Donald Trump’s White House has managed to change the minds of some Republicans who were initially against the administration’s plans to overhaul Obamacare. Some of them have gone from “hell no” to a much more polite, “no.”
“It switched me from a ‘hell no’ to just a ‘no,’ ” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., declared on Saturday. “That’s progress,” he added.
The repeal and replace plan has been undergoing changes since it was pulled from voting just hours before the plan was set for a showdown. Ultra-conservatives from the Freedom Caucus want to see less coverage given to Americans and conservatives simply want to destroy something created by the Democrats.
Trump has been desperate to destroy the Affordable Health Care Act any way he can. The President has gone so far as to attempt tax legislation maneuvers to kill the program. If Trump has his way, tax dollars from the federal level will no longer cover subsidies, placing that burden on each individual state.
The House GOP leadership brass and President Trump tried valiantly to lug the package across the finish line this week to coincide with Trump’s 100 days in office. The president hits that temporal marker sans a single, major legislative victory. Approving the health care bill this week would have festooned a major jewel in his policy crown.
“(The bill’s) still got problems. Go read the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) report,” Massie said.
Even moderate GOPer Rep. Dan Donovan, R-N.Y., a friend of Trump for decades, has his continued concerns.
“I’m concerned about what was going to happen with seniors, allowing insurance companies to charge seniors as much as five times as a young, healthy person rather than three times as much in the law now,” he said.
With the party’s inability to rally it’s own, there doesn’t seem to be any chance that the party’s new health care bill will go to a vote this week.
Republicans have become so desperate to pass the bill that they are relying on the old dating ritual of the “three day rule,” which gives House Republicans just three days to review the entire bill before going to a vote.
In reality, the GOP will release part of the bill, waiting 24 hours, and then post further parts of the legislation, before finalizing the bill right before a vote. That type of maneuvering has led to the “25 hour and two seconds” moniker based on their actions.
The sign of a weak bill? The inability to allow the legislation to stand on its own two feet with proper due diligence provided for all lawmakers involved.
Even Republicans who are prepared to vote “yes” say they are feeling pressure to do so. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., one of the most conservative members of the House responded, “I’m a yes — Under duress.”
That sounds like members of the Republican party took him into a dark alley way and beat the crap out of him.
One unnamed Republican leader went so far as to say, “We’ve got to do something. It’s not great. But we’ve got to just pass the dang-gum thing.”
There is still only a small margin of error for the Republicans so here’s to hoping there are still enough ultra-conservative holdouts to keep the bill from passing. A second failure could signal increasing trouble for the GOPs attempts to take health care away from 24 million Americans.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.