Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Mitch McConnell has pulled the Senate health care bill:
Senate Republican leaders have done an abrupt about-face on the health care bill: They're now planning to delay the vote to take up the bill until after the July 4 recess, according to two senior GOP aides. They say Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the announcement at the beginning of today's Senate Republican lunch.
But McConnell and company intend to keep working this week:
Senate Republicans have been tasked with reaching a new health care agreement by Friday, two senior GOP aides say. A new draft bill can then be sent to the Congressional Budget Office for analysis over next week's recess, and then the Senate will vote on the bill when it returns.
Will McConnell make the bill more horrible or less horrible? I think we can answer that question if we look at what McConnell was saying before he pulled the bill:
Mitch McConnell is delivering an urgent warning to staffers, Republican senators and even the president himself: If Obamacare repeal fails this week, the GOP will lose all leverage and be forced to work with Chuck Schumer.

... Voters expect Republicans to deliver on their long-held promise to repeal the law, McConnell said.... And failing to repeal the law would mean the GOP would lose its opportunity to do a partisan rewrite of the law that could scale back Medicaid spending, cut Obamacare’s taxes and repeal a host of industry mandates.

Instead, Republicans would be forced to enter into bipartisan negotiations with Democrats to save failing insurance markets.
We know that objections to the bill were raised by both moderate Republican senators and far-rightists. Which group do you think would be upset at the prospect of bipartisan negotiations?

Here's one of the moderates, Lisa Murkowski:

The prospect of working with Democrats doesn't frighten her. It probably wouldn't frighten Susan Collins or Dean Heller, either. So McConnell's dire warning wasn't aimed at gtting them to fall in line.

The warning was intended to scare Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and other far-rightists into backing the bill. Those guys absolutely don't want to work with Democrats. The warning didn't work, but the nature of it tells me that McConnell thought he needed to focus on the far-rightists in order to get to 50 votes (on the assumption, perhaps, that moderates are likely to cave).

This is probably what McConnell still believes. So my guess is that this bill is only going to get worse -- and if it does, it's possible it will pass.

In any event, this isn't over. Keep putting the pressure on.

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