We know that the GOP has no desire to discuss their secretive “Trumpcare” bill with Democrats. But what about those who would be most affected by it? The answer is, no, party fundraisers come first.
The L.A. Times reports that a group of 120 patient groups penned a letter to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on June 15th urging him to save Medicaid and avoid the radical changes of the House’s version of the American Health Care Act (“Trumpcare”).
According to a summary of the letter on Businesswire.com (where you can also find the full text and signatories) three pleas were outlined:
- Defend Medicaid as a critical lifeline for patients and consumers with ongoing health care needs.
- Reject efforts to convert Medicaid to a per capita cap or block grant system.
- Maintain Medicaid expansion.
The L.A. Times further reports that more than 15 of the advocacy groups that signed the letter asked for a meeting with Sen. McConnell any time between this past Friday and June 22nd. But the Senator’s spokesman announced in response,
“Numerous meetings are already booked well in advance.”
Now, we can all understand that the members of Congress are very busy. But according to a report from The Intercept today, GOP Senators may need to get their priorities straight.
The Intercept reports that Sen. McConnell is attending a 6:00 pm fundraising dinner to benefit the campaign of fellow Senator, Mike Rounds of South Dakota tonight. Attendance requires the contribution of either $1000 or $2500.
As for the other GOP Senator from South Dakota, John Thune, who serves as the third ranking member of Republican leadership and sits on a committee draftiing the bill, he will be fundraising for Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. Ticket prices go for $250-$2500.
And lastly, we’ll take a look at Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia who sits on two committees writing the Trumpcare bill. He’ll be at a fundraising dinner tonight at the “swank” Capitol Hill Club featuring other republican Senate members Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Deb Fischer of Nebraska. It’s $2000 to attend, or $12,500 for tonight’s dinner and includes a further series of events with GOP leaders.
I’m sure that the 15 advocacy groups who requested an audience with Sen. McConnell would be pleased to get any time with any one of these three important lawmakers. But it seems out of the question when there’s more important matters to attend to, such as fundraising and influence-peddling.
(Header Image Photo by Olivier Douliery – Pool/Getty Images)