Trumpcare in trouble … put on hold

Trumpcare is in trouble. There’s no way to spin this any differently.

Nine Senate Republicans are now on the record that they oppose their party leadership’s version of the alternative to the Affordable Care Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is as adept at tea-leaf reading as anyone in Washington, delayed the vote on the GOP plan until after the Fourth of July recess.

I live out here in Flyover Country, in the heart of Trump Land, where the president polled something like 80 percent over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

But my gut tells me that rank-and-file Trumpkins are none too happy about what the GOP Senate leadership has come up with.

We’ve got a lot of folks out here who depend on Medicaid to cover the cost of medical care. The GOP plan guts Medicaid. A lot of those same folks voted for Donald J. Trump on his promise that he wouldn’t touch Medicaid, or Medicare, and would ensure a better, cheaper, more efficient health insurance plan than the one provided by the ACA. He isn’t delivering the goods, based on what the House of Representatives has approved and what’s on the table in the Senate.

Republicans can afford to lose just two votes in order to approve a Senate version of Trumpcare. They hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate; two “no” votes means Vice President Pence casts the tie-breaking vote to approve Trumpcare.

McConnell said today that Democrats have no intention of working with Republicans to craft an ACA replacement. Really!

How about this, Mr. Majority Leader? How about agreeing to preserve the good aspects of the ACA and work to improve those elements that need work? I’ve heard Democrats say they would be willing to with Republicans to mend the ACA. One of them happened to be the former president, Barack H. Obama, who has said repeatedly that if Republicans can improve the ACA he’d be willing to work with them.

Obama is out of office now. Republicans are in complete charge. They control Congress and the White House. They had eight years to come up with a reasonable alternative to the ACA. They dickered, dawdled and dissed the Democrats for that entire time and then came up with a plan that cannot please enough Republicans to make it law.

Cue music. The dance goes on.

 

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