Like previous attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Graham-Cassidy bill has prompted strong objections from the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association, insurance companies and most Americans.

The bill includes rollbacks of the most popular Obamacare safeguards and, in an interview, Ron Johnson confirmed that it will not guarantee coverage for all, let alone those with pre-existing conditions.

So why support it? The most likely answer was revealed Friday in The New York Times: During a recent closed-door lunch meeting of Senate Republicans, they recounted conversations with “furious” donors threatening to withhold campaign contributions due to the lack of substantive legislation passed during President Trump’s tenure.

Iowa Se. Chuck Grassley, on a conference call, went further: “Republicans campaigned on this so often that we have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign... That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”

For Grassley, Johnson and others the substance of the bill is, at best, only as important as the promise to pass it. They would dismiss the warnings of nearly every expert body in the field, jeopardize the health and lives of their own constituents and throw a fifth of the nation’s economy into chaos because, darn it, they said they would.

Call Sen. Johnson, tell him our health is more important than his pride or the Republican Party’s coffers; remind him that it’s a disgrace that we need to say so.

Liam Moran, La Crosse

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