Senate Republicans are on the verge of passing a sweeping health care bill not only without knowing what's in it, but without particularly caring.
Why? It's become pretty clear, as the repeal bill from Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy has gained steam this week, that a lot of Republicans are on board because of the political imperatives behind "Obamacare repeal," and aren't especially engaged with the sweeping, dramatic changes this bill would make to the U.S. health care system.
- "If there was an oral exam on the contents of the proposal, graded on a generous curve, only two Republicans could pass it. And one of them isn't Lindsey Graham," a senior GOP aide told Axios' Caitlin Owens.
Reality check: The ACA had all sorts of unanticipated quirks and unintended consequences — and Democrats spent almost a year working on it. A bill written in a couple weeks, whose scope is even bigger than the ACA's, is sure to have some, too. And yet, many rank-and-file Republicans have barely reckoned with the very big things the bill would do intentionally.
- "I am just in shock how no one actually cares about the policy any more," one GOP lobbyist told Caitlin.
Why it matters: If this bill passes, the policy will become real soon enough. Any major overhaul of the U.S. health care system is, by definition, disruptive and full of trade-offs. But only a handful of the people who are prepared to vote for that policy seem to have thought seriously about what it would look like.