There are no good options on the table in Congress now.
Support for the Ryan Plan is crumbling. It will probably not pass out of the House saving squeamish senators from the necessity of taking a stand. It is, however, still not certain that Ryan will be stopped. There are more loop holes in the House than in the tax code.
But failure to pass the Ryan Plan is not a vote in favor for Obamacare. The Ryan Plan does not repeal Obamacare. It only nibbles around the edges to try to make Obamacare palatable to weak kneed Republicans who are fearful of keeping their re-election campaign promises.
The only solution is full repeal at a certain date in the near future removing the shackles from the free market. That would require 60 votes in the Senate or overriding the Senate Parliamentarian. 60 votes would require public pressure. To override the Parliamentarian would require some spine.
Jon Smith, Admin
Nervous GOP senators rooting for Ryan to fail
FROM THE HILL: BY ALEXANDER BOLTON – 03/16/17
A growing number of GOP senators are hoping the House fails to pass its bill to repeal and replace ¬ObamaCare so they won’t be blamed for killing it in the upper chamber.
Support for the House legislation has “disintegrated” in the Senate, according one Republican senator who requested anonymity to discuss internal conference politics.
It will require substantial revisions to win the support of moderate Republicans in the upper chamber — something that will likely make it unacceptable to conservatives.
Given what looks like an unbridgeable divide in the Senate GOP conference, some are saying that it would be better if the bill dies in the House.
“I’ve heard that maybe the best thing is that this doesn’t get out of the House so we’re not the ones who ditch it,” said a Republican senator who has publicly voiced concern about the bill but requested anonymity. “Right now this is disintegrating in the Senate, with everyone off on their own about what they don’t like about the bill.”
The lawmaker said that voting for the House measure could come back to haunt Republicans again and again, just as votes for -ObamaCare in 2009 and 2010 came back to hurt Democrats in the 2010, 2014 and 2016 elections.
“It’s tough to vote for policy that hurts people,” the senator added.
An analysis released by the Congressional Budget Office Monday found that the House plan, known as the American Health Care Act, would increase the number of uninsured by 24 million compared to current law over a decade.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who is emerging as a leading voice in the Senate healthcare debate, called the projection “eye-popping” and “awful.”
Several of his colleagues have had similar reactions, though they are holding back on slamming the House bill out of courtesy to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and their own leadership.
Another Republican senator who requested anonymity to discuss the House bill candidly said, “There are no good options.”
The lawmaker acknowledged that not fulfilling the party’s campaign promise to repeal and replace ¬ObamaCare would be politically painful in the short-term but worried that voting for bad policy could have negative reverberations for the GOP over the next decade.
“The best thing may be to kill it early so it doesn’t come over here,” the GOP senator said.
“One option may be for it to fail and for ¬ObamaCare to continue to implode so that it drives us,” the senator added.
If premiums continue to rise and health insurance companies continue to drop out of the federal and state exchanges, there could be less political blowback from repealing ¬ObamaCare, the legislator reasoned.
A third Republican senator said, “I think it’s better if it does not come out of the House in its current form.”
The lawmaker said if House GOP leaders manage to pass it, the measure should undergo a major renovation in the Senate by going through hearings and markups in the Finance and Health committees.
Ryan is determined to pass the House bill and told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview on Wednesday that senators are free to amend the legislation as they see fit. But it remains to be seen if Ryan can get the votes. According to a whip count by The Hill, at least 15 House Republicans are leaning no or are staunchly opposed to it. Dozens are declining to say where they stand. If all members vote and all Democrats reject the legislation, Ryan can only afford 21 defections.