What’s happening with Obamacare repeal, you ask? That is a fantastic question. But at this point, it’s quite clear that Republicans who campaigned on repealing the ACA have zero intention of doing so now that the opportunity has presented itself.

Seven Republican Senators voted against a so-called “clean repeal” bill Wednesday. Sens McCain, Murkowski, Capito, Lamar Alexander, Collins, Portman, and Heller are responsible for tanking the latest repeal effort. The bill offered no replacement but promised to delay full repeal, giving lawmakers time to figure out the rest.

The bill failed after the world fell apart Tuesday, blaming Sen. McCain for single-handedly sentencing millions to certain death because he had the audacity to vote to open up debate…for a bill he voted against less than 24-hours later.

Next on the docket is a “skinny repeal” effort, a bill that would remove the individual mandate and medical device tax.

From Politico:

“Sure. There’s plenty we agree on,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) late Wednesday when asked if he can get 50 votes. One challenge for GOP leaders is “trying to explain the concept that we need to do it this way as opposed to solving all the problems in a Senate bill now.”

Cornyn said broader negotiations on Medicaid reforms and other divisive issues would likely reemerge in bicameral negotiations with the House. But some Republicans are worried that those talks would revive efforts to wind down a Medicaid expansion that’s benefited their states.

Skinny repeal? Why bother?!

Because it’s not necessarily meant to stand as it’s written, but is designed to kick the bill back to the House who can then go back to the drawing board and come up with yet another garbage piece of legislation no one likes.

No one is an agreement about how to proceed. No one except for voters who grown anxious waiting for their Obamacare repeal dreams to come true.

I’ve long railed against the opportunists who took the Tea Party and exploited a genuine righteous anger, squeezing it for cash and clicks. Keeping the base riled up with outrageous promises of firing Eric Holder, ousting John Boehner, and repealing Obamacare while Obama was in office were a few of their favorite go-to lines.

As it turns out, it wasn’t just grassroots opportunists playing with anger-exploits. Former House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, who was embarrassingly ousted in huge 2014 upset confessed that even in 2013, no one believed repealing Obamacare was possible. From The Washingtonian:

Let’s back up a moment. Remember the summer of 2013, when the “Defund Obamacare Tour” drove the news cycle all through Congress’s August recess? The town halls organized by the political arm of the Heritage Foundation enlivened the base and furthered what had been the GOP’s core message since 2010—that Obamacare was bad and, if Americans helped Republicans hold both chambers, it could be repealed.

Cantor helped create that perception. Earlier that summer—after many failed attempts over the years to shred the law piecemeal—Cantor promised colleagues that the House would vote on a “full repeal.” But even after it did, the measure was dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Cantor—in Congress 13 years and, fairly or unfairly, once thought to be above electoral reproach—paid the price. His 2014 avenger, now-congressman David Brat, bludgeoned him for being soft on Obamacare, among other things. But the failure to make a dent in the law landed a bigger blow on the party. After seven years of pledging they could dismantle Obamacare, if only they had control of Congress and the White House, Republicans—at last in charge of both—have faced deep divisions over a replacement.

Asked if he feels partly responsible for their current predicament, Cantor is unequivocal. “Oh,” he says, “100 percent.”

He goes further: “To give the impression that if Republicans were in control of the House and Senate, that we could do that when Obama was still in office . . . .” His voice trails off and he shakes his head. “I never believed it.”

He says he wasn’t the only one aware of the charade: “We sort of all got what was going on, that there was this disconnect in terms of communication, because no one wanted to take the time out in the general public to even think about ‘Wait a minute—that can’t happen.’ ” But, he adds, “if you’ve got that anger working for you, you’re gonna let it be.”

No one is telling the truth about what’s possible, not on either side of the aisle, as Sen. Sasse notes:

While everyone else is running around spewing Beltway-speak, Sen. Sasse seems to be the only one publicly saying what everyone knows to be true.

But the reality is demoralizing and disappointing — Republicans simply have no intention of repealing Obamacare.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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