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Dem groups try to crank up the heat on Rauner over Graham-Cassidy

Thursday, Sep 21, 2017

* American Bridge…

Bruce Rauner is digging himself a deeper hole with his latest non-response to Republicans’ disastrous healthcare plan. After twice failing to join other Republican governors in a public letter opposing Trumpcare, Rauner claimed he had “expressed” his “concerns to members of Congress and members of the administration” — but he’s refusing to even say who he has contacted.

Here’s what we do know: Rauner has not contacted Dick Durbin, Illinois’ senior senator, about the bill, twice failed to join other governors in speaking out, and did not respond to Illinois representatives who called on him to oppose a past iteration of Trumpcare.

American Bridge Spokesperson Lizzy Price made the following statement:

“Yet again, Bruce Rauner has shown he’s not up to the task of standing up to Trump. Rauner’s response is too little, too late, and driven purely by his personal interests after coming under mounting political pressure. Voters will see through this.”

* DGA…

As the U.S. Senate moves closer to a vote on the Graham-Cassidy health care overhaul, Rauner continues to take a back seat on the issue, putting political considerations ahead of Illinois families. This morning’s Sun-Times Editorial enumerated the consequences for Illinois, like the $153 billion the state will lose out on over 16 years. The Sun-Times also wrote: “Dismayingly, Gov. Bruce Rauner was not among a bipartisan group of 10 governors who sent a letter asking Congress to back away from the bill.”

A full review shows Governor Rauner is even more of an outlier than that. As of this morning, eight Republican governors have come out against Graham-Cassidy:

Except for Governor Kasich, all the governors listed are executives of “Clinton-won” states. The only governors missing of that category are Governor Paul LePage, a close Trump ally who supports the overhaul, and Governor Bruce Rauner.

He truly is one of a kind.

“Bruce Rauner’s abdication of leadership is truly unique,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Governors all across the country are actively fighting the latest and worst attempt by President Donald Trump to destroy health care, that is except for Bruce Rauner. Time and time again he has failed to show leadership on issues that might hurt his reelection campaign. Bruce Rauner is lucky that cowardice doesn’t count as a pre-existing condition. But Illinois families with pre-existing conditions could face skyrocketing premiums under the Cassidy-Graham bill.”

* Yesterday from the Pritzker campaign…

Yesterday, as a bipartisan group of governors condemned the latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Bruce Rauner offered nothing but a half-hearted critique of the callous Graham-Cassidy bill.

The failed governor’s refusal to stand up for the Illinoisans who will be harmed by the law comes on the heels of reports laying out the law’s devastating effects. The latest estimate shows Illinois losing $18 billion in federal funding by 2027, with even steeper cuts projected afterwards. The report also warns of protections for pre-existing conditions being scrapped, devastating Illinoisans currently protected under the ACA.

“If Bruce Rauner was ever going to grow a spine and stand up for Illinoisans then now is the time to do it,” said Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “This is a moment when bipartisan governors across the country are standing up to Donald Trump and speaking out against this devastating healthcare bill, but Rauner is asleep at the wheel.”

* But it’s not just partisan Democrats. From the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless…

Millions would lose health insurance coverage under Graham-Cassidy, a bill many are calling the most harmful repeal measure yet. Homeless and low-income adults would immediately lose coverage in Medicaid expansion states, including Illinois. It would eliminate insurance subsidies paid to moderate-income workers who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Over time, families and children could also lose coverage. Illinois is projected to lose $8 billion in federal Medicaid funding by 2026, $153 billion by 2036.

Graham-Cassidy also would hurt those of us who are insured, allowing insurance companies to charge a person more based on medical history. Leading patient advocates, the AARP, hospitals, and medical groups have strongly criticized the bill.

Twelve governors, including five Republican governors, have spoken out against Graham-Cassidy in recent days — but Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has failed to publicly oppose the bill, as he did during his previous repeal efforts. Please call Gov. Rauner at (312) 814-2121 and tell his office:

“Gov. Rauner must speak out publicly to oppose the Graham-Cassidy repeal bill. Too many people would be hurt if this bill is passed, including the most vulnerable residents of our state.”

* And it’s not all about Rauner. This is from the Illinois Hospital Association…

The Illinois Health and Hospital Association opposes the latest Senate proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would do great harm to patients, hospitals, the healthcare delivery system, and our state budget and economy. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill is even more damaging than the previous Senate and House repeal proposals. Not only will it result in the loss of healthcare coverage for up to one million Illinoisans, but it will erode key protections for patients and consumers and will cut federal healthcare resources to Illinois by more than $150 Billion.

IHA also opposes changing Medicaid to a capped funding model. Illinois already ranks 50th in the country in federal funding support per Medicaid beneficiary. Capped funding would lock Illinois into low, insufficient federal funding levels and shift costs to the state.

Illinois cannot absorb additional financial burdens that would be imposed on the state and would be forced to reduce eligibility, covered services, and payments to providers. The magnitude of these cuts and changes to Medicaid is staggering.

We were encouraged by recent bi-partisan negotiations to stabilize the individual marketplace. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill will do nothing in the short or long term to create marketplace stability.

We urge the Senate to reject this proposal, and we implore the members of the Illinois House Delegation to oppose the bill if it passes the Senate. There is a great deal at stake for the health and well-being of the people of Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments
  1. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 1:22 pm:

    “Illinois is projected to lose $8 billion in federal Medicaid funding by 2026, $153 billion by 2036.”

    After the last 32 months, the idea that Bruce Rauner might give even half-a-damn about Illinois Medicaid recipients is absurd.

    – MrJM


  2. - honeybadger - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    At this point, does anyone expect anything different from Governor Rauner? I mean, come on, who thinks he is really going to comment on that awful healthcare overhaul?

    After all, he has no social agenda, right?


  3. - illini - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    It has been said here many times before - He Does Not Care.


  4. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    Where does the Ounce of Prevention Fund Stand on the Graham-Cassidy bill? *Ounce* *of* *Prevention*?

    Shouldn’t the president of an organization whose very name suggests it would be opposed to something that will take preventive health care away from hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans, including children, call on the Illinois governor to take a stand against?

    If the president won’t, doesn’t it call into question whether the Ounce is on the level, or is more of an image-building vehicle for an image-conscious first couple?


  5. - Macbeth - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    If Bruce and Diana would put down their glasses of viognier and steer their cocktail talk from the insipid Northshore gossip to actual issues impacting Illinoisians, they might actually make a difference.

    Instead, they stay quiet and remain as vapid and impotent as everybody else at the party.

    It’s like some John Cheever story gone way, way wrong.


  6. - Paddy - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 1:46 pm:

    That’s because “he has no social agenda”.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    I have no idea where The Ounce stands.

    I do know Diana Rauner wanted IPI people, people who write a budget decimating or obliterating social services and ruining the Illinois safety net, to be hired by Bruve to run his administration and help they phony “Diana Rauner” brand that she herself chided others as to where and how the “Diana Rauner” brand should be used.

    Diana Rauner called the destruction of social services and fighting back against it a “business decision”

    Unless the phony “Diana Rauner” brand can benefit from taking a side, I’ll wait for The Ounce itself to show where they stand, with respect to The Ounce.


  8. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    Republican Governors who have not taken a position on Graham-Cassidy (9 out of 34):

    Dealing with hurricane aftermath:
    Abbott - Texas
    Scott - Florida
    Deal - Georgia

    Made comments but still under review:
    Snyder - Michigan
    Justice - West Virginia

    Termed/retiring and no comments:
    Mead - Wyoming
    Otter - Idaho

    Seemingly no excuse, i.e., no comments at all:
    Ivey - Alabama
    the “governor” - Illinois

    Pretty good company there, ace


  9. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    Could someone ask Hud for a comment on why “the governor” (h/t Joe Bidenopolous) won’t comment?

    Hud seems to have time for responding to Rep. McSweeney’s provocations. “The governor”, as of 5 minutes ago, has time to tweet well wishes to those affected by Hurricane Maria and in its path.

    Perhaps “the governor” has a minute or two to tweet some thoughts for his own constituents on the man-made disaster that’s bearing down on them in the form of Graham-Cassidy?


  10. - Norseman - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 2:06 pm:

    Rauner is not into governing so why do we expect him to comment on something that will so drastically affect state finances. He’s more afraid of offending his rich friends.


  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 2:07 pm:

    Does if really matter.


  12. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 2:09 pm:

    Rauner says he’s not a politician, but does he say or do anything on principle that may hurt him politically? He had to let controversy build and be pushed before he spoke out about Charlottesville and Trump’s response to it. That’s not a leader. Leaders help shape public opinion rather than always sticking their fingers up to see which way the political winds are blowing.


  13. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 2:31 pm:

    Otter is Governor of Idaho? Wow. I knew he was a Beverly Hills gyno at one time, but that’s a big change.

    To the Post, maybe someone could slide the Gov a couple Jimmy Kimmel reruns. They may get him engaged on the issue faster than anything Staff could turn out.


  14. - Rhetorical Questioner - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 2:41 pm:

    Because the Affordable Care Act (”Obamacare” as written by the Democrats) has proven to be such a smashing success, the brave Democrats can stigmatize anyone who would dare seek to repeal or replace it?


  15. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    “(”Obamacare” as written by the Democrats) has proven to be such a smashing success”

    It has been a success. Hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans got coverage through Medicaid expansion, and many got coverage through subsidies to help buy private insurance through the federal marketplace.

    The uninsured rate dropped substantially throughout America–especially in Kentucky and Arkansas. So while the ACA is far from perfect, it has helped a great many people.

    Some Republicans sabotaged the ACA, like Gov. Scott in Florida, who stripped the power of his state to be able to regulate insurance companies. I think that U.S. Senate Republicans also eliminated or reduced financial help for insurance companies who take in too many sick people. I believe it was Sen. Rubio who called it crony capitalism. Yet Republicans in Wisconsin don’t blink when giving massive corporate welfare to Foxconn. The ACA creates many jobs also, but when it’s low-income and sick people getting help, it’s bad corporate handouts.


  16. - Chris P. Bacon - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 3:36 pm:

    In fairness should note that there are AT LEAST 15 Republican governors who publicly support the GOP healthcare reform. That number may have grown in last couple of days. That’s vs. the mere 8 GOP gov opponents.

    And then of course Rauner, too spineless to pick a side.


  17. - Arsenal - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 3:38 pm:

    There’s a lot of apt criticism of Obamacare, but none of it creates a blank check for *any* new bill.


  18. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==In fairness should note that there are AT LEAST 15 Republican governors who publicly support the GOP healthcare reform==

    If you’re speaking “In fairness”, you should also point out the why. Graham-Cassidy strips healthcare money from large blue states like Illinois (and red states like Kentucky) that expanded Medicaid and gives it to red states that refused to do so (like Texas and Florida). Republicans cry that redistribution is so terrible when it comes to taxes, but they’re happy to do it with healthcare dollars. Rick Scott wanted to punish poor people in his state by denying them access to affordable healthcare, and so it’s better for Illinois taxpayers to have to pay to prop up his healthcare system? NO.


  19. - anon - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 4:50 pm:

    It’s really The Ounce of Deception with Diana Rauner there.


  20. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 6:42 pm:

    Don’t we have two Democratic US Senators in Washington to represent us on Federal legislation?

    Who cares about Rauner?


  21. - aufjunk - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 7:20 pm:

    “…but Rauner is asleep at the wheel.”

    They should have said, “hiding in the bathroom.”


  22. - LTSW - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 8:18 pm:

    Durbin and Duckworth will be definite no votes. What does it matter what Raunet’s position is?


  23. - Arsenal - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 11:49 pm:

    ==What does it matter what Raunet’s position is?==

    House is gonna have to vote for it, too. Do none of the Republican House members care what Rauner thinks?


  24. - Arsenal - Thursday, Sep 21, 17 @ 11:51 pm:

    Also, Rauner’s supposed to write the state’s budget. Now, sure, he’s had some problems with that this term, but it’s still right there in the job description. He oughtta weigh in on something that’s gonna blow a billion dollar hole in the budget.


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