The Trump Administration and the national GOP are pushing ahead, as promised, with their plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — but their efforts aren’t necessarily going to prove any more successful this time around than they proved earlier this year.
The office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly planning on bringing the latest iteration of the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal measure, written jointly by Senators Lindsay Graham and Bill Cassidy, to the floor for a vote next week.
There is just one problem — the same Senators who refused to support the GOP’s plans to repeal ObamaCare the first time around have made no indication that they plan to do so this time around.
Arizona’s Senator John McCain is adamant in his stance against the GOP’s plans, since they do not involve a measure that was either produced or deliberated upon under “regular order.”
As POLITICO reports, the Senator commented recently, when asked of his stance on the GOP’s presently proceeding ACA repeal measure:
‘Nothing has changed. If McConnell wants to put it on the floor, that’s up to McConnell. I am the same as I was before. I want the regular order.’
McCain’s “no vote” on the final effort to repeal ObamaCare before the recently concluded fall Congressional recess is what sunk it. It’s come out in the weeks since then that he’s simply unwilling to trade in bipartisanship for advancing the pet causes of the president, a cause that in this case would threaten the lives of millions of people should they lose their health care.
When pressed about whether or not his above quoted commentary “means a no vote,” the Arizona Senator said:
‘That means I want the regular order. It means I want the regular order!’
Other Republican Senators who oppose the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal bill have different reasons for doing so. For instance, Kentucky’s Junior Senator Rand Paul wants something stricter — and he’s evidently preparing to force a vote to that effect, looking to bring an amendment up to the floor next week that would simply repeal the ACA as a whole and be done with it.
Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski, who has long opposed GOP efforts to repeal ObamaCare, said of the latest iteration of those efforts that she’s not yet sure what her final decision on it will be. Her reasoning is perhaps the most humanitarian; as she commented recently, her and her team have “got hard questions about numbers that we feel that we deserve an answer to.”
Just in case you needed a reminder that the bill McCain and others aren’t willing to support really is bad, it “would turn federal health insurance funding into block grants for states, wind down Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and rescind the law’s coverage mandates.”
Other Senators apparently on the fence include Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, respectively.
For what it’s worth, it’s not as though McCain necessarily has any special motivation to support the president’s efforts to repeal the ACA. The president has belligerently come after the Senator on Twitter and in public statements again and again.
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