Donald Trump's disastrous and embarrassing foreign trip has overshadowed the Republicans' ongoing attempt to kick tens of millions of Americans off their health care, but with the Senate returning from recess next week, this is a more perilous time than ever.
On Sunday's “Meet the Press,” any doubt as to the accuracy of those facts was put to rest when Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez confronted his GOP counterpart over Trumpcare's death toll. RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel didn't even try to disagree and could only scold Perez for having the poor taste to bring it up:
RONNA McDANIEL: “That's a broad statement, to say Republicans don't give a blank about you.”
TOM PEREZ: “Well, 200,000...”
RONNA MCDANIEL: “That's a big statement.”
TOM PEREZ: “People will die if the Affordable Care Act...”
RONNA MCDANIEL: “And that rhetoric's over the top again.”
TOM PEREZ: “...is repealed.”
RONNA MCDANIEL: “— rhetoric over the top.”
TOM PEREZ: “But that — don't take my word for it. These are the assessments of people who have looked at the bill. Twenty-two million people are going to lose their lifeline.”
RONNA MCDANIEL: “I'm always happy to have a discussion.”
TOM PEREZ: “You know? The opioid epidemic...”
CHUCK TODD: “Well, I think we now —”
TOM PEREZ: “...is very real.”
CHUCK TODD: “All right. No, no, no. And I —”
TOM PEREZ: “It's a five-alarm fire. And you don't fight a five-alarm fire —”
RONNA MCDANIEL: “And we're the only ones fighting it right now.”
TOM PEREZ: “— with only a gallon of gas.”
RONNA MCDANIEL: “We'd love for you to be part of it with us.”
TOM PEREZ: “And that's what they're trying to do.”
RONNA MCDANIEL: “We're the only ones manning the station.”
TOM PEREZ: “That's the problem, Chuck.”
Perez launched a fleet of Republican Waahhmbulances in April when he told a crowd that Republicans “don't give a shit about people,” which is also not nice to say. However, it is a tough point to argue when people like McDaniel knowingly support a bill that they do not dispute will result in hundreds of thousands of deaths — and, in her case, opposes a law that saved lives, that her uncle invented.
Perez spent the first several minutes of the interview arguing against Trumpcare as a tax cut bill, but with stakes this high, perhaps he should be leading with this instead.
This is a commentary piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.