Short Says Repealing Obamacare With Later Replacement an Option

Posted July 03, 2017

McConnell planned to put the bill up for a vote on the floor last week, but yanked it last minute after it became clear too many Republicans abandoned ship. Surely, the GOP would not want to wait until repeal to sit down to the hard work of replacement. And Trump's tweets promoting the idea are likely to make it tougher for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring together moderates and conservatives.

McConnell had hoped to close the deal on Friday by offering a raft of sweeteners to conservatives and moderates alike, yet congressional Republicans departed for the week-long holiday no closer to a final agreement.

The current Senate legislation would repeal parts of Obamacare, roll back its expansion of the Medicaid government healthcare program for the poor, eliminate most of Obamacare's taxes and replace Obamacare insurance subsidies with a system of tax credits to help individuals buy private health insurance.

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".

The White House said it remains "fully committed" to pushing through a health care plan in the Senate but is "looking at every possible option" to repeal and replace the Obamacare law.

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On Thursday, Senate Republicans were considering breaking a stalemate over what their replacement bill should do by preserving a tax boost Obama's law imposed on high earners.

If Mitch McConnell believed anything about the health care bill, it was that the Senate needed to vote on it before they left for a scheduled July 4 recess.

It's gut check time for Republicans.

Top Republicans also considered an amendment pushed by conservatives to let insurers offer plans with low premiums and scant benefits. "We have almost $200 billion in insurance [industry] bailouts".

"The bill is just being lit up like a Christmas tree full of billion-dollar ornaments, and it's not repeal", Paul said, referencing the wheeling and dealing going on behind closed doors to moderate senators such as a $45 billion check to fight heroin abuse and maintaining some of Obamacare's taxes on the wealthy.

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The trouble is that Senate leaders have attracted fire from both sides.

Meanwhile, Trump has done little other than to complicate the Republicans efforts to make good on a seven-year-old pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare.

It's move that Republicans have tried in 2015, but don't seem to have the votes to push it through this time - many party senators oppose repealing the law - popularly known as Obamacare - without replacing it with a new one.

Health industry officials have warned that overturning the existing law, which has extended insurance to roughly 20 million Americans and changed the rules under which insurance is offered across the country, would create chaos in a sector that accounts for one-sixth of the US economy.

Trump subsequently anointed McConnell's Senate version as much better and more humane.

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In a "tweet", Donald Trump has proposed a solution: "If the republican senators do not get to adopt things they are working on at the moment, they should repeal it immediately, and replace at a later date!"