Trump Is All In On New Obamacare Replacement

It’s getting real.  At a press conference today, Senate GOP leadership joined Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy to tout their eleventh-hour Obamacare replacement plan, which would send block-granted money and a great deal of healthcare authority back to the states.  In a significant statement, Graham told reporters that House Speaker Paul Ryan pledged to himthat if the Senate passes the legislation, the House will follow suit — but that the House will not take up a bill that merely props up Obamacare with more bailout-style money, which is the “compromise” sought by Democrats.  Graham said that a preliminary CBO score is expected next week, and a hearing is slated for Monday.  Republicans have until Friday to approve an Obamacare alternative with a simple majority under “reconciliation.”  In a sign of how serious this final push has become, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a floor speech slamming the reckless pipe dream of BernieCare and praising Graham-Cassidy…

That’s not exactly a full-throated endorsement, but it aligns with previous reportsthat McConnell has committed to calling a vote if the bill’s sponsors can wrangle 50 ayes.  The Trump administration, well aware that the legislative clock is running out, is throwing its full weight behind the proposal. In an email blast, the White House quoted the Vice President describing himself and the president as “all in” for Graham-Cassidy, and noted that Trump spoke with Graham last night to encourage him in this pursuit:

At this afternoon’s gaggle, Graham said he’s spoken to Trump five times in the past two days on this subject.  Meanwhile, Pence is back on the Hill, pressing Senators to support the legislation.  If Rand Paul is still a ‘no’ — which John McCormack describesas an inexplicable stance, given the Kentuckian’s previous positions — Republicans can only afford one more defection.  Susan Collins sounds like a no, while Lisa Murkowski (whose home state governor is being lobbied on this idea) and John McCain (whose home state governor has embraced it) are maybes.  In other words, no real movement to speak of: 

The credibility-challenged Democratic Left is doing its fear-mongering hyperventilation thing, framing anything other than an expansion of the status quo as “extreme” and mean-spirited.  But the status quo, for which they are entirely responsible, is failing, harming millions, and getting worse.  They lied us into the current collapsing and unaffordable system, and their only solutions involve more government spending and more government control.  I’ll leave you with this bipartisan critique of government-run healthcare, augmenting some of the points we made in this post:

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