On ObamaCare, Dems Don't Get to Rewrite History on Responsible Governance

Democrats are seeking to capitalize on President Donald Trump calling the Republican health care bill "mean" ahead of the Senate's vote to repeal Obamacare, seeing it as a pivotal moment in an issue that could drive the 2018 midterm elections. The measure would peel away much of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and leave government with a more limited role in providing coverage and helping people afford it. He said GOP senators have had "many productive discussions" on the measure and added, "We have to act, and we are". It remains unclear if he'll be able to write legislation that will attract enough votes. As of Tuesday morning, key rank-and-file Senate Republicans have still not gotten official word on the timing of a vote.

"The Senate will soon have a chance to turn the page on this failed law", said the Kentucky Republican. Mike Lee, R-Utah, using a Facebook video for an unusually public swipe at GOP leaders. White House officials have worked with the Senate on the plan - making clear what the President wants in the negotiations - but a White House aide bluntly said this week that they view the bill as being "in (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell's hands". It's the reality of the threat we face as Senate Republicans attempt to ram through a health care bill before the July 4th recess.

That echoed Democrats' lambasting of McConnell for writing the wide-ranging legislation in closed-door meetings. They have also tried to force the bill into committee and delay a potential vote. These include a bipartisan bill the Senate approved last week sanctioning Russian Federation for interfering in last year's election, and the deal McConnell and then-Vice President Joe Biden helped finalize preventing sharp tax increases in 2013.

"If Republicans won't relent and debate their health care bill in the open for the American people to see, then they shouldn't expect business as usual in the Senate", Schumer said. That includes, they say, the elderly poor who are on both Medicare as well as Medicaid. What new policy will lead tax cuts to lower premiums?

"This massive piece of legislation that seeks to restructure one-sixth of our economy is being written behind closed doors, without input from anyone", McConnell said, "in an effort to jam it past not only the Senate but the American people".

Republicans senators have openly grumbled about the lack of information that has come from leaders, while Democrats are crying foul and labeling the Senate proposal a "secretive" bill.

In a political exercise that is coming down to the wire, Republican leaders hope to send final legislation to the Congressional Budget Office by Wednesday or Thursday - with the aim of getting back a CBO score some time next week, according to senior GOP sources.

"We believe we can and must do better than Obamacare's status quo", he said. We've heard so many anguished stories from constituents who've been hurt by Obamacare. Some GOP senators from states that expanded the Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are trying to phase out these benefits at a slower rate than a bill that passed the GOP-controlled House in May.

  • Larry Hoffman