You have to give it to the President, he never says “die.” A new report in Politico details the President’s continued attempts to get Congressional GOP leaders to repeal Obamacare by any means necessary.
To that end Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) have been writing a bill that would keep federal dollars flowing into states to cover healthcare funding. It’s obviously not a perfect bill, it may not even be a good bill, but no one on the right doubts that it would be less disastrous than continuing with Obamacare.
President Donald Trump and some Senate Republicans are refusing to give up on Obamacare repeal, even after this summer’s spectacular failure and with less than a month before a key deadline.
The president and White House staff have continued to work with Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana over the summer on their proposal to block grant federal health care funding to the states. And though the bill is being rewritten and Congress faces a brutal September agenda, Trump and his allies on health care are making a last-gasp effort.
“He wants to do it, the president does. He loves the block grants. But we’ve got to have political support outside Washington,” Graham said in an interview. He said the bill needs to have a “majority of the Republican governors behind the idea” to gain momentum in the Senate…
Cassidy said he hopes to have the bill text finalized by this week and has declined to reveal details about what changed in the bill during August.
“We are still refining the legislative language — just things you got to clear up,” he said. “We think we have good legislation, good policy.”
Even if they get the bill finished with enough time to get it passed during this legislative session (which is a must) they would still face the uphill battle of getting every Senate Republican on board with the plan. As you no doubt recall, the GOP failed to even pass the tiniest of changes to Obamacare earlier this summer when Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), Susan Collins (R-ME), and John McCain (R-AZ) all voted against every version of repeal that the GOP brought to the floor. Murkowski and McCain were particular villains in this process as they spent the last few years (and hard fought campaigns) railing against Obamacare and promising to repeal it if they ever got the chance. Sadly, when push came to shove the two moderates even voted against a “skinny repeal” which would have barely touched the most onerous aspects of the Obamacare law.
With the summer Obamacare disaster still fresh in their minds, it’s hard to believe that the mass of Senate Republicans will have the stomach for one more fight… but we can hope. While the latest iteration of Obamacare repeal hardly seems to be what we conservatives have been asking for, it’s “better than nothing,” so here’s hoping that the GOP can pull this final, last gasp, over the finish line.