After the House passed the GOP version of an Obamacare replacement on Thursday, Democrats taunted Republican lawmakers by singing, “Hey, hey, hey – Goodbye!” It was mainly because Democrats are only slightly more advanced than spoiled, poorly behaved children. Also, because they feel the voters will punish Republicans for replacing Obamacare (and let’s be honest, this was not a repeal).
The bill is off to the Senate now, where it faces a tough battle, and Senator Ted Cruz acknowledged on Saturday that the stakes are high for Republicans.
“For seven years the Republicans have been promising, ‘If only you elect us, we’ll repeal ObamaCare,’ ” Cruz told conservative radio host Larry Kudlow.
“I think the consequences of failure would be catastrophic. But it’s going to take senators across the Republican conference being willing to sit down in good faith.”
This is where I reiterate: It was not a repeal, and that’s a big part of the problem. They didn’t repeal and reset the system. They just took a horrible piece of legislation and put their own touches to it.
For instance, the bill ends the mandate to carry insurance, by stopping tax penalties for those without coverage. It rolls back the state expansions of Medicaid, as well.
GOP lawmakers have long vowed to repeal former President Obama’s signature healthcare law, and with a unified Republican government saw an opportunity to make good on that promise.
The first version of a replacement didn’t make it as far as the first vote in the House.
The Freedom Caucus successfully shut down a vote before it could even happen, feeling the bill in that incarnation did nothing to bring down premiums to an acceptable level.
“In the Senate we have a difficult task ahead of us,” Cruz said. “We have a very narrow majority. We have just 52 Republicans — hold at least 50 of those 52 Republicans to pass the bill.”
That’s a tight squeeze.
It might be easy to see some moderates going for this new bill, but the conservatives in the Senate are the wild cards.