Debate continues for Republican party to repeal and replace Obamacare
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The Republicans have returned from the July 4 holiday only to learn the prospects for passing a health care bill before the August recess has become much more difficult.
While the Republicans have a 52 to 48 majority in the Senate, they need to pick up three of the dozen Republican Senators who are opposing the bill that’s on the table.
This is not about the Senate versus the House. It’s worse. It’s about Republican versus Republican.
The opposition comes from both moderate and far right Republican Senators, who have different ideas of about how to repeal or change Obamacare, or ACA.
" … I still am a ‘no’ unless the bill is dramatically changed," said Moderate Susan Collins of Maine.
Congressman Duncan Hunter has no confidence the Senate will act anytime soon.
"The Senators need to have a slice of humble pie. They need to realize they’re not the smartest people in the world and the world does not evolve around them. They have to find a consensus," Congressman Hunter said.
"They have not been able to come together. Nobody has been able to lead that coming together on some kind of a compromise," said Dr. Ted Mazer, President Elect of the California Medical Association.
Dr. Mazer follows the health care debate in detail. He said polling shows only 20 percent favoring the Senate bill fashioned by Mitch McConnell.
"They need to do something today, this week, to stabilize the markets because of what’s happening with exchanges around the country," Dr. Mazer said.
Pressure came from the president in the form of a tweet, saying, "I can’t imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new health care bill fully approved and ready to go."
The president waffled on the House bill, then backed off, then called it mean as the Senate went to work on its bill.
"I think what the party is looking for is some leadership to say, ‘What do you want Mr. President? What do you think we can actually get through and what will you do to help pass that?’" Dr. Mazer said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will work with Democrats if the party can’t come up with its own plan.
"Premiums are going up. Co-payments are going up. Deductibles are going up. So we have to solve the current crisis and I think repealing and then delaying the replacement doesn’t work," McConnell said.
So what’s likely to happen as the Republicans attempt to get their act together?
"The next election is probably what’s going to cause them to veer back towards the middle and look for changes in the ACA rather than outright repeal or a repeal with a delay in order to affect policy changes," McConnell said.
This current fight is about budgetary matters to stabilize the marketplace for the insurers and the exchanges. Changes in policy will be the next big fight.