Amidst a last-ditch effort by Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, CNN aired a town hall style health care debate among four standing senators on Monday, Sept. 25. The debate was intended to discuss two wildly different perspectives on health care coverage, but was largely framed as the Graham-Cassidy Debate. Memes and tweets both humorous and scathing flooded the Internet, as they do, and continued as the debate progressed.
Republican Sens. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, are the authors of the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill, a partisan bill that must be voted on by Sept. 30 in order to pass with a simple majority. Democratic Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, meanwhile, were slated to defend Obamacare.
The Graham-Cassidy bill could leave as many as 32 million people without health care coverage, according to a report issued by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) also predicted that millions would lose coverage under the bill. However, according to CNN, the CBO also said it was not able to give a more specific prediction because it did not have enough time to prepare.
As of Monday night, three Republican senators publicly said they would not support the bill, leaving a slim chance of success for the future of Graham-Cassidy. The case was not closed for the Internet, however, which still had a lot to say.
Health Care Debate Or Monday Night Football?
The health care debate came immediately on the heels of tense political protests across a swath of NFL games the day prior.
Since three Republican senators already came out against the bill, it appears to be dead in the water, but CNN continued with the debate anyway.
Jab At Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence has said he doesn't spend time alone with other women when his wife isn't present.
Predicting An SNL Sketch
Even as the debate happened in real-time, some viewers kept an eye on potential satire-to-come.
Senator Cassidy Looked Tense
Sen. Cassidy's resting facial expression sometimes looked a little ominous.
What They Want
Sens. Graham and Cassidy have repeatedly argued that pre-existing conditions would be covered under their bill, even though states could apply for waivers.
A Grim Perspective
Sen. Sanders said early in the debate that the Graham-Cassidy bill had a 20 percent approval rating.
Peter Daou Just Screamed
Former Clinton advisor Peter Daou has a reputation for stalwart Democratic support.
There Are Way More Than 15 Governors
Sen. Cassidy bragged that a whopping fifteen out of fifty state governors support the Graham-Cassidy bill.
Is Health Care A Human Right?
One user turned to math to prove that all people deserve access to health care.
Sen. Cassidy was criticized for making misleading arguments about the cost of health care under his bill.
Our Charisma Is Enough
Sens. Graham and Cassidy amped up their rhetorical styles, but their content wasn't quite as persuasive.
Medicare For All
Sen. Sanders, while defending Obamacare, made sure to plug his longterm goal of single payer health care.
Sen. Cassidy's Nightmares
Sen. Sanders proudly argued for his socialist views, which are based on a political system that Sens. Cassidy and Graham vehemently object to.
New Drinking Game
Sen. Cassidy repetitiously brought up the fact that he is a doctor to bolster his opinions about the health care industry.
I Like You, But...
Sens. Graham and Cassidy attempted to frame their opinions as good for everybody, which Sens. Sanders and Klobuchar fiercely disagreed with.
Stop Being Poor
Many voters are skeptical that giving more power to health insurance companies and the states would protect low-income people who rely on government assistance to afford coverage.
Monday night's health care debate repeated a lot of the same talking points that typically comprise the discussion. One side believes that the government has no role in health care, the other side believes it is the government's duty to help ensure access for everyone. As of now, the Graham-Cassidy bill appears to be on its last leg, but with Republican control of the Senate and the House, the debate is likely to continue.