Trumpcare is Really, Very, Seriously Dead

If you missed the breaking news late last evening, Trumpcare is dead. The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) is kaput. Senate Republicans have failed, again, to even get a healthcare bill to the floor.

Even conservative news outlets like RedState are giving eulogies for Trumpcare. As the New York Times examines:

Two more Republican senators declared on Monday night that they would oppose the Senate Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, killing, for now, a seven-year-old promise to overturn President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

The announcement by the senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas, left their leaders at least two votes short of the number needed to begin debate on their bill to dismantle the health law. Two other Republican senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, had already said they would not support a procedural step to begin debate.

With four solid votes against the bill, Republican leaders now have two options.

They can try to rewrite it in a way that can secure 50 Republican votes, a seeming impossibility at this point, given the complaints by the defecting senators. Or they can work with Democrats on a narrower measure to fix the flaws in the Affordable Care Act that both parties acknowledge.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, conceded Monday night that “the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.” He outlined plans to vote now on a measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with it taking effect later. That has almost no chance to pass, however, since it could leave millions without insurance and leave insurance markets in turmoil. [Pols emphasis]

Trying to repeal Obamacare without a replacement in place is an even worse idea than Trumpcare — even Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has said as much — but Senate Republicans might try to do it anyway. This isn’t like the poor loser on the playground taking his ball and going home; this is the poor loser taking his ball and then returning with heavy machinery to raze the field to the ground.

As the Washington Post explains:

President Trump predicted Tuesday morning that Republicans may wait for the federal insurance market to collapse and then work to broker a deal to rewrite the nation’s landmark health-care law.

In a series of tweets, Trump blamed the demise of a months-long effort to rewrite the Affordable Care Act on Democrats “and a few Republicans,” but he suggested that the drive to overhaul the law was not completely over…

…Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) opened the Senate on Tuesday morning touting his latest plan — to vote on a pure repeal, with a two-year delay, by taking up the House’s health-care bill. But while conservatives and Trump have been pushing for such a repeal as a last resort, it appeared unlikely that the vote would succeed.

Blaming Democrats for the failure of Trumpcare is transparently silly, of course. Republicans hold majorities in both chambers of Congress and have one of their own in the White House; they didn’t need Democrats to pass anything, and they still failed.

It seems unlikely that the Senate will be able to muster any sort of support to pursue a repeal-only plan, though there may be some scuttlebutt about this in the days and weeks to come. It is certainly a huge blow to Republicans to fail — repeatedly — to make any headway on Obamacare after spending seven years complaining about it, but in the end a few cooler heads in the GOP prevailed and prevented what would have been a complete disaster for most Americans. Republicans never seemed to understand a fundamental problem with their entire approach to healthcare: You can’t base an entire policy strategy on taking things away from people.

The immediate aftermath for Republicans will be a soul-searching look at how and why they weren’t able to make any headway on Trumpcare or BCRA. It didn’t help that President Trump was absolutely clueless about healthcare policy in general. As Chris Cillizza of CNN explains in a story worth reading in its entirety, Republicans face some very tough realities today:

Talk to any Republican privately and they will tell you that there are simply no good options to turn this legislative lemon into lemonade. Below are seven hard realities Republicans need to face in the aftermath of this epic collapse…

1) There is no other, better bill, 2) “Repeal then replace” isn’t likely to go anywhere, 3) McConnell wants this to go away, 4) House Republicans who voted for healthcare are WAY out on a limb, 5) Obama leaving office was the worst thing to happen for repeal/replace advocates, 6) Delaying the vote was a total killer, 7) Trump never had any real idea about the policy.

At the end of the day, the only thing Republicans really accomplished with this healthcare fiasco is to prove to the American people that they are heartlessly inept. This one’s gonna sting for awhile.

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  1. DavieDavie says:

    While the corpse of Trumpcare is still warm, however, the GOP is preparing their next travesty they want to visit upon America:

    To unlock Congress’ power to expedite tax overhaul this year, GOP lawmakers would need to slash billions from politically sensitive programs like food stamps, student aid and federal pension funds.

    House budget leaders will unveil a fiscal blueprint Tuesday to launch the biggest tax code rewrite in a generation, but only if Republicans can simultaneously agree to steep cuts elsewhere.

    The ambitious plan calls for $203 billion in mandatory cuts, which would mark the largest amount of deficit reduction through the budget process in two decades. And forcing Republicans to combine their already-complex push for tax reform with massive funding reductions would be a risky maneuver.

    Some GOP lawmakers have already said they are worried about the potential political attacks if they’re seen as cutting programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to pay for billions in tax breaks.

    As with McConnell's struggle to pass Wealthcare (aka Better Off Dead) bill, the GOP House is the same Byzantine maze of warlords and renegades battling each other for ideological primacy.

    The idea of mandatory spending cuts has already created tension within the fractious GOP conference. Nearly three dozen GOP centrists have balked at the idea of missing the chance for tax reform, while hard-line fiscal hawks have demanded even steeper reductions.

    The blueprint would call for $203 billion in reduction from 11 committees that oversee large chunks of mandatory spending.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      "Byzantine maze?"  You're unknowingly peddling Christian propaganda that originated in the early 1200s after the sack of Constantinople by the 4th Crusade, which was condemned by the then pope. In 2004, 800 years later, Pope John Paul II formally apologized to the Eastern Orthodox patriarchs for what the Crusade did. The sack also removed the 500+ year barrier to entry of militant Islam into southeastern Europe. Suggest getting this book from the library: "Lost to the West; the Forgotten Byzantine Empire that Rescued Western Civilization," by Lars Brownworth.

      Back on topic, the government continues to spend more money than it takes in, thus adding to the national debt. Changes have to come, meaning spending cuts. But, no more tax breaks and cuts for zillionaires. 

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        I always appreciate historical perspective to cultural terms CB.

        Not a criticism but you seem to have a blind spot for raising taxes in conjunction with spending cuts for bigly walls and the military-industrial complex.  Restoring Reagan era tax levels on the upper 5% would also help reduce the deficit.  Conservatives tend to ignore the age old maxim to follow the money.  Those with the most have benefited from low tax rates for a long long time.  They are more likely to be able to contribute to reducing the deficit than forcing children of the poor to go hungry because of some hatred for food assistance (aka food stamps).  Being brutal to the most vulnerable might be satisfying to conservatives but it won't balance the budget and build a healthy society at the same time.

        Not much we can do about all the money crapped away on the invasion of Iraq but we can help reduce future outlays for catastrophic events by continuing to fund scientific and medical research.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        The other thing we can do is stay in the game for future industries and not become an obsolete society pushing dead products like coal.  When the fate of the earth is on the line, the countries that are innovating with building materials that can heat a house without external power and withstand hurricane force winds will have a thriving market compared to those who have their heads in the sand and pretend that it isn't shifting.  We need more support for the new technologies and not concede them to our foreign competitors.  Strategic national investment includes education and support for a smarter and more educated workforce.  You won't get that if you nutritional deprive children when they are young.  You won't get it if you expect the mentally ill and addicted to cure themselves.  Certain investments in our people are necessary to build a strong foundation for the next generation.  Punishing people for not being rich is a poor investment.

  2. unnamed says:

    But Zombie Trumpcare will rise to et brains and health.

  3. RepealAndReplace says:

    May God bless the three sisters of the Grand Old party: Murkowski, Capito and Collins. 

  4. FrankUnderwood says:

    I notice not a peep out of our pet shills. Wonder if they've been recalled to the hive for downloading new talking points.

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      That only exists in your drug crazed mind. I'm 100% with President Trump, just repeal the damn thing. The sky wasn't falling before Obamacare and it won't fall after. Repeal Obamacare and let God sort them out! It's not going to be the catastrophe you libs imagine by a long shot, and it's going to happen anyway…….

      • DavieDavie says:

        I'm 100% with President Trump

        Really, Moldy?  What exactly does that mean?  Trump isn't with Trump 100%.  Unless you are that big bloated bulge underneath his jacket, maybe that's what you mean by being 100% with President Trump.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          You have to forgive Moddy, . . . 

          . . . he recently saw where TrumpskiCo had several openings for "ball cleaners" at some of their most popular resorts, sent in his application, and is hoping to hear any day now.

          (I'm pretty sure he didn't read — when has he ever? — the full job description . . . )

      • DawnPatrol says:

        Fuck you, Shemp.

        That is all.

      • skeptical citizen says:

        47 million uninsured before the ACA = the sky was falling for those 47 million.

        You obviously could care less, Modster

        • DavieDavie says:

          Moldy's comment about repeal it and let God sort it out indicates that he's been playing way too many shooter video games.  No conscience left.

          That or a religious nut-case End-Timer.  Probably thinks he can sneak over to the Islamic section and get 72 virgins in heaven. devil

      • FrankUnderwood says:

        Fluffy, I give you credit for showing your face in here. But your shtick really needs to be updated. You sound like a broken record.

        When you say you are 100% with Trump, is that when he promised a health care plan that was bigger, better and more beautiful than the A.C.A., or when he called for simple repeal?

        As Davie noted, even Trump isn't 100% with Trump. How the hell can you be….

      • unnamed says:

        Bad Moldy!!!  Stop making a mess on the carpet.  

        Also, tell us how repeal benefits Americans.

        Btw, you lost.  You, Trump, Ryan and McConnell, and Cornholio can go eat crow.

         

         

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          I like how he tries to pretend there wasn't a healthcare crisis before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (little fingered twerp doesn't have the balls to call it by it's real name) or that there wouldn't be chaos in the insurance markets and healthcare sector when it has been shown that Republicans have no clue how to pass meaningful legislation that helps the majority of Americans.  Destroying something is easy. Working with all Americans to promote a better society also easy if you have a genuine regard for your fellow Americans.  Unfortunately Trump and his ilk only care about those who already have more than they could possibly consume in a lifetime.

          • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

            As I was saying the other day, my brother's an insurance broker and he lays the rises in premiums and companies pulling out of entire states at the feet of the Republicans (including The Yam) for creating chaos that's spooking the insurance companies.

      • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

        You really think the ACA will be repealed, Moderatus? 

        After failing with Repeal and Replace, Repeal now and do something later is also falling short of having even enough support for a Move to Consider resolution.

        Even if there were some sort of miraculous resurrection in the Senate, trying to reconcile such an approach with the skittish, narrow majority coalition in the House would be an uphill battle, too.

        And finally, if they DID do some sort of repeal now, think about replace later … I think the House would flip in the 2018 elections, the Senate would be in play (but probably wouldn't flip – beating incumbents is hard). And then we would have a new legislative session that would try for a bipartisan approach.

  5. lilyflower says:

    I really like that Republican Women said "No" to their madness.

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