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    Obamacare Tag

    Just last week, Bernie Sanders rolled out his Medicare for All bill. Sanders and the bill's advocates railed against the current healthcare system as ineffectual, forgetting (or hoping the public has forgotten) that it's the product of Democrat ideas and votes. In Sanders' fantasy world, single-payer system is the only cure for what ails the American healthcare system. Most of his Democratic Senate colleagues agree. They were wrong about Obamacare and what it would fix and they're wrong single-payer.

    Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced today that he is very close to have the votes needed to repeal Obamacare with the bill he coauthored with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). From The Washington Times:
    “We are thinking that we can get this done by Sept. 30,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, Louisiana Republican who co-wrote the bill with Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said Friday.

    They can get you now, or get you later . . . Fifteen senators, including 2020 hopefuls like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, are co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders' single-payer health care bill. But even some of those not signing on have plans to eventually convert the country to single payer. On today's Morning Joe, Dem Senator Chris Murphy [CT] described his plan, which Politico has called "stealthy single-payer." Under it, people would be given the option of buying into Medicare or remaining with private insurance. Murphy expressed the belief that:

    Northwell Health, New York's largest hospital network, has decided to stop selling Obamacare plans over....you guessed it...huge losses. From The New York Post:
    Northwell Health (the former North Shore-Long Island Jewish Medical Center network ) blamed a flawed provision in the Affordable Care Act — and the lack of action in Washington to fix it — as the culprits for winding down its CareConnect insurance company.

    Iowa has submitted a request to the federal government to make changes in a last ditch effort to save the state's beleaguered Obamacare market. From Quad-City Times:
    This November, the majority of the 72,000 Iowans purchasing plans through the exchange will have only one option — Minnesota-based Medica. Last week, Medica asked the state for an average rate increase of 56.7 percent because of the uncertainty over cost-sharing reductions.

    CNN reported that GOP donors have started to withhold funds and donations after the GOP controlled Senate could not repeal and replace Obamacare. From CNN:
    At least $2 million in contributions promised to the National Republican Senatorial Committee have failed to materialize because donors are expressing frustration with the Senate GOP's inability to fulfill their central campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, according to two GOP sources familiar with the matter.

    We've been actively chronicling the Senate Republican's embarrassing attempt (or feigned, depending on your thoughts here), to repeal Obamacare. Whether it's one big, long con, or a deeply fractured caucus, Sen. Hatch is under the impression that the division in the Republican ranks runs far too deep to find a path forward in the long-promised effort to rid us of Obamacare.

    Overnight the Senate failed to pass a so-called "skinny" repeal of Obamacare, when three Republican Senators (Collins, Murkowski and McCain) voted against the measure. Whether the "skinny" repeal was an actual repeal was doubtful. As unveiled late last night, it removed the mandate, the medical device tax, and defunded Planned Parenthood, but it was something of a charade. Several Senators voted for it only after Paul Ryan gave some assurance that the Senate bill could be subject to a conference with the House, and would not be passed by the House as is. But passing the "skinny" repeal kept hope alive that there might emerge some meaningful form of Obamacare repeal. The defeat of the bill killed any form of Obamacare repeal for the foreseeable future.

    What's happening with Obamacare repeal, you ask? That is a fantastic question. But at this point, it's quite clear that Republicans who campaigned on repealing the ACA have zero intention of doing so now that the opportunity has presented itself. Seven Republican Senators voted against a so-called "clean repeal" bill Wednesday. Sens McCain, Murkowski, Capito, Lamar Alexander, Collins, Portman, and Heller are responsible for tanking the latest repeal effort. The bill offered no replacement but promised to delay full repeal, giving lawmakers time to figure out the rest.

    The entire country needs a lesson in parliamentary procedure. As I blogged yesterday, Senate Republicans, with the assist of Vice President Pence finally cobbled together enough votes to pass a motion to proceed (MTP), which simply allowed for debate on proposed Republican health care reform. To watch Democrats, progressives, and everyone under the impression that health insurance saves lives, John McCain was single-handedly responsible for killing off some 22 million people. Never mind the other 50 votes or the that Sen. McCain already said he'd support a MTP. And let's not even bother considering the CBO estimates of health insurance losses are due to an inordinate amount of people choosing to abstain from purchasing health insurance once the individual mandate ceases to be. In any case, in the minds of many, McCain became a veritable killing machine.

    Knowingly or not, Mika Brzezinski has exposed the progressive strategy for ever-increasing government control of our lives. On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough actually made a principled conservative case against Obamacare, saying that many conservatives "do not believe that the federal government should compel people to buy insurance. Should not compel young people to buy health insurance if they do not want to buy health insurance." Mika responded saying that she understood Joe's point about "sticking to conservative principles," acknowledging that "many Republicans were deeply offended by the concept of Obamacare." But Brzezinski then proceeded to give away the liberal game:

    "People have it [Obamacare.] . . . Isn't it politically past due to take away health care? Whether you were for it or not?"

    One of my favorite things to come out of the Republican ObamaCare flailing is Kemberlee's term for it:  a cluster. It is that.  But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly has one card left up his sleeve, and he intends to use it next week: force his caucus to record for their constituents (and for posterity) their vote on ObamaCare repeal.  (Democrats will vote, too, of course, but we know how that will go.) I like this move.  Put every single Republican on record for once and for all on ObamaCare repeal, and let us see who stands where and how that compares to the numerous repeal votes each cast when Obama was in the White House, veto pen at the ready. This isn't a single-play for McConnell; it's part of one-two punch that he hopes will rally Trump supporters and others who want ObamaCare gone (or those who want to keep it.).  The pressure resulting from a formal repeal ObamaCare vote will help him herd recalcitrant members behind . . . something that is less of a cluster.
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