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Confirmed: Senate Too Gridlocked to Move Forward With Obamacare Reform

Confirmed: Senate Too Gridlocked to Move Forward With Obamacare Reform

“There’s just too much animosity and we’re too divided on healthcare”

We’ve been actively chronicling the Senate Republican’s embarrassing attempt (or feigned, depending on your thoughts here), to repeal Obamacare.

Whether it’s one big, long con, or a deeply fractured caucus, Sen. Hatch is under the impression that the division in the Republican ranks runs far too deep to find a path forward in the long-promised effort to rid us of Obamacare.

In an interview with Reuters, Sen. Hatch said, “there’s just too much animosity and we’re too divided on healthcare.”

Trump over the weekend urged Republican senators to stick with trying to pass an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act, former President Obama’s signature domestic initiative known as Obamacare.

Trump made replacing Obamacare a key part of his presidential campaign and Republicans have promised for years to repeal or replace the law. The House of Representatives has passed an overhaul but the Senate has been unable to do so despite having worked on it for months. Three Senate Republicans joined Democrats in voting against repealing even part of the law at the end of last week.

Hatch’s statements contradict directives from Trump, who urged the Senate to continue working to find consensus Sunday.

Reuters continued:

The senator said he saw no real desire on the part of Democrats to work together on the healthcare issue “and I have to say some Republicans are at fault there, too.”

Hatch said he had not given up on healthcare. “I think we ought to acknowledge that we can come back to healthcare afterwards but we need to move ahead on tax reform,” Hatch said.

Asked who would relay the message to the Trump administration, Hatch laughed and said, “I’m going to be one who does that,” adding that he expected Republican leaders of the House and Senate, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, would do so, too.

Hatch said lawmakers would need to appropriate the cost-sharing subsidy payments that the administration has been making. Trump has threatened to cut off these subsidies, which help insurers keep deductibles down for low-income people who get health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges.

“I’m for helping the poor, always have been. And I don’t think they should be bereft of healthcare,” Hatch said.

The disagreements between Republicans and Democrats on healthcare reform are virtually insurmountable, so there’s little to no chance Republicans will be able to sway Democrats to their side. The best and really only chance Senate Republicans have of rolling back Obamacare is to find a way to work togehter, something they’ve as of yet been unable to do.


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“Trump made replacing Obamacare a key part of his presidential campaign…”

That’s a damned lie. He made REPEAL (I believe he said on “day one”) a key part of his bullshit presidential lie-fest.

How many are we up to in six months…???

    casualobserver in reply to Ragspierre. | July 31, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Selective memory. He spoke often about post repeal healthcare attributes including suggestions about expanding Medicare in so many words. It was noteworthy because of the visceral reactions.

    Matt_SE in reply to Ragspierre. | July 31, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Trump’s problem is that he’s taken every side of every position at least once. I remember him saying that he though single payer was great (which raised a few eyebrows).

    This is the tactic of a salesman; always shifting and feeling out the customer. Trump is a bullshitter. If you don’t know that by now, this is going to be a long trip for you.

      Ragspierre in reply to Matt_SE. | July 31, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      See, you can’t say truthful things like that here.

      The T-rump sucking turd-swirl will descend on you and shame you!

        casualobserver in reply to Ragspierre. | July 31, 2017 at 8:12 pm

        You can negative when truthful or factual rather than purely emotional.

          YellowSnake in reply to casualobserver. | July 31, 2017 at 8:29 pm

          “truthful or factual” Trump is neither. He wouldn’t even claim to be. He uses ‘truthful hyperbole’ (BS) according to his book. Wait! He didn’t even invent that term – his ghostwriter did.

        Ghostrider in reply to Ragspierre. | August 1, 2017 at 12:38 am

        Moderator: reading this blog is not fun any more. This Ragspierre character is a primary reason.

          Our posts are terrific, so if you’re not loving the comment section, you may consider reading our published material and forgoing the comments section. It’s also possible to see which comment is made by whom and to skip those by LI commenters with whom you disagree or of whom you otherwise disapprove.

        Rags, lots of people say things that question Trump here. And they are often right, as is Matt in this case. Look, there’s a high degree of Rags Derangement Syndrome at work here and we know that, but you are at your best when you use reason and facts to support your anti-Trump stance. More of that, please.

          4th armored div in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 1, 2017 at 9:51 am

          you should consider using Disqus(ting) as the comment vehicle type. it permits various options and also lets you see who is upcommenting and helps avoid TROLLS.
          jes sayin

          tom swift in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | August 1, 2017 at 11:09 am

          Not so. “XXX Derangement Syndrome” is a hysterical response; in modern parlance, something which is irrationally “triggered”. But that has nothing to do with LI‘s obvious chronic annoyances; the reaction to those is not at all irrational.

          And no, Matt is not right. Trump is indeed all over the map, but only about things he thinks unimportant. That’s just prioritization, and usually is considered a wise managerial technique (though when Trump does it, TDS is triggered, of course).

          Heyas Tom, that’s interesting. You acknowledge Trump Derangement Syndrome but not the very clear Rags Derangement Syndrome that takes place on these pages. So it’s an “hysterical response” when it’s not about Trump? How does that work? I see a lot is knee-jerk and unwarranted attacks on Rags.

          Note: the ones he actually provokes are a different animal, but look at the comments.

          How often do sufferers of RDS just wildly spout off about him with no context or reason? Oooh, this is a topic Rags might comment on: WHERE IS HE? Oh! Look, a post about shopping carts, let’s drag Rags into that, shall we? Trump did something good, hey! Where’s Rags to rub his nose in it? A handful of commenters here appear to get great joy out of mocking, calling out, and otherwise attacking Rags, even when he hasn’t commented in days! It’s bizarre. Why are adults so happy to pile on one guy even when he’s not offered his opinion on the topic at hand? How can people who disparage illogical attacks on Trump, who point out that Trump had nothing to do with X, Y, or Z, go on to use the same degree of derangement they perceive in anti-Trump commentary on a random commenter? It defies logic.

          Your other point: Matt said that Trump has “taken every side of every position at least once,” and that is mostly true. It may not be a truth you like, but it’s true nonetheless. For example, Trump said that Romney was “crazy” on immigration and that Romney’s plan (which was RINO-lite) was “mean-spirited.” Now, he’s suddenly a hard-liner on immigration (which I like, but this has not always been his position . . . and may not be his position tomorrow).

          He’s supported LGBT rights, including their service in the military (he supported Obama’s DADT repeal), and he’s been fervently pro-abortion before he was sort of pro-life.

          That’s all fine, he didn’t win by being consistent, but to attack someone for pointing out his ever-shifting worldview is lame. Matt’s right, Trump says whatever he thinks will get him further down the road. Appreciate that all you want, but you can’t erase his previous statements.

I’d like to see Trump cut the sweet heart deal the House and Senate get and make them pay just like everyone else.

Start with McCain.

    Matt_SE in reply to Andy. | July 31, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    I think you just might.
    Trump has stuck his finger in the wind and found this to be a *very* popular position. Somebody may pay a price for the repeal failure, but Trump is determined that it won’t be him.

    MattMusson in reply to Andy. | August 1, 2017 at 7:59 am

    That would break the Stalemate!

There’s no gridlock in a straightforward repeal. You get gridlock when people are working at cross purposes. But there’s no cross purpose involved in a repeal. Repeal the Obamacare disaster, or not; yes or no. In this case, they don’t repeal it because, for whatever reason, they don’t want to.

As soon as you introduce “repeal and replace”, you have a formula for unavoidable gridlock, whether the reasons for cross purposes are corrupt or honest. This is one of several obvious problems with the entire concept of “repeal and replace”; it’s very unlikely to happen. But attempting to do a “repeal and replace” is good cover for failing to do a straightforward repeal.

As for Hatch, he’s long been one of the most duplicitous men in the Senate, and we see his techinques in operation here.

Hatch said … Trump has threatened to cut off these subsidies, which … keep deductibles down for low-income people who get health insurance …

“I’m for helping the poor … I don’t think they should be bereft of healthcare”

A typically oleaginous salad of apples and oranges; note the deft switch from “health insurance” to “healthcare”. The guy is as slippery as a Democrat.

    snopercod in reply to tom swift. | July 31, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Don’t count your Hatch before he chickens.

    Morning Sunshine in reply to tom swift. | July 31, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    I apologize for Hatch (again). I will do my darnedest to kick him out this time around. The man is an embarrassment to my fine state. He acts like he OWNS the senate seat, and will not even debate challengers, they are beneath his notice. I want to channel MA Senator Brown and say “with all due respect, this is not [Hatch’s] seat. It is the People of Utah’s seat.”

If only the republicans in the Senate had a leader…

Coloradoopenrange | July 31, 2017 at 6:07 pm

McCain has been a destroyer of Conservative principles all his life.

    snopercod in reply to Coloradoopenrange. | July 31, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    What are “conservative principles”? I used to think they consisted of free markets, smaller less, intrusive, fiscally responsible government, and more individual freedom. That no longer seems to be the case, in fact, it’s hard to identify exactly what “conservatives” stand for these days. I think Ayn Rand had it right back in 1960, when she wrote:

    If the “conservatives” do not stand for capitalism, they stand for and are nothing; they have no goal, no direction, no political principles, no social ideals, no intellectual values, no leadership to offer anyone.

    That is a perfect description of the current Senate republicans, isn’t it?

      The GOPe stands for nothing – except the other GOPe the rats in the organization.

      The solution to this is simple: vote them out.

        YellowSnake in reply to | July 31, 2017 at 8:34 pm

        Why don’t you form your own party? You can call it the PUre Party. You will never have a majority, but you won’t have to deal with all those in the republican party that simply don’t agree with you.

          Good idea, yellowtail. We’ll get right on it.

          JoAnne in reply to YellowSnake. | August 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm

          Tiresome. I enjoy differing opinions presented thoughtfully and even humorously. I learn from differing opinions especially when they make me think hard to justify my opinion. I have been known to change my opinion because the other person had a better argument. Your rhetoric? You simply bore me and reinforce my opinion that progressives are just mean spirited.

          Aw, feeling the sting to the Democrats’ historic eight-year run of losses and their bizarre new Papa John’s mantra?

          Here’s an idea, plow down that “no pro-lifers welcome in the Democrat party” path and see how far you get. Nothing says, vote for the other guy like “you’re not welcome here.”

          Oooh, better yet, demand that all Democrats support not only on-demand abortion but open borders and single-payer health care.

          Let’s see, Republicans have both Houses of Congress, the White House, 33 governorships, and 32 state legislatures.

          Democrats are clearly united in how to correct these historic and shameful losses, though. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be on here chirping about GOP division.

      Ragspierre in reply to snopercod. | July 31, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      I pretty much agree with Ayn Rand here. And with snopercod.

      Capitalsim is not some appendage you can adopt or discard willy-nilly.

      It is a bedrock part of the conservative ideal of people dealing with each other on mutually acceptable terms, without interference from another.

      It assumes that each of the members of a transaction are rational actors, and it always results in both being benefited.

      This, of course, belies the idiot Pasadena Filly and his Marxist marketing prof, who believe that a marketing campaign can make you screw yourself.

      tom swift in reply to snopercod. | August 1, 2017 at 9:30 am

      An obvious weakness of Rand is that she usually considers one nebulous word by contrasting it with another equally nebulous one. Baffled by “conservative”? Well, call it “capitalism”! Which gets us nowhere.

      Conservatism is, among other things, a conceptual approach to problem-solving; a way of life. You meet conservatives every day. But when was the last time you met a “capitalist”? And would you want to? Marx’s collaborator and buddy Friedrich Engels was a capitalist. So maybe “capitalism” as a standalone concept isn’t the answer.

        4th armored div in reply to tom swift. | August 1, 2017 at 10:06 am


        Libertarianism (Latin: liber, “free”) is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle.[1] Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice, voluntary association, individual judgment, and self-ownership

          tom swift in reply to 4th armored div. | August 1, 2017 at 11:18 am

          Eighteenth century writings on political philosophy were dominated by concern with the relationship between the citizen and his government. This is quite striking; it clearly distinguishes eighteenth from seventeenth century thought, which tended to revolve around religious schisms. What they called “liberty” in America’s founding era was, quite specifically, freedom from arbitrary governmental authority. And “libertarianism” would be a good word for it, except that that means something a bit different today.

        Tom, you wrote: “Marx’s collaborator and buddy Friedrich Engels was a capitalist. So maybe “capitalism” as a standalone concept isn’t the answer.”

        First, this is the worst kind of logical fallacy: Marx wrote a stupid book with Engels and that he (Marx) later debunked. Engels, you say, was a capitalist; therefore, you imply, Marx’s and Engel’s work on communism illustrates that capitalism “isn’t the answer”?

        Well, DUH! That was the whole point, no? What a load of gobbeldy-gook lunacy.

        Aside from that insane “logic,” who has proposed capitalism as a standalone answer? And what was the question he/she/they posed that is answered by standalone capitalism? What does an anti-capitalist America look like?

        Marx himself ultimately rejected his own (and Engels’) communist manifesto as unreasonable and unworkable. He recognized a simple fact: history tells us that “revolutions” happen against governments, not against a class (or as regressives hope, a race).

Part of the problem is that the “Republicans” are actually three separate groups, all claiming the same name:

1. RINOs like McCain & co., who are more Democrat/liberal than Republican or conservative

2. Establishment Republicans (a.k.a. GOPe) like McConnell, who have become part of the swamp

3. NeoRepublicans like, well, Trump and a few Senators who won election riding his coattails

The three groups are working at cross-purposes, so nothing can or will get done.

As for the abomination that is ObamaCare, I say let it continue and implode on its own. Reports are that over 1,000 counties will be down to one OCare-compliant insurer next year.

    Tom Servo in reply to Rusty Bill. | July 31, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    I have been trying to make exactly that point to people for years! Glad some others see it, too.

    Then, with Dems, you have the hard left Evergreen democrats, mostly from the West Coast, and the say anything to get and keep power Dem’s, who are a whole lot like the say anything to get and keep power GOP-e.

    So we’re not really a 2 party system; we’re much more like Parliamentary system with at least 5 parties in the current Congress. (probably could identify a few more if we wanted to work at it)

    Our problem is that right now, from all of these factions it’s incredibly easy to find 51% to vote against anything being done on any issue. Conversely, it’s almost impossible to find 51% to be in favor of anything.

    The weirdest part of this paradigm is that, no matter how little Trump does on any issue, he can always be sure that this Congress is going to do even less.

      PhillyGuy in reply to Tom Servo. | August 1, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      There is a political re-alignment going on in the country already. It’s just that the elected/privileged class is too entrenched in the power structure to care. They would just as soon sit on the ball and run out the clock so they can go about business as usual. The alignments of today are not conservative vs liberal or republican vs democrat.

      President Trump is one of the first to recognize that. His electoral success will bring more like him into the political process. They can win if they can withstand the constant smears from the left AND the right. Tough job but still doable.

    Groups 1 and 2 gotta go

    tom swift in reply to Rusty Bill. | August 1, 2017 at 9:18 am

    I say let it continue and implode on its own.

    But that won’t get rid of it. It will just saddle us with a broken system, one from which there’s no escape. Unlike commercial failures, governmental failures don’t go away by themselves.

    This is probably the fundamental flaw in all systems of government; Darwin doesn’t put failure out of our misery. Of course there’s no way to eliminate government entirely. The best we can do is limit it, so that it doesn’t eventually make all aspects of society and the economy totally unworkable at the same time that it makes them horribly expensive. In other words, oppose socialism on every front.

    And if that’s what “conservative” means, then count me in.

If you like your taxpayer subsidized obamacare you can keep it Senator? I hope Trump stomps their subsidy like a mud puddle.

I would argue this is a very serious moment. President making personal threats to us and our constituents if we don’t pass his bill.

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) July 29, 2017

The Washington Post reported that the current taxpayer subsidy covers 72% of these premiums:

FrankNatoli | July 31, 2017 at 7:13 pm

“no real desire on the part of Democrats to work together on the healthcare issue”
Oh, please. If the Democrats could enact ACA w/o one Republican vote, the Republicans can repeal ACA w/o one Democrat vote.
Except, of course, if the Republicans are rudderless.

    YellowSnake in reply to FrankNatoli. | July 31, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Because a lot of republicans don’t want to repeal it. Did it ever occur to you that there might have been other republicans who would have voted against the ‘skinny’ bill, but they didn’t have to.

    That used to be a time honored game. When the whip knew he had enough votes, he would release those likely to face close contests so their record would be unassailable.

    How come none of the democrats broke and ran? Could it be that they weren’t scared? Could it be the Obamacare is too popular?

That photo is a touching cameo of Senator McCain, colluding across-the-aisle! It should be painted in oils and hung over the chamber, as an inspiration to all mavericks to come.

    4th armored div in reply to Virgo. | August 1, 2017 at 10:15 am

    which party9s0 does he go and play with ?
    His time has long past gone –
    I do not wish ill of anyone, but McLaime is destroying the country with his self promotion.

    He needs to go and not let the door hit him in the back –
    he can be a spokesman for Depends, not conservative/liberty Dependable.