Dave Bradley and I met with a Joni Ernst staffer Wednesday. We expressed our concerns about what the senator was going to do as far as her vote on repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). We shared our concerns and fears about Trump in general and about what happens to people who will lose their health care.
He was a nice, intelligent young man. You could have mistaken him for an Iowa City liberal. He was very sympathetic and agreed with us that we are living in a terrifying time; he said everyone he knows is also terrified. But that didn’t stop him from relying on easy Republican cliches that weren’t exactly true, to put us off.
He said that we needed to understand that what we hear in the news is just polarizing politics, and that when Senator Ernst actually votes on actual policies that Senator Ernst will rely on a reasoned process. (Dave and I shared a sidelong glance here).
Politely pointing out that based on everything we’ve seen so far, reason seems to have a very small place in the process, we expressed our skepticism that all would be well, no need to worry.
The nice young man assured us that the Ernst team gets it, that they understand all of the complex issues. It would all be taken into consideration before she decides how to vote.
We said something like, well you sure could’ve fooled us, and Dave asked the staffer to ask Senator Ernst if she might make a public statement as to her intentions as far as voting to repeal ACA, raising the Medicare eligibility age, or cuts to Social Security.
He claimed that “no one” really knows what is going to happen or what the alleged replacement Obamacare bill was going to have in it, so she couldn’t really make a public statement.
Nevertheless, if as he claims, we had nothing to worry about, a public statement from Senator Ernst as to what her current thoughts are about Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare could certainly be helpful, we suggested. So he scribbled a note in a tiny notebook and said he would pass it on.
He was a Nice Young Man just doing his job, explaining to us How Things Work. He was practiced enough at handling constituents that I did start to wonder if we really knew what we were talking about.
Part of the answer came just hours after we met with the senator’s representative.
Senator Joni Ernst joined Grassley and their Republican colleagues Wednesday night in voting to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with no replacement on the horizon. See Midnight Health Care Massacre