For those of you who were really expecting John McCain to come through and vote for the “skinny repeal” senate GOP healthcare bill…
Otter’s wise words ring true. But it’s not like McCain didn’t warn you. He stated he opposed the bill when he voted to allow it to go up for debate. So I’m not mad at McCain. He did exactly what I expected him to do, preen for the cameras, virtual signal for his media friends, and toss a big FU to the Republican Party. It’s the same thing he’s been doing for years. So why the surprise?
In fact, I think McCain did the GOP, and Trump, a favor. The various GOP “repeal and replace” bills were all terrible anyway as I recounted here. None of them fixed the real problems with the individual insurance market or the exchanges. So why should Republicans get their hands dirty in a rush to get anything passed when they will own the results? And since none of their bills fixed the problem, the results will be pretty bad.
And of course, as time goes on, I’m less and less sure that the House and Senate leadership really wanted any bill to pass. It seems like it would have been fairly easy to buy off most of the dissenting senators by simply allowing the people on the Medicaid Expansion to keep their plans, as I suggested back in June. Did Mitch McConnell really think Lisa Murkowski was going to vote get rid of Medicaid expansion and reduce the federal contribution to Medicaid, when half of her state is on some version of Medicaid? How did he think she and the other senators who are from states that have a large dependency on Medicaid would vote? But if your real goal is to deliver Trump a failure, what better way than provide a sure fire failure of a bill that’s doomed to fail? Admittedly I don’t have any evidence that they sunk the bill on purpose, but if not, they truly are incompetents.
So what now? I think at this point, Trump should recognize that of the many enemies he has in DC, the Republican led Congress is definitely part of them. And to that end, he should remove the healthcare issue from their hands. And how to do this? Form a Presidential commission to put together a health care plan, a “terrific” one which meets Trump’s criteria for a healthcare replacement bill. Nothing of Trump was reflected in the Congressional bills but this is being viewed as Trump’s failure. Taking the issue from Congress and giving it a Presidential commission removes the issue for this year, and allows both Trump and the Congress to move onto other issues. What happens when the commission finishes a Trump approved health care plan is another story, but it moves the issue from the failed column to “pending.”