New York Magazine reported that the sweetheart deal (to bribe Senators from Alaska and Maine to support Trumpcare) may be unconstitutional. The revised bill makes it even more obvious that Republicans are trying to sweeten the deal for particular lawmakers rather than attempting to craft a better bill. According to a summary circulated by Republicans, key states with Senators that oppose Trumpcare will see spending increases between 2020 and 2026: Alaska (3 percent/Murkowski), Arizona (14 percent/McCain), Kentucky (4 percent/Paul), and Maine (43 percent/Collins). Is it legal or ethical to bribe a Senator for their vote?
The latest Trumpcare proposal gives Alaska and Maine especially generous treatment including a complete exemption from the deep cuts to Medicaid and tax credits that other states will suffer. Obamacare would be repealed in the other states, but suspiciously live on in states whose vote Trump needs really badly.
Georgetown law professor Brian Galle explains that the Constitution has a uniformity clause — Article I, section 8 of the Constitution says “all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.” The purpose of the clause is to prevent coalitions of states from ganging up on others to impose discriminatory treatment.
The clause has not been tested before, but that is only because there are few cases in which the people running the government have passed a law so blatantly discriminatory.