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.