Four more Republican Senators all from rural states are withholding support for the Republican health care bill due to the damage it would do to rural hospitals. If McConnell brings this bill to the floor for a vote, Trump will be humiliatingly defeated by his own party.
The New York Times reported, “Senator John Hoeven, Republican of North Dakota, signaled this week that he would not vote for the bill as written, following negative remarks from other senators with large poor and rural populations. That was the 10th defection. Three other Republican senators, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and John Boozman of Arkansas, have withheld their support, although they have not declared their opposition, and others have largely remained silent.”
The problem for McConnell is that he doesn’t have enough money to rob Peter to pay Paul in the legislative sense. Moderates want Medicaid funded, the rural Senators want rural hospitals not to lose funding, and Sens. Collins and Murkowski are weighing teaming up on an amendment that would restore Planned Parenthood funding.
There is a larger more underlying issue that may doom the healthcare bill. There are a series of differing ideologies within the Senate Republican caucus for what the healthcare bill should do. Far right Republican Senators want Obamacare repealed and replaced with nothing; there is a faction that wants Obamacare repealed with some popular provisions kept and a moderate faction that basically wants to keep the Affordable Care Act with changes.
McConnell has no margin for error since he is trying to pass this legislation with only Republican votes, but each concession that he makes to gain votes from one faction loses votes from another.
If the Republicans want a health care bill to pass, they are going to need Democratic votes. The only way that they are going to get Democratic votes is by dropping the Obamacare repeal.
It is looking more and more likely that McConnell will bring the Republican bill to the floor for a vote, it will be defeated, and then work will begin on a bipartisan bill that keeps Obamacare.
Trump vow to repeal the ACA will go down in flames, and he will suffer defeat in the most humiliating way possible from his own party.
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