Richard Burr and Thom Tillis – we understand they’re the U.S. senators from North Carolina – have had little or nothing to offer their constituents in leadership on the pathetic debate over health care reform in the Senate.
They mouth the predictable doomsday lines about how bad “Obamacare” is and how Republicans have to save the American people from it. They make no bow to the fact that it’s helped more than 20 million people get health insurance, protected those with pre-existing conditions, kept young people on their parents’ insurance and, by the way, has not blown up the federal deficit as Republicans predicted it would. And, they don’t talk much about Republican plans that would have thrown from 20 to 30 million people off of insurance while diminishing coverage for millions more and ruining the Medicaid program. But they keep voting for whatever their leader, Mitch McConnell, tells them to.
NBC News reporter Vaughn Hillyard said Burr told him he wasn’t worried about not knowing what kind of changes were coming up for a Senate vote. Hillyard quoted Burr as saying, “It doesn’t concern me. As I said, I’ll vote for anything.”
Republicans, with Burr and Tillis meekly obeying the pack, followed their utterly confused president into battle against “Obamacare” without his having a “replacement” plan in mind. So GOP leaders and followers have stumbled around and watched as their hated “Obamacare” has gotten more popular with the public.
Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, could claim he’s has lots to do with the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, but he’s not saying much even about that. Tillis, an ineffective senator who doesn’t appear to be comfortable in Washington, doesn’t have that excuse – not that it’s much of one.
If the senators continue to perform primarily as members of the Trump chorus, they may find themselves uncomfortable when they come back to see constituents.