President Trump, perhaps the only person less interested in the details of ObamaCare repeal legislation than Graham and Cassidy, also isn’t trying to hide the dirty deal on offer, tweeting, “Alaska, Arizona, Maine, and Kentucky are big winners in the health-care proposal. Seven years of repeal and replace and some senators not there.” It is amusing to think that Principled Conservatism ends this way, in straightforward unambiguous bribery.
So, far from winning over McCain and company, the second iteration of Graham-Cassidy is likely to repulse conservative hardliners who will object to the additional funding for the four states represented by the hold-outs. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has already indicated that he is skeptical of the new bill. This stands to reason. If the point of repealing and replacing ObamaCare is that it is necessary to get government out of health care, why should you allocate these additional funds? Why deprive the good people of Maine and Alaska of glorious freedom, when it is obvious that they would be better off without the money? The whole thing stinks of desperation and decay. Far be it from me to compare esteemed members of the world’s greatest deliberative body to hounds or labradoodles, but I do think that Cruz has at least one admirably canine quality: He can sniff out the difference between a real live bill and this thing.