Trumpcare is Dead. Again.

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

In addition to a small handful of Republican senators who opposed Trumpcare (the "Better Care Replacement Act" or BCRA) for their own reasons, Senators Mike Lee and Jerry Moran came out against the bill last night because it was not sufficiently cruel.

Lee and Moran wanted the Senate to adopt the original form of Senator Ted Cruz's amendment that would kill people with pre-existing conditions, not the watered down version adopted by leadership that would still kill people with pre-existing conditions.

Opposition from Lee and Moran effectively killed the Senate's "repeal and replace" effort, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has moved on (or moved back) to "repeal and delay."

Instead, he said the Senate would vote on a full repeal of Obamacare, with two years before the repeal goes into effect to allow time to create a new system. The new plan may appear to fulfill a seven-year GOP promise, but it faces extremely difficult odds after many moderate Republican senators have already come out against repeal without an immediate replacement. [...]

McConnell, who had worked to craft the bill that couldn't muster enough support, said he would seek a vote on a full repeal — the same version that passed both the House and the Senate in 2015 — "in the coming days."

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the GOP's "repeal and delay" bill back in 2015 when they originally passed it and the results weren't pretty. The CBO estimated that it would result in over 32 million people losing their coverage and spark a collapse of the individual market while doubling individual premiums and driving up the federal deficit.

If Republicans could not devise a plan to replace Obamacare over the last seven years, I don't see any reason why anyone should expect them to craft a replacement over the next two years. And the problem is it wouldn't even take that long for the healthcare industry and possibly the economy to collapse. This is not something Republicans could pass at the 11th hour on the last day before the deadline. The nightmare would begin long before that as the market reacts to the unparalleled and unprecedented uncertainty.

The good news is we might not have to worry about that. At least three senators including Susan Collins, Rob Portman, and Shelley Capito say they will not vote for "repeal and delay," meaning Mitch McConnell does not have 50 votes for it.

It's not entirely clear where this leaves us and it's always possible the above mentioned senators could change their minds so I'm hesitant to say we should celebrate. We'll know Trumpcare is truly dead when they move on to "tax reform."

Update... looks like Murkowski is also a 'No'

  • Whenever I think about Republicans, I think about Darth Sidious commanding Anakin Skywalker to kill the Jedi.

    “The Jedi are relentless.”

    The same is true for Republicans. (But of course they would be aligned with Sidious rather than the Jedi).

  • Scopedog

    And there it is. Four now.

    Granted, Trumpcare is a fucking zombie that keeps getting back up, but hopefully–hopefully–the killing shot has been delivered.

    Still, keep the pressure on.

  • Draxiar

    The Democrats should absolutely introduce amendments that fix the problem areas of the ACA.

  • mnpollio

    If only it were dead. The Republicans have never learned the meaning of the word “No”. Every time one thinks that a matter has been decisively concluded, they just keep coming back. This is why trickle down economics is still a thing after decades of proof of it being a disaster. I have absolutely no faith in the fact that McConnell and his ilk won’t just keep trying to sneak something dreadful through in some underhanded way when they think no one is looking. This has become the Republican hallmark.

  • Georgie

    Now we wait for the next strike again us…

  • Victor the Crab

    Never, ever get happy with these Republican assholes — to paraphrase Bob.

    • Scopedog

      Agreed, Victor.

      Thankfully, it looks like people are getting the message–there were protests and calls today, there will be more tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future.

  • muselet

    It looks like the BCRA is dead, but until there’s a garlic-and-holy-water–laced stake driven through its flabby, atrophied heart I won’t believe it.

    Always remember Josh Marshall’s Iron Law of GOP Politics: the GOP moderates always cave. Until the votes are tallied, we should count Susan Collins, Rob Portman, Shelley Capito and Lisa Murkowski as MAYBEs on repeal and delay, not NOs.


    • Badgerite

      “Garlic-and-holy-water-laced stake”, with a silver tip. Just in case.