REPORT: Health Care Bill Negotiations in Senate Are Not Going Well

One of the crowning “achievements” of the Obama presidency was the so-called Affordable Care Act, affectionately dubbed Obamacare.

But calling it an achievement is very much a stretch.

Since its implementation, premiums have skyrocketed, actual health care hasn’t necessarily improved, some doctors refuse to see patients with it, and insurers are leaving exchanges. The instability is at all all-time high.

On the campaign trail, then-candidate Trump insisted Obamacare would be dealt with swiftly once he was in office. The first attempt couldn’t even get out of the House. The second attempt managed to leave the lower chamber, but is running into seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the upper chamber.

Senator Graham’s statement earlier in the week raised eyebrows. There is much more to the story. As Politico reports, it’s not looking good.

…repeal talks enter crunch time with a vote as soon as this month, the Senate bill continues to tilt toward more moderate members of the GOP on keeping some of Obamacare’s regulatory structure and providing a more generous wind-down of the law’s Medicaid expansion. The movement has made Republicans increasingly pessimistic that two critical conservative senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, will be able to vote for the GOP’s ultimate agreement on health care, according to senators and aides.

“I think [Lee is a no]. And Rand will be a no,” said a Republican senator granted anonymity to discuss sensitive internal conference matters.

Losing those two senators would be a major blow that would allow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell no further defections in his 52-senator majority

…Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has also voiced skepticism with the party’s description, saying the party has a “long way to go” on the repeal effort, and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is also said to be growing wary of the party’s direction, GOP insiders said.

“The outline leadership has presented isn’t Obamacare repeal, in fact it isn’t even reform. It’s a tax cut and a corporate bailout masquerading as health legislation,” said a conservative Senate aide.

Republican leaders insist that nothing is settled on the Obamacare repeal bill, even though initial proposals were being submitted to the Congressional Budget Office throughout the week and into the weekend.

Both President Trump and GOP leadership promised a full repeal of Obamacare. What the House presented was not it, and what seems to be floundering around the Senate chambers is clearly not that, either.

I believe the president is certainly to be held accountable for promising to repeal the monstrosity which essentially props up his predecessor’s legacy. However, as many have said, Republicans in Congress have known for the better part of a decade that once they were the majority, the ACA needed to be properly addressed.

As the health care drama highlights, there are glaring inadequacies among GOP leaders inhabiting both the White House and halls of Congress.

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