After numerous efforts to replace Obamacare failed, President Trump stated that he is fine with letting it implode under its own weight, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has stated that he is bringing a vote to the floor on the same bill to repeal Obamacare that passed the Senate in 2015. It would have an effective date two years away.
Three Republican Senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Susan Collins of Maine said they oppose McConnell’s proposal. Of those three, only Collins voted against the 2015 repeal plan.
Murkowski and Capito can expect more than a few e-mails and phone calls over the next week. Their constituents and others will want to know what has changed since 2015. I think that at least one of these Senators will have a change of mind by early next week.
In 2010, Republican strategists developed the simple three word battle cry, “Repeal and Replace.” The key word being “Repeal.”
Republicans took the House in 2010 but without the Senate could not get a bill to the President. In 2014, Republicans took the Senate and passed a repeal bill in 2015. President Obama promptly vetoed it as everyone knew that he would.
Then, upon Donald Trump winning the Whitehouse (unexpectedly to some) the reality of actually having the power to “Repeal and Replace” was front and center. The proverbial dog chasing the car actually caught the car.
The focus of attention turned from the simple repeal to the question of the replacement. Therein lies the big problem. Congress complicates things.
Repeal and replace communicates a simple two step process. First repeal, then replace. After months of focusing on the minutiae of replacement, the Senate came full circle back to where it started with the bill that Republicans passed in 2015
Meanwhile, Obamacare has failed. The impact of the failure is already evident.
It appears to me that President Trump, Majority Leader McConnell, and the American people can have their cake and eat it too. Repeal Obamacare with an effective date two years out. The vote for that will come up next week.
In the mean time, it has already failed. So, keep it simple. Repeal it. Then during the two year transition, start attacking the most egregious failures with individual amendments that return responsibility and power to the individual.
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