Mitch McCONnell, Senate Majority Leader, and thus-far failed co-captain of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, can foresee the future. Or, at least, he can when his ability to count votes depends on it.
As you know by now, McCONnell has, for the past several months, been engaged to repeal (and, possibility, replace) the ACA through a so-called "stealth" process that involves no hearings, no attempts at bipartisanship, no input from anyone in his caucus that is a woman, and no disclosures to any member of the public as to what health care in this country might look like once the repeal-and-replace (or repeal-only) process might look like. Except, of course, for horror-show predictions from the Congressional Budget Office, which are quickly dismissed by conservatives as "fake news."
And all he has to do, because the budget reconciliation process is being used, is get 50 votes. Not 60. Not even 51. 50. Because, of course, he's got the Vice-President's vote in his back pocket.
But it hasn't been easy. It turns out that talking about repealing Obamacare is one thing for Senators, and making actual voters in their home states suffer for the sake of "keeping their word" is quite another. Why, they might forget all of the lies that they were told about Obamacare and discover that not only does it work, but losing it would be painful. For their friends. For their families. For themselves.
So, then, what does Mitch do?
He puts a scarf on his head, gazes into his crystal ball, and tells wavering Senators that the cuts to Medicaid recipients will never really happen!
I mean, it must be the case that he can do this because he has a crystal ball. Because, otherwise, it would just mean that the Republican bill is not really an effort to make America great again, but just a rank exercise in cynicism and self-serving hypocrisy focused entirely on next year's midterm elections.
And that can't be the case.