Am I hearing things or did I actually hear U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell say he might be willing to work with Senate Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act?
Yep, I think I heard the Kentucky Republican say such a thing.
What a friggin’ concept, Mr. Majority Leader. Who’da thunk it?
Senate Republicans cannot muster enough votes among themselves to repeal the ACA and replace it with the abomination they cobbled together. Donald J. Trump called the House of Representatives’ version of ACA replacement the greatest thing since pockets on shirts, then the president called it “mean.” He wanted the Senate GOP to come up with a bill with “heart.”
It didn’t. The Congressional Budget Office — that non-partisan agency — issued its “score” on the Senate bill and found out that 22 million Americans would lose their health insurance over the next decade. That’s pretty mean, too, right? Yes.
GOP moderates hate the Senate bill, as do GOP conservatives, although for different reasons. Senate Republicans can afford to lose only two of their votes; at last count, about 10 or 12 of them dislike the bill that’s on the table.
What’s the alternative? McConnell is signaling that the ACA might stand, but that his Republican caucus can work with Democrats to tweak and tinker with what they dislike about the ACA.
My memory now reminds me that President Barack Obama said on numerous occasions during his time in office something like this: I have no deep pride of authorship of the ACA. If Republicans can find a way to improve it, to make it better, then I’m all in!
Didn’t the former president say something like that? Yes, I believe he did.
So, here we are. After all the futile votes to repeal the ACA in the GOP-controlled Congress, all the declarations that the ACA was ruining the lives of Americans and that it is failing, the Republicans in both congressional chambers cannot agree on a plan to replace it.
So, let’s fix what’s wrong with it.
Time to get busy, ladies and gents.
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