Friday, July 28, 2017

Senate Dems Refuse To Be Tricked By Fake GOP Vote

(This photo of the U.S. Senate is from C-SPAN.)

The Republicans are in trouble when it comes to doing something about health care. For the last seven years they had whined and moaned about Obamacare -- and they promised to repeal it and replace it with something better if the voters put them in power. Well, they now have that power (controlling both houses of Congress and the White House), but they haven't got a clue about what to do.

They've painted themselves into a corner with their several years of political theater. If they don't repeal Obamacare, they will face the ire of their own party base in the next election -- and if they do repeal it without replacing it with something better, they will face the ire of most other voters in 2018. And that have not been able to come up with something that would be an improvement over Obamacare. Every plan they've suggested will take health insurance away from millions of Americans while raising insurance premiums for those who still have insurance.

In short, they now own the health care issue, whether they repeal Obamacare or not. And that issue is going to hurt them in the next election, because the public has seen that they have nothing but overblown rhetoric to offer on the issue.

One Republican senator came up with what he thought was a brilliant idea. He introduced an amendment that would substitute a single-payer system for the current Trumpcare bill being considered. He assured his fellow Republicans that he would not vote for his own amendment, and the GOP had enough votes to make sure it didn't pass. The amendment was just to trick Democrats into voting for "socialized medicine", and that could then be used against them (especially in red states) to mitigate the Republican failure on health care.

His devious plan failed miserably. Not a single Democrat voted for the silly amendment. The amendment failed on a 0 to 57 vote. All 52 Republicans voted against it, and were joined by four red state Democrats -- Manchin (W. Virginia), Tester (Montana), Heitkamp (N. Dakota), and Donnelly (Indiana). Independent Senator King (Maine) also voted no. The other 43 senators (42 Democrats and 1 Independent) voted "present". In other words, they refused to fall for the GOP's trick.

This means the Republicans still "own" the health care issue (regardless of what they do or fail to do about it) -- and that's not going to be good for them in 2018.

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