McConnell warns GOP senators they may end up having to work with the Democrats. They should.The failure so far of Senate Republicans to agree on a health-care bill provides an opening. Whatever happens the next few days, moderates and centrists on both sides can and should rise, name themselves, and start storming through... The party is undergoing a populist realignment, with party donors, think-tankers and ideologues seeing things more or less one way, and the Trump base, including many Democrats, seeing them another... He has impulses and sentiments but is not, as the French used to say, a serious man.
.. Many Republican senators see that the American people are not in the mood for tax cuts to the comfortable and coverage limits on the distressed. Democratic senators, on the other hand, are increasingly aware that ObamaCare is not viable, and in some respects is on the verge of collapse.This gives both parties motives to join together and make things better.
.. Republicans believe they must repeal ObamaCare because they’ve long promised to do so. Keeping promises, especially in our untrusting political climate, is a good thing. But polling suggests America isn’t eager that promise be wholly kept
.. Republican Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said on Fox News Wednesday night: “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and work with the Democrats.” Republican Ron Johnson of Wisconsin says it’s a ‘mistake’ to attempt a partisan fix. Democrat Joe Manchin, also of West Virginia, says he’s “ready” for a bipartisan effort. The New York Times reports senators from both parties met privately weeks ago to discuss core issues. Mr. Manchin was there along with Democrats Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Among the Republicans were Sens. Capito and Collins, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
.. Every president until Barack Obama knew this. He bullied through ObamaCare with no Republican support, and he did it devilishly, too, in that he created a bill so deal-laden, so intricate, so embedding-of-its-tentacles into the insurance and health systems, that it would be almost impossible to undo. He was maximalist.
.. Here is a thing that would help: a little humility from the Democrats, and a little humanity.
.. ObamaCare has big flaws—always did. It was an imperfect piece of legislation and it’s done some things my party said wouldn’t happen, such as lost coverage and hiked deductibles.
.. The Democratic Party made this mess. It’s on them to help dig out of it. If they show some humility, Republicans would look pretty poor in not responding with their own olive branch.
.. When it’s over, use whatever words you want: “We forced Democrats to admit the bill was flawed and dying.” “We forced Republicans to back down.”
The Senate Takes Up Health Care Reform
The Senate will take up health care reform after a revised version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed through the House last Thursday.
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), a member of Senate leadership, said that the Senate will wait for a new CBO score before preceding to a vote.
.. Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, said, “The bill that passed out of the House is most likely not going to be the bill that is put in front of the president.”
Members of the working group include Sens.
- Mitch McConnell,
- Bob Portman (R-OH),
- John Corynyn (R-TX),
- John Thune (R-SD),
- Mike Enzi (R-WY),
- Orrin Hatch (R-UT),
- Lamar Alexander (R-TN),
- Tom Cotton (R-AR),
- Cory Gardner (R-CO),
- Ted Cruz (R-TX),
- John Barrasso (R-WY), and
- Pat Toomey (R-PA).
.. The Senate working group does not feature two of the bill’s biggest critics, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
.. The two senators joined a separate group of Republicans studying potential health care solutions including Sens.
- Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV),
- Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and
- Mike Rounds (R-SD)
- Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
.. Senators Cassidy and Collins released a separate Obamacare repeal bill, The Patient Freedom Act.
States have three options under the Cassidy-Collins plan:
- Retain the Affordable Care Act, allowing individuals and small businesses able to purchase insurance on state exchanges and low-income residents can receive federal subsidies to cover the cost of the program. States that expanded Medicaid can continue to provide increased Medicaid coverage.
- States can receive most of the federal funding, including Medicaid expansion and subsidies to create tax-free Health Savings Accounts for low-income citizens. Low-income residents can use the HSAs to purchase insurance and pay for health care.
- Allow states to create an alternative solution without federal assistance. States would retain the power to design and regulate insurance markets without federal intervention.
.. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) were the strongest opponents of the American Health Care Act. Senator Paul crafted his own conservative plan for repealing Obamacare and worked with the Freedom Caucus to push for an even more conservative Obamacare repeal bill. The Freedom Caucus endorsed Sen. Paul’s plan.