The Senate has been ruminating over the House health care bill for a number of weeks now. They put their bill on the floor about one week ago and then shortly thereafter took it off because they did not have the votes to get it passed. Now it appears that despite more time to discuss it that it still might not pass according to these GOP Senators.
On CBS News “Face the Nation” Senator John McCain of Arizona said that the Obamacare replacement has been heavily arbitrated over because of the intraparty disagreements that might kill it before it even hits the floor for the second time. When Host John Dickerson asked McCain to comment further he said,
“I think my view is it’s probably going to be dead, but I am — I’ve been wrong. I thought I’d be president of the United States. But I think — I think I fear that it’s going to fail. And then we should convene a Republican conference, say, ‘What are we going to do?’ Introduce a bill. Say to the Democrats, ‘Here’s a bill.’ It doesn’t mean they don’t, that they control it. It means they can have amendments considered. And even when they lose, then they’re part of the process. That’s what democracy is supposed to be all about.”
McCain’s sentiments are similar to others such as Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana who talked with Chris Wallace of Fox News on Sunday. Cassidy told the Fox News anchor the following,
“We don’t know what the plan is. Clearly, the draft plan is dead. Is the serious rewrite plan dead? I don’t know.”
It has not just been Democratic opposition the party has had to worry about but opposition within their own party. The bill has been on shaky water from its inception. The original bill was denounced by Senator Rand Paul, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Ron Johnson, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Lisa Murkowski, and Senator Susan Collins. They all argued the bill could be more damaging than Obamacare itself.
Business Insider has reported the following about what is inside the bill itself ad easily broken it down for better understanding,
“Tax credits: While the tax credits would be more generous for older Americans than the House bill, fewer middle-income people would get financial support to pay for coverage — and those who do would get less.
Medicaid expansion: While this would save the federal government money, it also means the millions of people that have gained access to Medicaid would be rolled off. These people would be able to fall back on the less generous tax credit and access coverage through the individual insurance market.
Medicaid spending growth: States would receive less funding each year from the federal government to help cover low-income Americans, and after 2025 the rate of growth would decline, leading to even deeper potential cuts for the program.
States can institute Medicaid work requirements: This is another long-time wish for Republicans, but it also gives a significant amount of leeway to states to define what counts as work and for how long someone has to hold a job. It does not apply to students, pregnant women, or the disabled.
Cost-sharing subsidies: This should reassure insurers desperate for guidance ahead of the 2018 plan year and could bring down premium increases for next year’s individual insurance market
State waivers for Obamacare regulations: If a state receives a waiver for the EHBs, this would allow skimpier coverage offerings on the state’s insurance market, which would have cheaper premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs.
Repeal Obamacare’s taxes: The taxes in Obamacare fall predominantly on a small percentage of wealthy Americans, who would see their tax bills fall.
A fund to provide grants to fight the opioid crisis: This is a one-time fund for 2018, but will likely be favored by senators from states hit hard by the opioid crisis. This was a key ask from Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.”
In order for the bill to pass they need almost all Republican Senators to support the bill. The bill will fail and die on the floor if just three Republicans refuse to vote in favor of the bill. This is, of course, assuming that all 48 Democrats vote against it which they surely will. In response to the controversy surrounding the health care bill the President has released tweets concerning the issue,
I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new HealthCare bill fully approved and ready to go!
If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!
Whether the Senate is able to pass this bill remains to be seen. However, it is clear that even if it passes, it will see some stringent opposition before it even sees the Senate floor leaving its fate unknown.