Republican Senators Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT), Ron Johnson (WI), and Ted Cruz (TX) have all come out in opposition to the Senate Trumpcare bill.
In a joint statement, the Senators said, “Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor. There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current healthcare system but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their healthcare costs.”
The dance is playing out exactly as suspected. The far right Republican Senators are trying to push the bill more to the right, but if Majority Leader McConnell moves to the right, there are potentially five Republican votes that he could lose (Murkowski, Capito, Collins, Portman, and Heller).
The healthcare bill has quickly turned into a minefield in the Senate. If McConnell keeps the moderates happy, the far right conservatives will vote against the bill. If McConnell caves to the far right, he will lose the moderates. To complicate matters even more, the Majority Leader has given himself a deadline of next Thursday to hold a vote.
The likely outcome is that McConnell will move the bill to the right, and dare the moderates to vote against it, but getting 50 yes votes is far from a sure thing.
What is clear is that it took less than 5 hours for the whole process to fall apart, and whatever Senate Republicans pass still has to go back to the House. Get on the phone and call your Senators, because nothing is a done deal, and your pressure could save healthcare as a basic right.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and 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