The health care debate in the Senate hit a tipping point on Thursday, going into Friday morning, as senators entered a "Vote-a-Rama," wherein a bunch of votes are conducted in one long sitting. It's an hours-long process that is literally going on overnight for this health care debate. As it was starting up, Senator Ben Sasse tweeted about the Vote-a-Rama and his daughter.
His tweet clearly was intended to be cute and endearing as he referred to a text he received from his teenage daughter. Sasse tweeted that he got a text from his 16-year-old daughter, who said that she misses him and that Vote-a-Rama "sounds like the lamest party ever."
But a lot of people were really, really not amused by the Nebraska senator's tweet.
That's because health care is a very serious topic. So people were offended that the senator would be taking it so lightly in the public forum of Twitter.
Sasse is a Republican who has been voting along party lines. Therefore, on top of just general shock that a senator would make a lighthearted joke out of health care, people were offended because of the drastic effects Sasse's votes will have on American lives.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the GOP's "skinny repeal" plan -- their latest health care plan to partially repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) -- would lead to 16 million more people being without health insurance by 2026. Meanwhile, the CBO estimates, premiums for individual health plans would rise by about 20 percent.
These are real effects for real people, and they took to Twitter to remind Sasse of that.
Considering the very real possible effects of Sasse's vote, his tweet about his daughter was deemed to be badly timed and in just really awful taste.
Health care has become a partisan issue, especially as Democrats support Obamacare and Republicans want to dismantle it. But ultimately, it's a very human one. Sasse and every other politician should remember that as they tweet -- and vote.