Senate Republican leaders signaled Monday that they intend to move on from health care to other legislative priorities, even as President Trump continued to pressure lawmakers to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The discord comes amid uncertainty in the insurance industry and on Capitol Hill about what will come next after last week’s dramatic collapse of the GOP’s effort to scrap the seven-year-old landmark law. Trump on Monday threatened to end subsidies to insurers and also took aim at coverage for members of Congress.
But the White House insistence appears to have done little to convince congressional GOP leaders to keep trying. . . .
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McConnell did not address health care in his remarks opening Senate business on Monday afternoon. His top deputy, Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), brushed back comments White House budget director Mick Mulvaney made on CNN on Sunday urging Republicans not to vote on anything else until voting on health care again.
“I don’t think [Mulvaney’s] got much experience in the Senate, as I recall,” said Cornyn as he made his way into the Senate chamber. “And he’s got a big job. He ought to do that job and let us do our job.”
Here’s the problem, Senator: you’re not doing your job.
The arrogance that drips from Cornyn’s statement betrays a failure to understand how important this is to people. Leadership is eager to “move on dot org” from health care. One suspects that their primary concern is that their vaunted August recess might be in danger. Well, the American people would like to “move on dot org” from the rising premiums and degraded service that ObamaCare has brought them. Joe Cato would like to move on from the law that caused him to lose a low-cost and effective plan, replacing it with one that costs four times as much but won’t address his main health issue. But, you see, Senator Cornyn, the victims of ObamaCare can’t move on. They don’t get a nice long cushy August recess. They’re slogging through this misery every day, paying higher premiums every month, even as you check to make sure your plane reservations are in order.
Meanwhile, what is leadership doing to the turncoat Republicans (Murkowski, Portman, Heller, McCain, Alexander, and Capito) who voted for a quasi-repeal bill in 2015 — but voted against it in 2017m once it looked like it might get signed?
Nothing, that’s what. Lisa Murkowski is the chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee. That’s a very important position for her. McConnell has not taken it away.
Is McConnell scared she is going to switch parties if he imposes the slightest consequence on her? Well, then, he has no power. He is weak. He should get out.
Lamar Alexander is Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. Maybe even more important to him is his position as Chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees energy and water appropriations. That’s an important position for a senator from Tennessee, home of the Tennessee Valley.
Rob Portman is the Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Shelley Moore Capito is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. I could go on, but you get the point. Nothing is being done to these people.
The reaction from leadership is a giant shrug of the shoulders. Oh well. We promised this for seven years, but there’s tax reform and trips home to worry about. Sorry about that. Listen, I’d like to talk about this further, but my plane’s here. Gotta go!
Meanwhile, you, the American citizen struggling with the problems of ObamaCare, are left holding the bag.
Remind me why people hate government again?