Finger-pointing on Hill as GOP assesses health bill loss
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 30, 2017,
Mar 30, 2017, 1:29
Tom Carper, D-Del., right rear, speaks with reporters following a closed-door strategy session, Tuesday, March 28, .
Berkeley community members were pleased when congressional Republicans tabled the American Health Care Act, or AHCA, on Friday - legislation that would have repealed and replaced the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Nobody believes Trump will decline to sign a bill if Republicans come back, say, next year with health care legislation that can get through Congress.
She was describing possibilities for members of her caucus-on the Appropriations Committee and elsewhere-to influence the upcoming government spending bill, which may need House Democratic votes to pass if their Republican counterparts can't get their acts together. As recently as January, he said in an interview with The Washington Post: "We're going to have insurance for everybody". But both parties are less inclined to work with him than they were two months ago, and instead of kissing up and making nice, he's lashing out. "Sorry that didn't work".
White House legislative affairs director Marc Short also emerged from the Senate GOP lunch indicating the administration was moving on despite President Donald Trump's promises as a candidate to immediately get rid of Obama's law. And the minority leader, as well as other Democrats, expressed a willingness to work across party lines to improve the law - if the GOP stopped trying to repeal and undermine it.
There are other more technical things we should do too, like extending reinsurance: compensation for insurers whose risk pool turned out worse than expected. The one bright spot for the GOP is Trump's nomination of conservative appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, which will be considered on the Senate floor the week of April 3. Short said that "of course" the White House hopes to avoid a shutdown. He could have made good on his initial overtures to Democrats, offering them an infrastructure package they would have found tempting, even if it came packaged with tax cuts.
"I think the Senate is going to have to move out on that", Sen.
We're hearing a lot of different things this week about what the White House will do next: They're on to tax reform; they're going to tax reform and infrastructure at the same time; healthcare reform actually isn't dead, they're still working on it; Democrats will deal on healthcare once they realize Obamacare is unsustainable. The group has already lost one member, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, who quit over the health bill debacle, declaring, "Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do". "I want to thank the President and the Speaker, they went all out to pass a repeal and replacement". Conservative Republicans sound gleeful when they talk about insurance companies pulling out of the program, leaving consumers at the mercy of the remaining private insurers who hike their premiums. "I got the opinion that there were some members of the Freedom Caucus they'd vote no against the Ten Commandments".
Last Friday, after failing to pass the House GOP' health care bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan pronounced: "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future". So it makes sense that legislators want to continue to pursue negotiations on a new plan that could gain enough support to move through Congress.
"We're going to have to look at where a governing majority comes from. I just don't see it", said New York Rep.
"I don't think we can give up", Cornyn said, "But it's clear it needs to be done on a bipartisan basis". Health care is a quarter of the American economy, and a cornerstone of American society. Pat Roberts (R-KS). "They drove it off the cliff and we need to stop that auto". They'd be skeptical, and it'd be up to Trump to make the sale - something he didn't do the first go-round with health care.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise added that Democratic celebrations about the failure of the Republican bill were "premature".