Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Dying But Not Quite Dead Yet
Oh this is a glorious day for Trump and his Senate minions. The first step to the repeal of Obamacare just happened as Arizona Senator John McCain cast the 50th Republican repeal vote, tying the issue 50-50, and allowing the vice president, Pence, to cast the tie-breaker.
All Democrats opposed the measure. Underscoring the significance of the vote, many senators sat at their desks for the vote.
The vote is no guarantee that the fractured Republican caucuses can coalesce around a single health care plan. Now that debate has officially started, Republicans in the Senate lack 50 votes on a policy. Moderates oppose repealing Obamacare without a replacement, and conservatives don’t like the idea of significantly replacing it.
The leading idea now is to repeal only a small portion of the health law just to get a bill to a conference with the Senate.
Now we may witness the spectacle of Senate Republicans eating themselves alive. Today's vote means that the Senate will take up the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, but the hard part, the politically dangerous next step, is to debate what to do if it's repealed. Some Republicans, two or perhaps three, don't want the ACA repealed. Another group, the majority, want it gutted to free up cash to fund tax cuts for the rich. The third group, the radicals, want the federal government to scrap health care programmes entirely. How is a group at such odds with itself going to muster the 51 votes needed to scrap the ACA?
The Repugs have 52 seats in the Senate, the Dems currently stand at 46. There are 33 Senate seats up for grabs in 2018 but only 8 are Republican. The Dems have 25 seats in jeopardy. Throw in the Trump factor and whatever that barking mad heathen gets up to between now and November, 2018, and it's anybody's guess.