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Trump Health Care Tag

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.

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 entire country needs a lesson in parliamentary procedure. As I blogged yesterday, Senate Republicans, with the assist of Vice President Pence finally cobbled together enough votes to pass a motion to proceed (MTP), which simply allowed for debate on proposed Republican health care reform. To watch Democrats, progressives, and everyone under the impression that health insurance saves lives, John McCain was single-handedly responsible for killing off some 22 million people. Never mind the other 50 votes or the that Sen. McCain already said he'd support a MTP. And let's not even bother considering the CBO estimates of health insurance losses are due to an inordinate amount of people choosing to abstain from purchasing health insurance once the individual mandate ceases to be. In any case, in the minds of many, McCain became a veritable killing machine.

One of my favorite things to come out of the Republican ObamaCare flailing is Kemberlee's term for it:  a cluster. It is that.  But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly has one card left up his sleeve, and he intends to use it next week: force his caucus to record for their constituents (and for posterity) their vote on ObamaCare repeal.  (Democrats will vote, too, of course, but we know how that will go.) I like this move.  Put every single Republican on record for once and for all on ObamaCare repeal, and let us see who stands where and how that compares to the numerous repeal votes each cast when Obama was in the White House, veto pen at the ready. This isn't a single-play for McConnell; it's part of one-two punch that he hopes will rally Trump supporters and others who want ObamaCare gone (or those who want to keep it.).  The pressure resulting from a formal repeal ObamaCare vote will help him herd recalcitrant members behind . . . something that is less of a cluster.

Late Monday night, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) was pronounced dead when Republicans failed to whip enough support to debate the bill, much less ensure its passage. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) announced Monday night their refusal to support the BCRA in its current form, joining Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in opposition.

A few days ago, Kemberlee provided an overview of what is new in the GOP's revamped health care bill.  One thing that has turned out to be absent from the new version is the Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) "Freedom Option" touted by conservatives and a lynchpin in scoring skittish conservative Senators' votes. On July 14th, the America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and Blue Cross sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to drop the Freedom Option.
As the U.S. Senate considers the Better Care Reconciliation Act, AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association urge the Senate to strike the “Consumer Freedom Option” from the bill. It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market.
It appears that this advice was followed because the Freedom Option no longer appears in the Senate bill.

Thursday, the Senate Budget Committee released a revamped version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, or the Senate's version of the AHCA. The Senate GOP's first attempt (in this round of discussions) at the BCRA was met with mehs and groans across the caucus. A small contingent of conservative Senators opposed the bill saying it did little to repeal Obamacare. More moderate Republicans expressed concern over the bill's promise to eventually cut Medicaid. And others advocated for scrapping the whole bill for a clean Obamacare repeal.

The Senate GOP's latest effort to fix Obamacare failed to garner support from the conservative wing of the party. The fractured caucus led Sen. Sasse (R-NE) to call for the complete repeal of Obamacare followed by a completely separate replacement. Sasse suggested leaving Obamacare intact as is for one year to protect its current consumers while the Senate hashes out a replacement.

Occupy Democrats is a progressive group who claim they provide "a counterbalance to the Republican Tea Party."  They are best known for creating "click bait" memes on Facebook that the left eats up. Occupy Democrats keeps Snopes.com busy writing reports on their false, or "mixture" of fact and fiction, claims. Their latest false claim is getting widespread attention; however, its premise is a complete, and easily-debunked, fantasy.  They declare that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had polio as a child (true) and that all of his medical care was paid for by the government (false).  McConnell's care was paid for by the March of Dimes, a private, nonprofit charity.
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