Republicans had promised for years under an antagonistic President Obama that they would, when they could, repeal Obamacare.
Then Donald Trump was elected.
But GOP members in Congress didn’t follow through. Several votes in recent months have failed, mostly by narrow margins, the last one because Sen. John McCain opposed the repeal.
But they’re at it again, with a new plan to replace Obamacare from Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and others.
In broad terms, it would provide federal health funding to states in the form of block grants, and it would remove some of Obamacare’s mandates and the medical device tax.
It would leave in place some of the other rules and taxes.
President Trump on Wednesday praised the effort.
“I applaud the Senate for continuing to work toward a solution to relieve the disastrous Obamacare burden on the American people,” he said in a statement.
“My administration has consistently worked to enact legislation that repeals and replaces Obamacare, and that can pass the Senate and make it to my desk. Obamacare has been a complete nightmare for the many Americans who have been devastated by its skyrocketing healthcare premiums and deductibles and canceled or shrinking plans.
“As I have continued to say, inaction is not an option, and I sincerely hope that Senators Graham and Cassidy have found a way to address the Obamacare crisis.”
Cassidy told reporters he is optimistic the legislation will be adopted before a Sept. 30 deadline, but it may have the bare minimum of 50 votes, in which case Vice President Mike Pence could break the tie.
McCain said he supports the new version.
There are two other options: leave the system that appears to be collapsing in place until it fails completely or adopt Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan for the government to take over the entire health-care system, becoming a one-payer insurer. That idea is called “Medicare for all.”
WND reported when the most recent Obamacare repeal bill failed at the end of July. While McCain was getting most of the blame, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, also was criticized for reneging on her vow to repeal the law.
Joe Miller, who ran against Murkowski in 2010 and 2016, noted she had been railing against Obamacare for seven years and voted for repeal less than two years ago.
“When the vote actually counts, you know how she’s going to vote. She knew at that point, of course, that Obama was going to veto it. So there was no cost to what we would call her principles – those of expanding government. That was entirely a consequence, in our assessment, of knowing where the outcome of that vote was going,” Miller said.
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Joe Miller: