As of Tuesday, there are only 35 committed yes votes for Senate health care bill. The bill could end up still getting 50 votes, but with mass opposition from conservative and moderate Republicans, along with unified Democrats, this legislation could be blocked resoundingly.
“You’re not gonna get 49. You’re either gonna get 50 or probably 35,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters Monday, adding that the CBO estimates “are going to make it harder to get to 50, not easier.”
Conservatives have begun to revolt, and moderates are blanching at the plan’s projected coverage losses. The majority leader has some room to negotiate; he has about $200 billion to play with, according to the CBO. But any money he pumps into the bill to hold on to moderates could drive away conservatives. Likewise, moving the bill any further to the right — and potentially increasing that 22 million more uninsured estimate — could fortify moderate opposition.
Mitch McConnell’s problem is that if he moves to the right, he loses the middle. If he moves to the middle, he will definitely lose the right. Conservatives want Obamacare replaced with nothing, while the moderates want changes made to the ACA to fix the issues with the law. Moderates don’t want to end the Medicare expansion, while that is the backbone of the conservative plan in the House and Senate.
It is possible that McConnell pulls a rabbit out of his hat and gets to 50 votes, but it much more likely that if he puts this bill on the floor, it will be blocked by more than a few votes.
Republicans have until August 1 to pass their bill. If it doesn’t happen by then, it isn’t happening this year, and it is highly unlikely that incumbent Congressional Republicans would push this issue in an election year, so if this bill fails this summer, it may not come up again until early 2019.
With Republicans in rebellion, it looks like Trumpcare has huge problems.