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The Health Care Freedom Act: A Transcript

INT. SENATE FLOOR - NIGHT

SEN. MCCONNELL addresses the august body.

SEN. MCCONNELL
Okay, idiots. We’ve had seven years of the Obamacare hellscape, which, as everyone agrees, has ruined our country, killed jobs, slaughtered animals, and set the Bible on fire. But now the GOP is in charge – and it’s time for this national nightmare of “sick people being able to maybe not die or go bankrupt” to end.

SEN. SCHUMER
Okay, you’ve been talking about a replacement bill for eight years. Let’s see what you got.

SEN. CORNYN
Whoa whoa whoa – you’re being a little “pushy” there, Chuck.

SEN. SCHUMER
That’s usually code for “Jewish.”

SEN. CORNYN
Nobody said “Jewish.” I said “pushy.” You’re being pushy, is what I said. Don’t put words in my mouth. Anyway: read it and weep: the American Freedom Bald Eagle Old Glory Healthcare for Everyone with No Exceptions “It’s Gonna Be So Easy” Act.

SEN. WARREN
…Where is it? We haven’t seen it yet. Can we see it?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No.

SEN. JOHNSON
A little history for you: when the Democrats wrote “Obummercare” –

SEN. MCCONNELL
(chuckles)
Nice.

They high-five.

SEN. JOHNSON
– they did it in secret, in scarcely 16 months, behind closed doors, with not even 100 Republican amendments, and barely 70 public hearings.

SEN. MCCONNELL
Like you can craft anything good in 16 months!

SEN. CORNYN
In contrast to that undemocratic process, we, the GOP, spent literally dozens of minutes crafting this, over chicken caesar wraps and Arnold Palmers, earlier today in the senate dining room.

SEN. MCCONNELL
Enough talking. We’ve been discussing this bill for almost eight minutes. Time to vote.

SEN. WARREN
Can we see the bill?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No.

SEN. SCHUMER
Can we offer amendments?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No.

SEN. WYDEN
Can we have public hearings?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No. Go back to Oregon, you dirty hippie.

SEN. COLLINS
I’m voting no, Mitch. This bill is terrible.

SEN. MURKOWSKI
I’m voting no too. It’s an abomination.

SEN. MCCONNELL
(shakes his head sadly)
Broads. Look, I know the bill is miserable. It would crash the insurance markets immediately. But who cares? This is just symbolic. This bill isn’t going to be a law. We’re just doing it to initiate a conference with the House, so we can actually pass a real bill later.

SEN. JOHNSON
I just got a text from Paul Ryan. The House might just pass this bill.

SEN. MCCONNELL
They might pass it?! Why the hell would they pass this bill we are about to pass?!

SEN. GRAHAM
(fanning himself)
This bill is abhorrent. It’s absurd, I say. I shudder to think what would happen if it became an actual law!

SEN. SCHUMER
So how will you vote?

SEN. GRAHAM
Oh I’m voting “yes.”

SEN. CAPITO
This bill would devastate the people of West Virginia!

SEN. PORTMAN
It would ruin lives! My own governor hates it!

SEN. SCHUMER
You’re both voting for it, though, right?

SEN. PORTMAN
Oh yeah.

SEN. CAPITO
No question. Voting “yes.”

SEN. HARRIS
Can we read the bill now?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No. Any word from Ryan?

SEN. CRUZ
I’ve been texting him a lot. No word. Oh – hang on, he’s writing back…I see the little bubbles.

SEN. MCCONNELL
What’d he say?

SEN. CRUZ
“New phone, who dis?” Guess I have the wrong number.

SEN. MCCONNELL
No, that’s his number. It’s just: nobody likes you.

SEN. JOHNSON
Ryan just texted me. I asked him if he could guarantee the House wouldn’t just pass our bill.

SEN. MCCONNELL
What’d he say?

SEN. JOHNSON
(reading)
“Look, this is complicated. This stuff gets a little wonky – I don’t want to bore you with the nerdy, wonky details. I’m kind of a policy geek, so I kind of get down in there with the nitty-gritty stuff, that other people are bored by, because they’re not policy geeks like me.”

SEN. MCCONNELL
…He didn’t answer your question.

SEN. CRUZ
(checking Johnson’s phone)
Let me see what number you have for him…yeah, that’s the same number I have. Weird.

SEN. MCCONNELL
It’s not weird. No one likes you.

SEN. GRAHAM
(lying on fainting couch)
My fellow members of this most august body, don’t you see we are headed for a disaster? This bill cannot pass! It would upend generations of Senatorial norms and procedure, and devastate the very fabric of American society!

SEN. SCHUMER
Still voting for it, though?

SEN. GRAHAM
Oh yeah, still a solid “yes.”

SEN. MURKOWSKI
I’m still a “no,” by the way.

SEN. COLLINS
Me too.

SEN. MCCONNELL
No one cares, ladies. Go get your hair blown out or whatever.

SEN. HARRIS
Can we read the bill now?

SEN. MCCONNELL
(angry)
No! Why are there all these women haranguing me?! How many goddamned women are in the Senate now, 95?!

SEN. WARREN
Twenty.

SEN. MCCONNELL
Seems like 95. Look: no one gets to read the bill. It’s not a real bill! It’s not supposed to become a law!

SEN. JOHNSON
What if the House just passes it?

SEN. MCCONNELL
Call that little pissant Paul Ryan and tell him they better not!

SEN. JOHNSON
(dials)
Paul? It’s Ron Johnson. You better not pass this bill that we are about to pass, because we don’t want it to pass, even though we are gonna pass it!

SEN. MCCONNELL
What’d he say?

SEN. JOHNSON
He said the process of passing bills is wonky, and it’s hard to explain, and he’ll try not to bore me with the wonky details.

SEN. CRUZ
Let me talk to him.
(takes phone)
Paul? It’s Ted. Listen, bud –
(beat)
Oh, sorry. Okay.
(hangs up)
It was the wrong number.

SEN. MCCONNELL
We were already talking to him, moron.

SEN. PORTMAN
No one likes you.

SEN. WARREN
Can we read the bill?

SEN. MCCONNELL
No. No more women talking. Time to vote. It’s a fake bill, and if the House passes it and all hell breaks loose, we can just blame Hillary or something.
(calling out)
Who wants to pass a fake disastrous bill that, if it became law, would cause the insurance markets to collapse, and 18 million people to immediately lose health care, but who gives a crap, because it’d be the House’s fault and no one pays attention to this stuff anyway?

49 REPUBLICANS
Yay!

48 DEMOCRATS
Nay!

SENS. MURKOWSKI AND COLLINS
Nay.

SEN. MCCONNELL
(aside)
Must be that time of the month.

SEN. CRUZ
Nice!

Cruz goes to high-five McConnell, who ignores him.

SEN. MCCONNELL
Okay, one more vote. John?

SEN. MCCAIN
I vote no.

Everyone loses their minds.

AMERICAN MEDIA
MCCAIN VOTED NO! MAVERICK! ONCE AGAIN HE DEFIES THE PARTY! HERO! NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS!

SEN. MURKOWSKI
…I voted “no” as well.

SEN. COLLINS
Yeah, Lisa and I are also Republicans who defied–

AMERICAN MEDIA
WE REPEAT: THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED! LITERALLY ONLY JOHN MCCAIN WOULD EVER DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS! PLUS HE HAS CANCER – AND HE STILL CAME HERE AND VOTED!

SEN. HIRONO
I have Stage 4 kidney cancer, and I voted –

AMERICAN MEDIA
JOHN MCCAIN JUST DID SOMETHING THAT LITERALLY NO OTHER MAN IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICA WOULD EVER DO EVER!

SEN. CRUZ
Bummer, huh guys? Anyone want to come over to my place, get some wings, watch a little “Life of Brian?” No? Rain check, then.

Flourish. Exeunt. Curtain.

The congressional shooting that happened yesterday in Alexandria was horrible. No one should disagree with that. 

But a year ago this month, nearly 50 people were killed at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida. 

Two years ago, nine people were killed at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Five years ago, 20 children and six adults were killed during the Sandy Hook shooting. 

These are only the shootings I can think of off the top of my head. Just this year alone, and June hasn’t even ended yet, there have been 150+ shootings.

But it took an attack on old white men for the media to bring gun control back into the public mindset. It took this attack for Paul Ryan to proclaim, “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.” 

It would’ve been nice if this anger from GOP politicians had been around for all the innocent people who have died from shootings. No one has died yet from yesterday’s shooting, and hopefully, Steve Scalise recovers soon. 

But could this please be the breaking point for the GOP? This country needs gun control. If our politicians had done something before now, perhaps they wouldn’t have become victims. 

Both of them are despicable garbage but Bannon calling Paul Ryan a “limp-dick motherfucker who was born in a petri dish at the Heritage Foundation” is one of the funniest burns I’ve ever heard in my life

5 Biggest Myths About Planned Parenthood: DEBUNKED

There is a lot of misinformation out there about Planned Parenthood — much of which has been pushed forward by anti-women’s health politicians and groups focused on blocking patients from turning to Planned Parenthood health centers for reproductive health care.

They’re trying to block people with Medicaid coverage from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers — including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD/STI testing and treatment.


Myth #1: Other providers can absorb Planned Parenthood’s patient base

As experts have demonstrated over and over again, community health centers don’t have the capacity to absorb the 2.4 million Planned Parenthood patients.

Repeating the same lie over and over again doesn’t make it true. So when House Speaker Paul Ryan and other anti-abortion politicians in Washington say that the country’s overburdened, publicly funded community health centers (CHCs) will take up the slack in the event these politicians “defund” Planned Parenthood, don’t believe them for a minute. Better yet, call your U.S. senators to let them know the facts.

Defunding,” by the way, doesn’t stop federal taxpayer money from paying for abortions – because federal law already prohibits federal dollars from going to abortion, except in dire circumstances. Instead, “defunding” simply blocks patients who rely on public health care funds from getting care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

Read More: No, Community Health Centers Cannot Absorb Planned Parenthood Patients


Myth #2: Planned Parenthood is unpopular and should be defunded

20 separate nationwide polls and an additional 12 polls in key states show strong favorability for Planned Parenthood and strong opposition to efforts in Congress to block patients from accessing high-quality, lifesaving care at Planned Parenthood.

These poll results stem from the deep and longstanding relationship that many Americans have with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading provider of reproductive health care and sex education. For a century, people have relied on Planned Parenthood for care and information, and each year Planned Parenthood health centers serve millions of patients essential services, such as birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, safe and legal abortion, and other high-quality health care.

An estimated one in five American women has relied on Planned Parenthood for care in her lifetime.

Read More: Fact: Public Overwhelmingly Supports Planned Parenthood


Myth #3: Planned Parenthood uses federal tax dollars for abortions

Does the Government Fund Planned Parenthood?

With all the talk in Washington about “defunding Planned Parenthood,” you might think there’s a specific, Planned Parenthood line item in the federal budget that Congress and the president can just zero out. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Most federal funds come through Medicaid, the government-funded health insurance plan for people with low incomes. Just like other kinds of insurance, Medicaid reimburses Planned Parenthood’s doctors and nurses for the preventive medical services they provide, including lifesaving cancer screenings, HIV tests, and birth control.

Read More: How Federal Funding Works at Planned Parenthood


Myth #4: Planned Parenthood has its own line item in the federal budget

Fact: There is no line item in the federal budget that goes to Planned Parenthood.

The phrase “defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer.

Planned Parenthood does not receive a blank check from the federal government.

Just like hospitals, Planned Parenthood health centers get Medicaid reimbursements for critical services provided to low-income patients — services like birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment.

And per the Hyde Amendment (which has been the law for more than 40 years) — federal Medicaid funds do not go toward abortion (with limited exceptions outlined under Hyde).

More than 50% of Planned Parenthood’s patients rely on Medicaid to access preventive care. The Senate’s “Trumpcare” bill would block many Americans from getting the affordable health care they rely on.


Myth #5: “Defunding” Planned Parenthood will save the country money

No, “defunding” Planned Parenthood will not save the country money.

Efforts to shut down Planned Parenthood threaten to harm women’s health and their economic security. And these efforts don’t make fiscal sense for the country — every public dollar spent on family planning services is estimated to save the government $7.09 in state and federal dollars.

2

A man talks about his sick baby. Cries constantly. It’s an uncomfortable video to watch at times. It really is.  A little too raw and emotional for live TV.

At the end, he is relieved his sick baby is OK and hopes other sick babies can be OK. There’s a (subtle) acknowledgement of his status and wealth and we, the viewer, understand his kid got the best treatment possible. (He’s a rich talk show host, after all.) 

But his point is: He doesn’t think it should matter if a sick baby is poor: they should get healthcare. He knows the system is unfair and wants to fix it. He saw all those other families at the children’s hospital and understood they weren’t like him and didn’t have his money.

 And he gets called a snobbish elitist for this. (Um, isn’t what he is saying the opposite of elitism?)

When you realize how deranged, cold-hearted and hypocritical the GOP has gotten. You’d rather call him “a Hollywood liberal” than cope with the truth of what he is saying.