Politics Now,” Sen. Dean Heller took credit for saving the state’s Medicaid expansion and called the latest proposal he signed onto with Sens Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) “the drain the swamp” health-care bill. […]
“I did exactly what I said I was going to do, and that was to make sure that middle-class families and low-income families had access to health care,” Heller said. “And a lot of them had access through Medicaid and Medicaid expansion and that’s why I did that press conference with the governor (in June) and said I would not support any legislation that took health care away….I made that promise and kept that commitment.” […]
“We threw votes out there to send messages to the leadership,” he said. “I was even criticized for an amendment on the floor that only got 10 votes. The purpose of those 10 votes was to send a message to our leadership that they didn’t have the votes necessary in order to include Medicaid (in the repeal) and we sent the exact message we wanted to. Like I said, I know we were criticized because people don’t understand the process. But the bottom line is, the bottom line is, in the skinny bill, Medicaid expansion, these low-income families had the health care that they need.”
For those of you fellow slack-jawed observers who do not understand the Senate process as well as Heller, perhaps this will help: He is seriously arguing that a non-binding resolution would have prevented the Senate from approving a conference report, which is what the skinny repeal was designed to result in, if it contained Medicaid cuts?
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