Trump Threatens GOP-Controlled Congress Over Health Care Reform

Donald Trump has spent the weekend on Twitter (for a change) attacking the lawmakers in his own party for not passing health care reform.

A few days ago, he advocated “letting Obamacare implode.”

But now, he’s back to berating the GOP-controlled Congress saying they should “demand” another vote.

I’m guessing Trump doesn’t understand that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t have to “demand” anything. He can call a vote anytime he wants. Like he did this week. When his bill failed to pass.

Among his current threats, Trump is promising to end “BAILOUTS for insurance companies and BAILOUTS  for Members of Congress.”

Remember when Trump was “the only one who can fix” these issues?

He also attacked China for not solving the world’s problems with North Korean aggression.

Trump is just yelling at people. When is he going to “lead?”

Senate GOP “Skinny Repeal” Bill Goes Down In 49-51 As John McCain Casts Deciding Vote

Sen. John McCain

It was a late night vote that finally put the nail in the Senate Republicans seven year plans to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act.

A vote that saw Arizona Sen. John McCain remind folks why he likes to be called a “maverick.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “skinny repeal” went down in the vote of 49-51.

From the New York Times:

Senator John McCain of Arizona, who just this week returned to the Senate after receiving a diagnosis of brain cancer, cast the decisive vote to defeat the proposal, joining two other Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, in opposing it.

The truncated Republican plan that ultimately fell was far less than what Republicans once envisioned. Republican leaders, unable to overcome complaints from both moderate and conservative members of their caucus, said the skeletal plan was just a vehicle to permit negotiations with the House, which passed a much more ambitious repeal bill in early May.

The “skinny repeal” bill, as it became known at the Capitol this week, would still have had broad effects on health care. The bill would have increased the number of people who are uninsured by 15 million next year compared with current law, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Premiums for people buying insurance on their own would have increased roughly 20 percent, the budget office said.

Earlier in the day, Sens. McCain, Graham, and Johnson looked for assurances that, if passage of the “skinny repeal” would keep the process open, they might vote for it IF Speaker of the House Paul Rayn would promise to to swift vote the legislation and send it to the president “as-is” just for a win. Ryan issued a weak assurance but it seems not wholly convincing.

While the attention is focused on McCain, it’s important to note that Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska had been stalwart “no’s” all week long.

The Twitterverse responded to the last night vote:

Senate Poised To Vote On Obamacare Repeal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

As the U.S. Senate votes to proceed to some kind of movement regarding health care reform, it looks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan is to get past the motion to proceed, then offer up the “repeal and replace” bill known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

No one really expects that to pass.

From reading sources I follow online, McConnell would then look to put together a handful of amendments that would repeal just certain parts of the Affordable Care Act, something being referred to as a “skinny repeal.”

Not a huge bill, but something that can perhaps pass in the Senate which would then head over to the House for a compromise bill.

If House and Senate Republicans can come to an agreement, it could be at least something Trump and Republicans could call a win.

I don’t think Trump cares what the eventual legislation looks like. He just wants a victory lap of any sort.

Stay tuned.

News Round-Up: July 21, 2017

Nyle DiMarco via Instagram

Some news items you may have missed:

America’s Next Top Model/Dancing with the Stars champ Nyle DiMarco asks, “Will you be my beach?”

• Researchers are looking at a two-step “shock and kill” approach to cure HIV with a cancer drug that appears to bring dormant virus cells out of hiding.

• Donald Trump apparently thinks health care premiums cost about $15 a month. #seriously

• Allentown becomes the 3rd city in Pennsylvania to ban so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy torture.

• Donald Trump says he enjoyed sitting next to the First Lady of Japan even though she doesn’t know english. Or does she? She sure seems to know english here.

• Head into the weekend with some 80s color and light from Harper Starling’s “Disco Mirror Dream:”

CBO: Repeal Of Obamacare Would Result In 32 Million Fewer Americans With Health Insurance

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has scored the “Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to bring up to a vote next week and the news is not good.

According to the CBO, the legislation would lead to 32 million fewer people with health coverage over the next 10 years.

From the Huffington Post:

This isn’t the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the measure to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shelved Monday because it lacked enough support to pass ― and that President Donald Trump and some Republican senators are trying to revive.

Instead, McConnell said he plans to bring up legislation bluntly entitled the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act, which is based on a bill Congress passed in 2015 and that President Barack Obama vetoed last year.

Both the House-passed American Health Care Act and the Better Care Reconciliation Act sought to erect new health insurance systems and new, less generous forms of financial assistance as well as eliminate many of the Affordable Care Act’s regulations and consumer protections.

The Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act, by contrast, would merely eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits for private insurance, funding for its Medicaid expansion, the individual mandate that most Americans obtain health coverage or face tax penalties, the mandate that large employers offer health benefits to workers, and the taxes on wealthy people and health care corporations.

The result of those policies, the Congressional Budget Office projected in its report Wednesday, would be vastly more uninsured people and an unsustainable health insurance market.

Taking away financial assistance for private insurance and funding for states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act would cause millions to lose coverage, including 17 million next year alone.

But the damage to the health care system would go deeper. Absent the individual mandate ― which encourages low-cost healthy people to enroll in coverage ― and the tax credits for insurance policies sold on the exchanges, insurers would be forced to increase premiums to cover the expense of treating those customers who are sick enough that they are motivated to buy coverage.

The CBO report also predicts premiums in the individual marketplace (which is how I buy my own health insurance) would double over the next 10 years.

Trump On Health Care Fail: “We’ll Let Obamacare Fail”

President Donald Trump side-stepped responsibility on health care reform today saying he would let Obamacare “fail” after six months of botched efforts by his own party to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll let Obamacare fail,” the president told reporters at the White House. “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you, the Republicans are not going to own it.”

According to Trump, “the Democrats are gonna come to us” and ask how to fix it, working with the GOP.

Highlighting how out of the health care loop he was during the past few weeks, Trump added he was “very surprised” when two GOP senators suddenly withdrew support for the Republican health care bill on Monday night, sealing the bill’s fate.

“The way I look at it, we’re going to have to get some more people elected that are Republican,” Trump said.

Republicans currently hold majorities in both chambers of Congress as well as the White House. After seven years of voting to repeal the ACA, it’s incredible no one had a plan ready to go that Repubs could get behind.


Watch Trump speak to the press below:

White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed the minority Democrats, as if that makes any sense: