North Dakota’s lone Congressman Kevin Cramer voted for the rushed, unknown, non-analyzed Republican plan to replace Obamacare today. The bill had zero committee hearings and no scoring from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The public couldn’t even see the text of the bill the day before 217 Congressional Republicans cheered its narrow passage.
I’m not surprised by Congressman Cramer’s vote. After all, Cramer had to vote for something, or else it would have been proven that his campaign talk on replacing Obamacare was a complete and utter fraud. He simply needed to live up to his political rhetoric for the last six years following his symbolic votes to repeal the plan. Therein lies the problem in our politics today. It is full of people like Kevin Cramer who rush to uphold their political party’s image no matter the cost to the American people. Those costs on this particular item could be life or death for some.
We don’t know everything about this bill. For example, we don’t know exactly how many Americans Cramer voted to leave uninsured because of last minute deal making. That will be revealed over the next few days and weeks when the CBO scores the bill already passed. Preliminary reviews show what is for certain is if you have something now considered as a preexisting condition your costs will be allowed to go up. Or, if you are a senior citizen, your costs will be allowed to go up. Or, if you’re a woman, your costs will be allowed to go up.
Cramer’s vote shows his ego as an elected official is matched only by his callousness toward women, older Americans, poor North Dakotans, and children with disabilities. It is not that he didn’t want to wait to vote on the bill until after he saw the detailed impacts his vote would have. It is that he simply didn’t care.