President Donald Trump stunned the political world Friday by suggesting in a tweet that if Senate Republicans fail to muster enough support to pass the Obamacare replacement bill, they should instead just repeal the disastrous health care law altogether.
“If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!” he wrote, drawing cheers from those among the right who have been clamoring for a total repeal since day one.
The president’s tweet was reportedly prompted by a letter sent to him earlier that morning by Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, who urged him to “hold all Republicans accountable to our promise to repeal ObamaCare.
“Therefore, on July 10, if we don’t have agreement on a combined repeal and replace plan, we should immediately vote again on H.R. 3762, the December 2015 ObamaCare repeal legislation that the Congress passed but President Obama vetoed,” he wrote.
As Sasse noted, that bill had already passed in the House only to be vetoed by then-President Barack Obama. The House could pass the same bill again. The Senate could pass the same bill again, and Republicans in both houses would be hard-pressed to explain to their voters why they couldn’t support the same measure they supported six months ago.
A new president would have the power to sign it this time. And he sounds more than willing to.
If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2017
As noted by The Wall Street Journal, the president’s sudden announcement places him at odds with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been adamant in his belief that his widely panned replacement bill is the GOP’s best path forward.
Yet a vote on McConnell’s bill has already been delayed once due to the large number of Republican senators who oppose it. Nor has the bill found much love among conservative intellectuals, who have been quick to point out that it maintains much of what made Obamacare such a disastrous law in the first place.
“The bill retains Obamacare’s core regulatory scheme,” warned Ben Shapiro for The Daily Wire, adding that it not only still forces insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, but it “re-enshrines subsidies to insurance companies.”
“The bill is actually so weak that even Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber is chortling that it doesn’t actually repeal Obamacare. That’s because it doesn’t.”
Correct. Gruber, the MIT economist Gruber who is considered to be the principal architect behind Obamacare, even praised some aspects of Senate bill last month, admitting that it’s “no longer an Obamacare repeal bill” but just a flimsy replacement.
ACA architect Jonathan Gruber on the AHCA: "This is no longer an Obamacare repeal bill. That's good." https://t.co/vdwP2Ad3Sj
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) June 22, 2017
There’s a reason some refer to the reform bill as “Obamacare-Lite.” And there’s also a reason why so many conservatives argue that ditching it in favor of a full-fledged repeal bill, as the president suggested Friday, would better serve the American people’s interests, regardless of what McConnell thinks.
Are Republicans forgetting why they got elected?
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