With Republican opposition from the conservative wing of the party growing to the leadership’s plan for Obamacare repeal, united Congressional Democrats are getting closer to a huge win if they can save the health care law.
The 32 member House Freedom Caucus is opposed to the repeal and replace bill because it contains a tax increase and refundable tax credits to purchase health insurance. They are also opposed to the idea of millionaires being eligible for the tax credits. The leader of the 172 member Republican Study Committee, Rep. Mark Walker, also came out in opposition to the legislation.
The Republican opposition in the House would be enough to kill the bill, but there is also a conservative rebellion in the Senate as Republican Senators Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), and Ted Cruz (TX) all oppose the legislation.
Republicans in House can afford to lose 22 Republican votes and still pass the bill. In the Senate, Republicans can only lose three votes, and pass the legislation.
On top of the Congressional defections, the group FreedomWorks has announced their opposition to the GOP’s repeal and replace plan. In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon said, “The House and Senate sent this repeal of ObamaCare to Obama’s desk. Why are they afraid to send it to President Trump’s desk? After nearly seven years, it’s time for Republicans to follow through on their promises and repeal ObamaCare by using the 2015 reconciliation bill as the baseline. It would be a stunning level of political hypocrisy if Republicans failed to follow through. Thankfully, principled conservatives are fighting for full repeal, not a watered down bill or ObamaCare-lite.”
It is important to note that the far-right opposition is opposed to the bill because they think it gives people too much access to health care.
Because House Republicans and a few conservatives in the Senate can’t agree with their leadership on what to about health care, Republicans may fail to do the one thing that looked certain to happen after Trump won the presidential. Congressional Republicans are on the verge of failing to repeal Obamacare.
Democrats in the House and Senate must stay united and not give Republicans any help on health care. There will be no assistance from the left in taking health care away from 20 million Americans.
If Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and President Trump push forward with the current bill, they could be setting themselves up for an embarrassing defeat.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association