Short Says Repealing Obamacare With Later Replacement an Option


Even as McConnell worked behind-the-scenes to find a way to allay the concerns of conservatives, who didn't believe the bill went far enough to repeal Obamacare, and centrists, who anxious about Medicaid cuts and the 22 million more people who would be uninsured under the plan, Trump took to Twitter. Last January, even before taking office, Trump insisted that repeal and replace legislation be approved nearly simultaneously - within hours or days of each other - despite a preference by many congressional leaders to pass repeal legislation but postpone its effective date for a year or more while a new approach is developed. And Trump's tweets promoting the idea are likely to make it tougher for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring together moderates and conservatives. Moderates criticize it as overly harsh in kicking people off insurance roles, shrinking the Medicaid safety net and increasing premiums for older Americans.

The overwhelming unpopularity of the Trumpcare bill forced Senator McConnell, a man used to being unpopular, to delay the vote until after his self-imposed July 4th deadline. Mimicking a southern accent, the New Jersey-born Cuccinelli said, "Root and branch, root and branch", repeating an expression McConnell once used about how thoroughly he wanted to repeal the Obama law.

Yes, I know, Obamacare is the Affordable Care Act. Addressing Republicans in Elizabethtown, Ky., he said that while the current health care bill remains challenging, "we are going to stick with that path" and that "failure has to be possible or you can't have success". Trump's tweet did not appear to suggest a lot of White House confidence in the outcome. "So right now, this bill, which is not a repeal, has become the kitchen sink". It would still provide inadequate subsidies to working poor Americans to help them buy less-comprehensive health insurance.

Before Trump was inaugurated in January, Republicans debated and ultimately discarded the idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act before replacing it, concluding that both must happen simultaneously.

Trump urges GOP Senators to repeal Obamacare immediately, then replace
Short Says Repealing Obamacare With Later Replacement an Option

The fact that party leadership chose to ignore input from even one woman or person of color shows how much they are concerned about representing everyone.

Asked if he preferred to do permanent tax reform, which cannot increase the federal deficit, or pass short-term tax cuts, Short said, "what's most important is to get the economy growing so people can get back to work". Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said Democrats are ready to work with the GOP on legislation to fix the worst problems of Obamacare, but they won't go along with a bill to kill the government health insurance program outright.

Moderates were spooked as the week began with a Congressional Budget Office finding that McConnell's draft bill would result in 22 million people losing insurance over the next decade, only 1 million fewer than under the House-passed legislation which Trump privately told senators was "mean". "Root and branch doesn't mean trimming the hedges, as is now the case", said Andy Roth, vice president for government affairs at the Club for Growth.

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