Schumer calls for bipartisanship following Obamacare repeal failure

Mitch McConnell

That's certainly what it sounded like when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said following the failed health care vote on Friday, "Now, Mr. President, it's time to move on".

But no one should be fooled.

The big problem is that there are no guarantees the the House will not simply pass "skinny repeal" after the Senate does.

Earlier, a group of Republican senators trashed the new measure, widely dubbed a "skinny repeal", saying it would only worsen the health care system, and they demanded unprecedented promises from their House colleagues to change it.

The "skinny repeal" bill is a Trojan horse created to resuscitate the effort to repeal large parts of the ACA and impose big Medicaid cuts that would jeopardize coverage for millions of the nation's neediest people.

It cuts federal funding to places that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood, for a year.

In agreeing to go to conference, Ryan acknowledged that the so-called skinny repeal bill Senate GOP leaders are putting together is "the only path ahead" to keep the overhaul effort alive.

McCain's announcement Monday that he would return for the vote added momentum to Republican efforts in the Senate following House Republicans' passage of their bill in May. Little was known about the bill until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took the wraps off the legislation Thursday.

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Was Skinny Repeal good policy?

Others blasted McCain on Twitter for leaving taxpayer-supported treatment to help pass legislation that -according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis - would lead to more than 20 million fewer people having insurance by 2026.

US Democrats immediately called for a bipartisan debate on how to fix Obamacare.

However, it is unlikely that if the bill makes it to conference with the House that it will involve Democratic input, if the stated goal continues to be repealing the Affordable Care Act. And in doing so, they nearly certainly would use the House's harsh bill as their starting point. "We've tried to do this by coming up with a proposal behind closed doors in consultation with the administration, then springing it on skeptical members, trying to convince them it's better than nothing, asking us to swallow our doubts and force it past a unified opposition", he said on Tuesday after voting to proceed on the legislation.

After another setback to this agenda Friday, Trump wrote, "3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down".

Needless to say, the skinny bill is broadly unpopular, even among GOP lawmakers.

Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. "The skinny bill as a replacement for Obamacare is a fraud". And the conference process that Senator McConnell now would use would only strengthen his hand.

Graham told reporters that passing a scaled-down version of a bill that would repeal Obamacare "politically would be the dumbest thing in history". House members and senators would have only two choices: vote yes or vote no. The question remains is he truly a leader, a deal maker or a petty man who is willing to put the countries health care at risk just to kill the signature law of his predecessor?

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