Senate Delays Vote on Trumpcare
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Lacking enough votes for passage in its current form, GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed a vote until after the July 4 weekend.
Both House and Senate versions are abominations, thinly veiled schemes to transfer greater wealth to business and high-net-worth households – at the expense of leaving millions of Americans uninsured or way underinsured, while increasing the cost of vitally needed catastrophic coverage.
McConnell lied claiming the “Senate health care plan will provide better care for Americans…strengthen(ing) Medicaid…lower(ing) costs…giving states…new tools to drive down premiums, (and) giving Americans more power to control and reduce their medical costs and out-of-pocket expenses…”
The cold, hard truth is polar opposite his deception – a tool of monied interests, a public enemy of fairness and justice, like the vast majority of others in Washington.
With a 52 – 48 majority, Republicans can only afford to lose two votes for passage. At lease nine GOP senators oppose the bill – either for its draconian Medicaid and other cuts or because the measure isn’t tough enough.
A number of Republican senators are undecided, meaning they can almost certainly be pressured or bribed to support it. Three GOP bill opponents are needed to defeat it. All 48 Democrat senators intend voting against it.
Following the holiday weekend, expect more reworking of the bill, amendments to win over opponents, perhaps toughening it to placate hardliners believing it’s not draconian enough.
After meeting with Trump at the White House on Tuesday, McConnell said “(t)he status quo is simply unsustainable.”
“It’ll be dealt with in one of two ways. Either Republicans will agree and change the status quo, or the markets will continue to collapse, and we’ll have to sit down with (Minority Leader) Senator Schumer.”
“And my suspicion is that any negotiation with the Democrats would include none of the reforms that we would like to make.”
By changing the status quo, McConnell means getting to the required 50 votes with VP Pence as tiebreaker for a majority by whatever devious means are necessary.
Bill opponent GOP Senator Susan Collins may have spoken for others against the measure in its current form, saying “(i)t’s difficult for me to see how any tinkering is going to satisfy my fundamental and deep concerns about the impact of the bill.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan managed to get the near-dead American Health Care Act passed. It’s tougher for McConnell to duplicate his success in the Senate with a razor thin majority.
Senators Collins, Dean Heller, Ron Johnson and Rand Paul said they’ll vote against the motion to begin debate, enough opposition to defeat the measure if McConnell is unable to reach the 50-vote level needed for passage.
Late Tuesday, Republican senators Jerry Moran, Shelly Moore Capito and Rob Portman announced their opposition to the Senate bill in its current form.
Capito and Portman expressed concern about draconian Medicaid and opioid care cuts. Doctors, hospitals and patient advocacy groups strongly oppose House and Senate versions of Trumpcare.
If it becomes the law of the land, it’ll make deplorable Obamacare far worse. A lot depends on defeating it.
The only equitable solution left unconsidered is universal coverage, transforming marketplace medicine into a fundamental human right.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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