Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – Ky.) laid out plans to attempt a full repeal of Obamacare Tuesday evening, saying it was at the request of the President and Vice President.
“For the information of all senators, at the request of the President [Trump] and Vice President [Pence] and after consulting with our members, we will have the vote on the motion to proceed to the ObamaCare repeal bill early next week,” McConnell said from the Senate floor on Tuesday night.
Full repeal seems unlikely as Senate Republicans need 50 yeas (plus Pence) to pass a repeal and three of the 52 GOP senators have already said they won’t vote for repeal: Sens. Susan Collins (R – Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R – Alaska), and Shelley Moore Capito (R – W. Va.). The last of which voted for repeal in 2015, but now says she “didn’t come here to hurt people.”
What about all the tens of millions Obamacare has hurt? Which is one of the many reasons for why it’s failing.
The one thing above all others that Republicans ran on for almost a decade was repeal, and then repeal and replace, of Obamacare. The failure of the Senate’s replacement has the Right in the extraordinary position of having leadership willing to take repeal to a vote and at least two of the three opposing senators are too enthralled with their positions to follow through.
Sen. Capito should be exceptionally ashamed and worried. Voting for repeal when it didn’t matter, and then deciding when it really matters to vote against repeal in a state that voted for Trump 69.7 percent to Clinton’s 26.2 percent is astounding. Murkowski isn’t looking much better as Trump cleared more than 14 percentage points over Clinton in Alaska.
The time to repeal is NOW.
By some crazy happenstance, we have Mitch McConnell agreeing to a repeal vote. Honestly, what do Republicans have to lose? Whether they vote to repeal or leave Obamacare in place to fail, Americans (and arguably as important, the media) will hold them to blame for any health care catastrophes from here on out.
Full repeal brings back senators like Sens. Mike Lee (R – Utah), Rand Paul (R – Ky.), and Jerry Moran (R – Kan.) into the fold of supporters.
Capito and Murkowski have no better option than to vote for repeal. If repeal goes to the floor and fails, 2018 will be a hard sell for a party made up of notoriously bad salesmen.