ACA Withstands Third GOP Repeal Attempt

While the SDGOP spin blog recites his own health troubles and those of some SD pols, he studiously avoids mentioning that steadfast Democrats and a handful of occasionally sensible Republicans have once again saved status quo health coverage and affordable premiums for millions of Americans. Senator Bill Cassidy said yesterday the Senate will “postpone” the vote on his and Lindsey Graham’s destructive ACA repeal, the third such major repeal push to bubble up and pop fecklessly in Congress this year.

Funny: controlling the White House and Congress usually means a political party gets things done:

With eight years of debate over Obamacare behind us, the Sisyphean effort to repeal Obamacare has become the definitive GOP policy priority of a generation. Under Trump, these repeals have brought nothing but failure and humiliation to the Republican Party, which has so far failed to translate its total dominance of the U.S. government into a single, meaningful legislative achievement. Trumpcare—a term that loosely incorporates various GOP attempts to dismantle Obamacare—died on the Senate floor in late July after a few GOP senators bucked their party’s congressional leadership [Justin Charity, “The Graham-Cassidy Bill Is Just the Latest Republican Health Care Plan Failure,” The Ringer, 2017.09.26].

In the context of this failure, calling John Thune the “second most effective Republican Senator in Washington” is kind of like calling him the second-best screen door on a submarine.

Gee, Senator Thune and friends, instead of cobbling together really bad bills behind closed doors, only to see them so publicly and spectacularly fail, maybe you’d like to get back to the regular order of crafting sensible legislation: holding open hearings, taking input from stakeholders, hashing out details in standing committees. That’s how President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress did it in 2009 and 2010. Sure, it took over a year, but look what we got: an Affordable Care Act that (a) passed, (b) works, and (c) has withstood three repeal efforts under a Republican Congress and White House.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who voted against Obamacare repeal in July, said Tuesday that she liked the concept of Graham-Cassidy, a move that many in the GOP viewed as a sign of progress. But she harshly criticized a “hard deadline and a lousy process” in a statement that didn’t say how exactly she would have voted.

“The U.S. Senate cannot get the text of a bill on a Sunday night, then proceed to a vote just days later, with only one hearing — and especially not on an issue that is intensely personal to all of us,” she said.

Democrats urged Republicans to drop their push to gut Obamacare and instead work with them to improve the law.

“To Sen. Collins and to the rest of my Republican colleagues, I want to say this: Once repeal is off the table, we want to work with you to improve the existing system,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor Monday night. “Once this bill goes down, we’re ready to work with you to find a compromise that stabilizes markets, that lowers premiums” [Seung Min Kim, Jennifer Haberkorn, and Burgess Everett, “Senate Won’t Vote on Last-Ditch Obamacare Repeal Bill,” Politico, 2017.09.26].

The votes are there for real reform, if Republicans want real reform to happen. But if they continue to choose sloganeering and anti-Obama mania over competent lawmaking, they’ll continue to trip on their own neckties.

12 Responses to ACA Withstands Third GOP Repeal Attempt

  1. Mr. Lansing

    Republicans couldn’t build an outhouse in a diarrhea ward. They couldn’t even tear down an ice fishing hut in April. Please, allow me to rescue you!!
    The only feasable way that Obamacare will ever be repealed is if Democrats do it … on the way to Medicare For All.

  2. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Cory, I am glad you mentioned the word “Third” in your headline. I had lost count. But any how, I have some genuine “Clark Griswold” experienced advice for the Republicans after all of this…. and here it goes:

    FF: 02:33 thru the end…

  3. If those courageous GOP Party senators who killed these bad bills had instead voted for the bills just to get something through the senate to negotiate with the house (which was what party leadership and the least effective GOP Party senator Mike Rounds said they were trying to do) the GOP Party would have been like the dog that caught the car. What to do next?

    They didn’t really want to pass anything. Secretly all but the most insane GOP Party congress members are happy that Collins, Murkowski and McCain saved them and the GOP Party from a healthcare apocalypse. They could pass a straight repeal of Obamacare 60 times when they knew President Obama would veto it, but the same goobers can’t pass it once when they know President Trump would sign it. They deserve to be thrown out of office by the rabid constituents they whipped into a frenzy with their previous 60 repeal efforts. I tell you, Noem knows when to jump ship – before she’s made to walk the plank.

  4. The GOP conundrum: how can you be the opposition party when you are the party in power? It was easy to be against the ACA (Obama’s policy) and vote to repeal that as a sign of standing against him, but how does a party oppose the government THEY govern?

    Soon the worm will turn, and Sanders and his followers will make the ACA the GOP’s policy and run against them and it with Single-Payer for all. Clearly, the GOP is in no way ready to play political defense. That will potentially leave elected officials like Thune and Rounds in no-man’s land: they are for nothing (and ineffective in delivering on promised repeals).

    Now we only need a political process where logic and reason matter in determining who to vote for.

  5. Donald Pay

    Just three days before a supposed vote, something over 30 Republican Senators never declared public support for the Cassidy-Graham bill. I think that is strange.

    The Republicans were either opposed to it or too chicken to actually say in public one way or the other how they would vote. Well, maybe it had to do with not having the fiscal scores that made them hesitate. Not having information public, not voting and not being on record for or against anything or being for and against the same bill is what Republican “leadership” is about these days. Trump was for the House health care monstrosity, and then, once passed, called it “mean.” Huh? Republicans don’t really have a clue. They should just admit it, and work through regular order. That way votes are taken all the way along and there is transparency.

  6. Roger Elgersma

    And they keep saying that this is the last chance to drop it. But they try again. But this whole process shows that when you want to make landmark legislation, waiting for the sixty votes in the senate does require a majority of the citizens to be on your side. And that makes it very hard to undo it even when they have control of both houses and the potus. Democracy still works.

  7. JKC, I think we’re at three, right? House failed in spring; Senate failed in summer; now here we are again. But I guess it depends on how you count. Technically, we could say four times: the House was teeing up its first repeal vote in March, then chickened out. The House voted for a plan at the beginning of May, but the Senate never took it up. The Senate wrestled with its plan in June and July, then saw it die in the McCain-thumbs-down floor vote.

    What do you think: 3 or 4?

  8. Logic and reason mattering—you ask a lot, O! I guess it’s up to us to model logic and reason and help people see why that approach is superior for governing compared to what we’ve seen this year.

  9. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr.

    Cory, Oh, just for the fun of it let’s call it four…. ;-) ……. But then again, we don’t want to be accused of any “Fake News” either…..Hahahahahaha….

  10. Darin Larson

    Trump says he is going to bring repeal and replace back in January, February or March and he says they will have the votes to pass it then. But in the mean time, Trump will talk to Democrats. You know, what the heck, I’ll talk to these Democrats.

    Trump’s repeal and replace will just not die:

    It’s alive!

  11. Darin, Trump is making stuff up. He has no vote count, and he has no plan in mind to pass come winter. The only real work that matters on health care right now is the bipartisan Alexander-Murray plan to stabilize the ACA marketplaces. Those two Senators met again today, hoping to repair instead of replace the ACA. If Trump is serious about working with Democrats, there’s his chance… but it would involve dealing with actual policy details and proposing practical solutions instead of shouting superlatives.