McCain, Murkowski, Collins Kill Obamacare Repeal; Americans Hurt the Most

 

When are Republicans in Washington going to find out that they control both houses of Congress? Soon? After years of promising to repeal Obamacare to bring relief to the millions of Americans who have been harmed by skyrocketing premiums, stratosphere-leaping deductibles, and vanishing insurance policies, Senate Republicans abjectly failed to deliver last night. Senators Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), and John McCain (Arizona) joined with all 48 Democrats to vote “No” on a so-called skinny repeal of Obamacare, causing the bill’s defeat 51–49. Murkowski’s and Collins’s perfidy was expected, but John McCain’s no vote reportedly elicited shocked gasps from his fellow Republicans. I don’t know why. He apparently hobnobbed with Senate Democrats before casting his vote, so it can’t have been that surprising.

The “skinny” repeal itself appears to be an absurd bill that didn’t really repeal much. But Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell apparently hoped, we’re told, that it would be amended in conference with the House. So the Republicans — who campaigned on repeal, who voted for repeal bills countless times — have failed to deliver. Murkowski, Collins, and McCain are scoundrels. (I of course have empathy and sympathy for McCain’s medical condition — but he deserves contempt for last night’s vote.) Murkowski and McCain, in particular, deserve our disrespect for having voted for Obamacare repeal in 2015.

President Trump’s critics are (of course) blaming him rather than blaming the three Republican senators who voted with the Democrats to consign millions of Americans to misery. According to NeverTrumeprs, Republicans should keep their promises only if Trump reminds them to do so. Can we stop calling Murkowski, Collins, McCain, and others “moderates”? Their positions are not moderate. They are intransigent. They refuse to budge. Murkowski and Collins, for instance, refused to vote even to open debate on the repeal bill earlier this week. Their “moderate” position forced John McCain, who is dying from brain cancer, to fly to Washington from his home state of Arizona to cast a yes vote for a bill he didn’t even support. How’s that “moderate” of Murkowski and Collins?

Trump this morning on Twitter again renewed his call to let Obamacare die. I hope he doesn’t actually mean that. I believe it is a persuasion tactic. (Most things he says are — not that NeverTrumpers have figured that one out yet. Pro-tip: Read The Art of the Deal.) Obamacare has fewer chances of surviving to the end of the decade than Senator McCain has, and in its death throws the health-insurance law is leaving Americans without options, without care, and without hope. And apparently Republicans don’t care enough to keep their promises. Today, the GOP isn’t just the Stupid Party, it’s the Lazy, Lying, Cowardly Party.

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  1. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    It is because of nonsense like this that I have no regrets whatsoever for having left the Republican Party five years ago. What a disgrace.

    • #1
  2. Trinity Waters Inactive
    Trinity Waters
    @TrinityWaters

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):

    It is because of nonsense like this that I have no regrets whatsoever for having left the Republican Party five years ago. What a disgrace.

    That’s when and why I left, too.

    We need a new party, just like Lincoln did.  And let’s keep it simple and revelatory: Freedom Party.  Think of all the great ads against the Democrat Party, them with the name they shame daily.

    McCain is an immoral man and a disgrace to our country; his suffering in Viet Nam didn’t buy him enough indulgences to cover this, his latest gift to his ego.  He’s a bad man and better be ready for some flames licking his feet fairly soon.

    • #2
  3. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Folks around here warned me that if Trump became president I would wake up one morning and find out I’d been conned. And they were correct. But the con predates the 2016 campaign and doesn’t originate in the White House.

    Ever since its passage Congressional Republicans promised to vote to repeal Obamacare. And they did repeatedly – as long as Obama was there to veto it and maintain the illusion of the con. But the moment there was a president that would actually sign it that illusion vanished into thin air.

    The biggest complaint I hear about Trump is that he’s not a conservative and, worse yet, he’s has no principles. If what we’re seeing from the GOP on the Hill is “principled conservativatism” then you can have it.

    These feckless crapweasels are under the spell of the consultant class that has convinced them that election only hinges on the independent vote and that their “base” will always show up. If they don’t find a way to clean this mess up, well, good luck with that.

    • #3
  4. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    EJHill (View Comment):
    Folks around here warned me that if Trump became president I would wake up one morning and find out I’d been conned. And they were correct. But the con predates the 2016 campaign and doesn’t originate in the White House.

    Ever since its passage Congressional Republicans promised to vote to repeal Obamacare. And they did repeatedly – as long as Obama was there to veto it and maintain the illusion of the con. But the moment there was a president that would actually sign it that illusion vanished into thin air.

    The biggest complaint I hear about Trump is that he’s not a conservative and, worse yet, he’s has no principles. If what we’re seeing from the GOP on the Hill is “principled conservativatism” then you can have it.

    These feckless crapweasels are under the spell of the consultant class that has convinced them that election only hinges on the independent vote and that their “base” will always show up. If they don’t find a way to clean this mess up, well, good luck with that.

    I endorse this comment wholeheartedly.

     

    • #4
  5. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Right lets, see 49 Republicans vote for fake Repeal to be able to continue the charade that they will “Repeal” Obamacare.

    I have a theory on why these moderates voted this way. They did it because their Governors want to keep the Medicaid money from Obamacare, they did it because despite Republicans talking about reestablishing the rule of order in legislative process they instigated an even more obscene legislative process than was used to create Obamacare, they did it to put the party out of its misery on this, they did it because voters don’t like this bill. And let us consider this bill for a second, what was “skinny repeal” other than a ploy to pretend like they had done something? Kicking the can down the road to Committee where all of this mess would resume again.

    Your complaint is that these 3 Senators would not keep the mass Republican delusion going?

    They should have done tax cuts first.

     

    • #5
  6. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    What about this bill can we consider an Obamacare repeal? How would it have helped Americans? Are you comfortable with the “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it” conference bill strategy? Are you sure that the bill that came out of conference would have repealed Obamacare in any way? Would such a bill pass?

    • #6
  7. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Right lets, see 49 Republicans vote for fake Repeal to be able to continue the charade that they will “Repeal” Obamacare.

    I have a theory on why these moderates voted this way. They did it because their Governors want to keep the Medicade money from Obamacare, they did it because despite Republicans talking about reestablishing the rule of order in legislative process they instigated an even more obscene legislative process than was used to create Obamacare, they did it to put the party out of its misery on this, they did it because voters don’t like this bill. And let us consider this bill for a second, what was “skinny repeal” other than a ploy to pretend like they had done something? Kicking the can down the road to Committee where all of this mess would resume again.

    Your complaint is that these 3 Senators would not keep the mass Republican delusion going?

    They should have done tax cuts first.

    What Valiuth said.

    • #7
  8. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Andrew Klavan said it best: “The emperor Caligula committed murder and incest and tried to install his horse in the Senate. He had a point about the horse.”

    • #8
  9. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    It’s not just this bill. It’s the fact that they had six frigging years to craft a replacement. They had three months between Election Day and the inauguration to line up the votes. And don’t try to sell me the idea that job only belongs to the president, because it doesn’t. Don’t preach your Constitutionalism and pontificate about the separation of powers and then say it’s all the president’s fault that the Congress can’t legislate.

    The truth is seen in John Boehner’s comments from last week. They had no intention, and do not have intentions to repeal anything.

    • #9
  10. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):
    Andrew Klavan said it best: “The emperor Caligula committed murder and incest and tried to install his horse in the Senate. He had a point about the horse.”

    That is so going on my facebook feed.

     

    • #10
  11. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    EJHill (View Comment):
    It’s not just this bill. It’s the fact that they had six frigging years to craft a replacement. They had three months between Election Day and the inauguration to line up the votes. And don’t try to sell me the idea that job only belongs to the president, because it doesn’t. Don’t preach your Constitutionalism and pontificate about the separation of powers and then say it’s all the president’s fault that the Congress can’t legislate.

    The truth is seen in John Boehner’s comments from last week. They had no intention, and do not have intentions to repeal anything.

    The problem is that the American People are schizophrenic on the issue of healthcare and their representatives are responding to the incentives laid out for them. You couple that with a much more ideologically diverse tent than the Democrats have and boom – this is what you get.

    • #11
  12. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    The problem is that Americans profoundly disagree on the kind of health care system we want. Obamacare was unpopular until the GOP was able to threaten it’s removal.

    • #12
  13. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Z in MT (View Comment):
    The problem is that Americans profoundly disagree on the kind of health care system we want. Obamacare was unpopular until the GOP was able to threaten it’s removal.

    There are parts of Obamacare that are extraordinarily popular, even across ideological lines, which is what lead to this terrible process and resulting bill.

    • #13
  14. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    EJHill (View Comment):
    It’s not just this bill. It’s the fact that they had six frigging years to craft a replacement. They had three months between Election Day and the inauguration to line up the votes. And don’t try to sell me the idea that job only belongs to the president, because it doesn’t. Don’t preach your Constitutionalism and pontificate about the separation of powers and then say it’s all the president’s fault that the Congress can’t legislate.

    The truth is seen in John Boehner’s comments from last week. They had no intention, and do not have intentions to repeal anything.

    I don’t disagree. I am saying that keeping the charade going would not have solved anything. Better to be done with it. Where they lying, well I have been told when Trump lied on the campaign trail it was just campaign rhetoric, so I guess this was too.

    I would also like to point out that the congress did its job they held a vote and the bill died because it lacked support.

    What seems clear to me is that no one is in charge of the Republicans. The House, the Senate, and the White House all seem to expect the others to do something first. But, Trump is the leader of the Republican party, so if the Republican Party is dysfunctional how does the buck not stop with him. I guess maybe he didn’t realize how bad they were. Well now we get to see if he can lead.

    Either way I think Congressional Leadership should step down in House and Senate and give someone else a chance to start fresh.

    • #14
  15. Trinity Waters Inactive
    Trinity Waters
    @TrinityWaters

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Z in MT (View Comment):
    The problem is that Americans profoundly disagree on the kind of health care system we want. Obamacare was unpopular until the GOP was able to threaten it’s removal.

    There are parts of Obamacare that are extraordinarily popular, even across ideological lines, which is what lead to this terrible process and resulting bill.

    No.  And, no.

    What led to this terrible process is lack of integrity and courage from the GOP.  Screw them; we need a new party if we are ever to shed the yoke of Gargantua.

    • #15
  16. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Let’s not be naive (is there a more obnoxious opening?).

    This wasn’t the work of 3 GOP senators.

    McCain was hobnobbing for days with Portman, Graham, Corker, Flake, Heller, Johnson, Alexander, Capito, Gardner, Moran, Cassidy, Kennedy and Toomey.

    The GOP controlled the Senate for two years.

    They never tested the parliamentarian on regulation changes.

    They never asked the CBO to analytically and officially separate those who would “lose” healthcare from those who would choose to drop expensive, minimally useful plans.

    Robert Costa’s reporting has already nailed the GOP Senate as the most deceitful and dishonest gang in recent political history.

    And if you think McConnell is upset by the failure of Obamacare repeal, I admire your optimism.

    What an utter disgrace.

    • #16
  17. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):

    It is because of nonsense like this that I have no regrets whatsoever for having left the Republican Party five years ago. What a disgrace.

    That’s when and why I left, too.

    We need a new party, just like Lincoln did. And let’s keep it simple and revelatory: Freedom Party. Think of all the great ads against the Democrat Party, them with the name they shame daily.

    McCain is an immoral man and a disgrace to our country; his suffering in Viet Nam didn’t buy him enough indulgences to cover this, his latest gift to his ego. He’s a bad man and better be ready for some flames licking his feet fairly soon.

    Taylor Swift becomes relevant to the times for more than tween girls.

    • #17
  18. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Z in MT (View Comment):
    The problem is that Americans profoundly disagree on the kind of health care system we want. Obamacare was unpopular until the GOP was able to threaten it’s removal.

    There are parts of Obamacare that are extraordinarily popular, even across ideological lines, which is what lead to this terrible process and resulting bill.

    No. And, no.

    What led to this terrible process is lack of integrity and courage from the GOP. Screw them; we need a new party if we are ever to shed the yoke of Gargantua.

    You can be naive about this if you want, but the fact remains that legislatures respond to the incentives laid out by the people that vote for them.

    • #18
  19. billy Inactive
    billy
    @billy

    The most pathetic aspect of this whole debacle?

    In 2018 only one Senator (Heller, NV) faces re-election in a state won by Hillary.

    • #19
  20. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Jamie Lockett: You can be naive about this if you want, but the fact remains that legislatures respond to the incentives laid out by the people that vote for them.

    That’s disingenuous. The wave elections that put those idiots in charge were based on repeal. Your argument is what, recent polling data of 1,500 people and meetings with consultants and astroturfed townhall meetings convinced them (and you) of the opposite?

    They’re not motivated by the voters. They’re motivated by the donor class and that morning’s press clippings.

    • #20
  21. Quake Voter Inactive
    Quake Voter
    @QuakeVoter

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    You can be naive about this if you want, but the fact remains that legislatures respond to the incentives laid out by the people that vote for them.

    Sure you don’t mean the reverse?  Or both to the point of analytical paralysis.

    • #21
  22. Ralphie Member
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    Obamacare took away my private individual insurance, and the Republicans are keeping it that way.

    • #22
  23. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    billy (View Comment):
    The most pathetic aspect of this whole debacle?

    In 2018 only one Senator (Heller, NV) faces re-election in a state won by Hillary.

    You know, it may be better for Mitch to try and defeat his democrats (McQueeg, Collins & Murkowski) … by courting a couple of the named D’s who are facing re-election in the states won by President Trump … Nelson (FL); Donnelly (IN); Tester (MT); Heitkamp (ND); Casey (PA); Manchin (WV) … these folks are toast in 2018 unless they do something outside the socialist party line.

    • #23
  24. billy Inactive
    billy
    @billy

    Columbo (View Comment):

    billy (View Comment):
    The most pathetic aspect of this whole debacle?

    In 2018 only one Senator (Heller, NV) faces re-election in a state won by Hillary.

    You know, it may be better for Mitch to try and defeat his democrats (McQueeg, Collins & Murkowski) … by courting a couple of the named D’s who are facing re-election in the states won by President Trump … Nelson (FL); Donnelly (IN); Tester (MT); Heitkamp (ND); Casey (PA); Manchin (WV) … these folks are toast in 2018 unless they do something outside the socialist party line.

    Yep.

    If the GOP had seized the momentum, 2018 would be an unusually good year for them.

    But they have chosen to punt.

    On first down.

    • #24
  25. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett: You can be naive about this if you want, but the fact remains that legislatures respond to the incentives laid out by the people that vote for them.

    That’s disingenuous. The wave elections that put those idiots in charge were based on repeal. Your argument is what, recent polling data of 1,500 people and meetings with consultants and astroturfed townhall meetings convinced them (and you) of the opposite?

    They’re not motivated by the voters. They’re motivated by the donor class and that morning’s press clippings.

    No its based on continued polling since Obamacare was passed about constituent elements of the law.

    • #25
  26. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    I believe that a previous Rico Contributor has a very important perspective to add to this conversation and it focuses upon the CBO:

    Democrats recognized the central importance of the Congressional Budget Office in bringing their two wings together. When Democrats retook Congress in 2006, they appointed Peter Orszag to head the CBO, as part of a deliberate strategy to stack the CBO in favor of their health-care agenda. Orszag proceeded to build out the entire health policy wing of the CBO — representing dozens of staffers — with like-minded individuals. After Obama won the 2008 election, Orszag captained the health-reform effort at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

    Compare and contrast that to the GOP’s effort. When Republicans had the opportunity to appoint a CBO director in 2015, they chose not to hire someone with deep health-care expertise, such as the University of Minnesota’s Stephen Parente, and instead hired Keith Hall, a labor economist. There was no comparable strategy, either by Hall or by Congress, to rebalance the CBO’s center-left tilt with individuals more knowledgeable about how health insurance markets actually work.

    Similarly, the CBO refused to break out — until the very end, after it had leaked — the fact that nearly three-fourths of the “coverage losses” under the GOP bill would come from people voluntarily choosing to forgo coverage due to the repeal of the individual mandate.

    McQueeg, Collins and Murkowski are enslaved to the whims of the CBO scoring.

    • #26
  27. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    EJHill (View Comment):
    It’s the fact that they had six frigging years to craft a replacement.

    And their bosses had six frigging years to ask “so how’s that replacement coming along?”.

    Instead, their bosses just said, “Oh, you’ve already got it covered? Even though I’ve never seen you working on it for a single minute? Great, let me extend your contract!”

    Why would you expect anyone to do hard work if their boss keeps rewarding them for not doing it?

    • #27
  28. Trinity Waters Inactive
    Trinity Waters
    @TrinityWaters

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Trinity Waters (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Z in MT (View Comment):
    The problem is that Americans profoundly disagree on the kind of health care system we want. Obamacare was unpopular until the GOP was able to threaten it’s removal.

    There are parts of Obamacare that are extraordinarily popular, even across ideological lines, which is what lead to this terrible process and resulting bill.

    No. And, no.

    What led to this terrible process is lack of integrity and courage from the GOP. Screw them; we need a new party if we are ever to shed the yoke of Gargantua.

    You can be naive about this if you want, but the fact remains that legislatures respond to the incentives laid out by the people that vote for them.

    In what alternate universe?  Legislatures respond to $$.  End of story.  Ryan’s largest supporter is Anthem, not the local butcher in his district.

    The Silent Majority is awake now, and things will change, especially for those so naive to think that there is currently a causal link between the electorate and policy.  This has never been perfectly true, but understanding our fascist enemy is the key to success.  They’ve been successfully hiding in plain sight since Wilson’s days.  It’s over.  Trump knows this, and the powerful middle class is also becoming more aware as control of the “narrative” slips away from the satanic elite.

    • #28
  29. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Max Ledoux: Can we stop calling Murkowski, Collins, McCain, and others “moderates”? Their positions are not moderate. They are intransigent. They refuse to budge.

    And they have each been re-elected numerous times despite well-funded attempts to replace them with someone more conservative.

    Is it possible that they are actually reflecting their constituents’ wishes?

    • #29
  30. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    I have a theory on why these moderates voted this way. They did it because their Governors want to keep the Medicaid money from Obamacare

    I assure you that is not the case with Paul LePage, who vetoed Obamacare Medicaid expansion at least three times in his first term as governor of Maine.

    • #30

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