Headstrong politics obstacle to bipartisan health care compromise

The Republican strategy on tax and health care reform was built on a house of cards that has now collapsed.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that half of US voters now approve of the Affordable Care Act, which then-President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010, and that 37 percent of voters support the GOP's continued push to repeal and replace the law.

A CBS News poll released Wednesday said 49 percent of Americans blamed the bill's demise on its unpopularity.

The CBO determined that the latest version of the Republican health care plan would lead to 14 million people being uninsured next year, with a total of approximately 24 million Americans losing coverage by 2026.

"I don't really believe anyone is going to quit", said Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., "I think we'll do it until we get it done". "He's a dealmaker. He knows how to do deals and there's no deal here", said Ed Cox, chairman of NY state's Republican party, who has known Trump for decades, sometimes as friend, sometimes as foe.

The renewed focus on repealing Obamacare came after Ryan chose to withdraw the House GOP's health care bill Friday, a decision made after it became clear there wouldn't be enough votes to pass it.

White House officials are signaling a renewed focus on job creation, taxes and the administration's push to win confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, a bright spot for the president. After the meeting Tuesday he suggested some of his members may be ready for compromise. "Everybody wants to get it done".

"We will find out who is truly for repeal of Obamacare and who is not", Brooks told reporters.

"We have all been promising it - Democrat, Republican - to the public", Trump said Tuesday night.

There was no real reason to think that the 30 percent surcharge (which was really a price control for insurers to implement) would have made more people buy insurance than the ACA did.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, after his defeat this weekend, conceded, "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future". Only more modest changes that don't balloon the deficit qualify for the "reconciliation" process under which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can pass legislation by simple majority - and if just three Republicans balk, even such a limited bill would fail.

We're going to spend much of today's program trying to understand what happened on Capitol Hill yesterday and what happens now.

Some of those who were in the "no" camp expressed a willingness to work on getting to "yes" and to making this work.

It appears that House Speaker Paul Ryan's 123-page legislative plan for Trumpcare, the GOP's so-called "replacement" for Obamacare, is dead - for now, anyway. He favored abortion rights most of his adult life, has shown little stomach for fighting over social issues and espoused views on trade similar to those of liberal Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Republicans can't go back to their voters and say they've given up. "That's a calculation they're going to have to make".

The Medicare Act of 1965 passed after the 1964 election awarded Democrats with 68 Senate seats, plus the White House and House.

Trump tweeted early Thursday, "The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast".

Asked during her 2012 Senate campaign whether she supports a single-payer health care system she demurred, insisting that it was the current law that needed to be defended.

"He's left everything on the field when it comes to this bill", White House press secretary Sean Spicer said before the vote was pulled. "We're looking at all kinds of options to get to 'yes'".

"The opposition was very well-organized", said Republican strategist Alex Conant.

"I think if you watch the tape it was a lighthearted moment", Spicer said of Trump's comments.

We don't need conservatives in Congress to bow to whatever mutant legislation might be crafted under reconciliation rules, or for Republican leaders to work with Senate Democrats to produce bills that can overcome the filibuster - instead, Senate rules should just be changed. Many in the party feared the politics of an enormous expansion of government and the disruption it would bring to the health care market. Thursday, the original deadline for the vote, was the seven-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act's passage. "Once those things are done, we Democrats are more than happy to sit down together and come up with ways to make the law work better".


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