Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Trump promises Obamacare replacement after Senate collapse 

Donald Trump pledged Tuesday morning the nation will eventually have a working substitute for the teetering Obamacare system, hours after a prohibitive number of Republican senators withdrew from a plan to replace it.

EXPECTED UNITY 'We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans,' the president tweeted. 'Most Republicans were loyal, terrific and worked really hard. We will return!'
Trump has said during both his campaign and his presidency that the national medical insurance scheme left in place by the Obama-era Affordable Care Act will eventually topple on its own as costs spiral and insurers pull out of marketplaces.


IF, FOR A MINUTE YOU THINK THAT IT WAS TOTALLY THE FAULT OF THE OTHER PARTY ... THINK AGAIN!  The chart above is current as of July 17, 2017 comparing the political appointee's nominations at their same time in each presidency. Now consider the following, the Republicans control the House and Senate ... why then after six months in office Trump has only 49 confirmed appointee's seated?  Soooo, we blame Pelosi? No. Schumer? Perhaps we blame Waters, Finestien or maybe some other political hack or slub! NOPE! The foot dragging and political constipation fall directly at the feet of the Chief Proctologist McConnell and his cadre of swamp RINO assholes! These RINO's have more in common with Obama than with the President of their "party" or even the voters whom they purport to represent.

On Tuesday Trump suggested that the most workable approach, the devil's bargain will either be to repeal the law or allow the status quo to crumble – with either result forcing Congress to actually work on something new and not exempt themselves.

'As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!' Trump tweeted.

President Donald Trump is regrouping on Obamacare after the U.S. Senate failed to pass a replacement, saying the current medical insurance system should be allowed to crumble on its own – which would force lawmakers to design a working substitute.

The president hinted in a pair of tweets that he would return to advocating for a scorched-earth approach, waiting for Obamacare to crumble on its own as a way to force lawmakers to work on a viable substitute

Trump said in March, as House Republicans regrouped following their own failed first attempt at an Obamacare-scrapping law, that 'I've been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode. It is exploding right now.'

The president argued that an Obamacare-sized vacuum in health care policy would force Democrats to the table – but also would carry a human cost as Americans scrambled to establish coverage in the meantime.

'Perhaps the best thing that could happen is exactly what happened today,' Trump said then, 'because we'll end up with a truly great health care bill in the future after this mess known as Obamacare explodes.'

On Tuesday morning Trump suggested in a second pair of tweets that the Senate has become wracked with inertia because most legislation requires a 60-vote supermajority to move forward.

'With only a very small majority, the Republicans in the House and Senate need more victories next year since Dems totally obstruct, no votes!' he wrote.

'The Senate must go to a 51 vote majority instead of current 60 votes. Even parts of full Repeal need 60. 8 Dems control Senate. Crazy!'

Health care legislation has already been proceeding under an obscure process called 'reconciliation' – which allows a simple 51-vote majority to pass legislation that impacts government spending or taxes.

The president later added two more Twitter posts, advocating for a simple 51-vote majority to move key legislation in the Senate, which would break long-standing precedent

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a conservative House Freedom Caucus member, said Tuesday on CNN that a repeal first, replace later approach is identical to what lawmakers passed during the last Congress

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a conservative member of the House Freedom Caucus, defended the idea of a repeal first, replace later approach on Tuesday morning.

'It's a good idea because it's what we told the American people we were going to do, and what they elected us to do,' he said on CNN's 'New Day' program.

'It's the same thing we passed last Congress,' he observed, adding: 'If it was good enough last Congress, why isn't it good enough this Congress when it really counts?'

Jordan emphasized that the bill he favors would have a two-year sunset for the Obamacare law. 'But you've repealed it, and say the effective date is in the future.'

On Monday night a pair of GOP senators announced their opposition to a repeal-and-replace package, leaving Republicans plainly short of the 50 votes they needed to pass it.

Trump, who was blindsided by the defections, pushed a 'clean slate' approach on Twitter.

'More Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now &; work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!' he predicted.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped to push the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) through the Senate next week.

On Monday night Trump urged Republicans to repeal Obamacare and start afresh with a new healthcare plan

Jerry Moran (left) and Mike Lee (right) have withdrawn their support for the healthcare bill, meaning their party does not have the votes to move it forward

Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah both announced their opposition shortly after Trump concluded a White House meeting with other wavering lawmakers.

McConnell said in a statement that the Senate would move to pass a House bill that sets a two-year sunset for Obamacare, giving Congress ample time to design something that would go in its place.

'Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,' McConnell said.


'So, in the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered healthcare system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care.'


'If the Republicans have the House, Senate and the presidency and they can't pass this health care bill they are going to look weak. How can we not do this after promising it for years?' he is reported to have said.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted June 14-19 showed that 59 percent of those surveyed would hold Republicans, now in control of the government, responsible for any future problems with Obamacare, while 30 percent said they would blame Democrats who enacted the law.
Announcing his decision on Monday, Sen. Moran of Kansas said: 'There are serious problems with Obamacare, and my goal remains what it has been for a long time: to repeal and replace it. This closed-door process has yielded the BCRA, which fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address healthcare's rising costs.'

'For the same reasons I could not support this bill, I cannot support this one.

'We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy. Furthermore, if we leave the federal government in control of everyday healthcare decisions, it is more likely that our healthcare system will devolve into a single-payer system, which would require a massive federal spending increase.'

Sen. Lee of Utah said the bill 'doesn't go far enough in lowering premiums for middle-class families.'

Johnson's grievance is with McConnell, who he claims assured senior GOP figures last week that Medicaid cuts planned by the legislation would 'never happen' because they were slated to come far in the future.

'It's from my standpoint a pretty serious breach of trust, those comments,' 
Johnson, a conservative re-elected last year, told reporters.

He added, 'Last week I was strongly urging colleagues to vote' to begin debating the measure, a critical vote expected as early as next week. I'm not doing that right now.'


Conservative support for the legislation has hinged in part on the measure's planned $772 billion in 10-year cuts to Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor, disabled and nursing home patients.

But only $35 billion of those cuts occur over the next two years; more than half don't take effect until 2024, 2025 and 2026, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

In a written statement, McConnell defended the bill's Medicaid savings but did not deny he'd made the remarks to moderates, which were described last Thursday by The Washington Post. McConnell said capping Medicaid spending 'with a responsible growth rate that is sustainable for taxpayers is the most important long-term reform in the bill. That is why it has been in each draft we have released.'
Much of the savings would come from limiting each state's federal Medicaid payments to a fixed amount per beneficiary, which would then grow annually to reflect a measure of inflation. Since its inception in 1965, the program has automatically paid states for a share of their eligible Medicaid expenses, whatever the total amount.

With the vote postponed, foes from left and right were trying to make the measure as politically toxic as possible for wavering GOP senators to support it. But the postponement also gave McConnell and the White House more time to cut the deals they need to rescue the imperiled measure.

'The only way we'll get there is with continued hard work, and that's just what we intend to do,' McConnell said, signaling that days of bargaining and persuasion with reluctant colleagues lay ahead.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn had been holding meetings with voting Republicans on Monday in anticipation of the vote next week

Rand Paul doesn't think GOP has enough votes for healthcare bill

AARP was continuing TV and radio ads aimed at undecided Republican senators in five states, warning, 'Your family's coverage could be taken away altogether.' Planned Parenthood, labor, and liberal groups were holding rallies outside the Capitol. And the conservative Americans for Prosperity was urging members to pressure GOP senators to strengthen a bill that the group's president, Tim Phillips, says doesn't go 'anywhere near far enough' to repeal Obama's health care law.

From the other side, Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said the GOP needs to prove that 'we can tackle tough issues.' The conservative Faith and Freedom Coalition announced its support for a bill that its chairman, Ralph Reed, called 'a giant step forward.'

On balance, the delay seemed to put McConnell in the tougher spot. In Washington, conventional wisdom dictates that a controversial bill awaiting a vote and under attack from opponents resembles a rotten egg sitting in the sun - the longer it sits, the worse things get.
Underscoring that, the AARP ads targeted five moderate, uncommitted Republicans from states that would be hit hard by the GOP bill's cuts in Medicaid.

They were Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Colorado's Cory Gardner, Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Dean Heller of Nevada, perhaps the most vulnerable GOP senator in next year's elections.