After House GOP Committed Political Suicide, White House Says Obamacare Repeal Doesn’t Need To Be In Tax Bill

By Jason Easley on Sun, Nov 19th, 2017 at 4:21 pm
After Republicans may have destroyed their chances of keeping the House in 2018 by including a repeal of the ACA individual mandate in the tax cut bill, Trump’s White House now says it’s no big deal if Obamacare repeal isn’t included in the bill.

Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney said on CBS’s Face The Nation, “So, I think at the end of the day, John, what we’re interested in is the best tax bill that can pass. If a good tax bill can pass with that Obamacare mandate repeal as part of it, great. If it needs to come out in order for that good tax bill to pass, we can live with that as well.”

Democrats were waving goodbye to House Republicans after they voted to cut taxes for the wealthy and take healthcare away from 13 million people in the same bill, and now it turns out that months of badgering from Trump and his White House meant nothing. It didn’t matter if Obamacare repeal was included in the tax cut bill or not.

Trump and his absurdly incompetent White House might have cost Republicans the House for a part of the bill that didn’t matter to them.

Some of the House Republicans who voted for the tax cut bill will be losing their seats next November, and those losses will be on the hands of Trump and his White House.

Obamacare repeal, trump, Trump Obamacare repeal didn’t have to be in tax bill

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Senate Headed Toward Including Obamacare Mandate Repeal In Tax Bill

WASHINGTON ― Senate Republicans are now strongly considering including a repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate in their tax proposal, a decision that could greatly complicate the GOP’s efforts to cut taxes and could arm Democrats with a major talking point against the legislation.
Republicans don’t appear certain the individual mandate repeal will ultimately be part of their tax proposal, but it appears the Senate Finance Committee will include repeal language in the bill it reports to the floor.
“We’re optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday after a closed-door meeting with Republicans.
Shortly after the meeting, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) issued a press release saying the Senate Finance Committee had “accepted” his proposal to include the mandate repeal in the legislation ― a decision the Congressional Budget Office says would save $338 billion over 10 years, allowing Republicans to finance more tax cuts.
While Cotton sounded very sure of the decision, leaders were less definitive Tuesday, suggesting this may not quite be a done deal.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Finance Committee that is writing the Senate’s tax legislation, told committee members to ignore the question of whether leaders would ultimately include a repeal in the bill.
“No one needs to be talking about the individual mandate at this point,” Hatch said Tuesday. “Arguments, questions or statements about the individual mandate are a distraction from the meeting we’re having now, and, frankly, they’re a waste of this committee’s time.”
When Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Hatch if the repeal would be in the bill, Hatch refused to say.
Other senators reported Tuesday that the decision is still up in the air.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), who supports including the mandate repeal in the bill, said no decision has been made.
“If we include the mandate … that will go a long way to solving this problem — probably would solve the problem,” Kennedy said of issues concerning how much Republicans can add to the debt in their tax bill, which they hope to pass under a process called reconciliation that requires only a simple majority of votes.
Under the agreement made for the reconciliation bill, Republicans can add only $1.5 trillion to the debt if they are to pass the tax bill with 50 votes (and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence). The extra money saved by repealing the individual mandate would help the GOP finance a number of other cuts, but it would also open up Republicans to the Democratic talking point that they’re paying for tax cuts by dismantling health care.
Including the repeal could also jeopardize the bill’s passage.
One of the three Republicans who voted against an Obamacare repeal over the summer, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), said Tuesday that she would wait to see what ultimately comes to the floor, but she believes including a portion of the health care repeal in this legislation would hurt the tax bill, not help it.
“I personally think that it complicates tax reform to put the repeal of the individual mandate in there,” Collins said, “particularly if it’s done before the Alexander-Murray bill passes.”
The Alexander-Murray legislation is the bipartisan health care stabilization bill ― brokered between Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) ― that would fund the so-called cost-sharing reductions for insurers offering low-income people discounts while also giving states more flexibility on the plans they offer.
Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.) told reporters that part of the agreement moving forward is for the Senate to pass the Alexander-Murray legislation in exchange for including the mandate repeal in the tax bill. That agreement, however, seems fragile, as some GOP senators don’t seem to have completely signed off on the deal, and McConnell can afford to lose only two Republicans if he’s going to pass the tax proposal through reconciliation.
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), another one of the three Republicans who opposed the Obamacare repeal over the summer, repeatedly told reporters Tuesday that he would have to see the final proposal before he decides whether he can support the bill, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has been cagey about whether she could support the tax measure if it includes the mandate repeal.
The other issue is the House. Before the announcement in the Senate on Tuesday, passage of the House’s tax proposal, which doesn’t include a mandate repeal, appeared to be on a glide path. A decision in the Senate to include repeal may give some Republicans pause. And this ultimately could be a gambit by McConnell, with him perhaps reversing the decision to include the mandate repeal if it means he would have the votes from otherwise reluctant senators.
When HuffPost asked Collins on Monday whether there was already some pressure on her to accept this tax proposal because it didn’t, at the time, include the mandate repeal, Collins suggested keeping the mandate repeal out of the tax cut bill was a selling point for her.
“I think it’s a mistake to combine them,” Collins said, “because I think it means we’ll get no Democratic votes, and I’d like this to be bipartisan.”

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Opinion: Healthcare Bill Is About The GOP Saving Itself, Not American Citizens

By Demetrius Harris on Sat, Sep 23rd, 2017 at 2:24 pm

The latest attempt by the GOP to replace Obamacare has nothing to do with providing coverage for American citizens. Members of the Republican Party are simply trying to save their political careers as opposed to saving the lives of the constituents that they serve.

The latest attempt by the GOP to replace Obamacare has nothing to do with providing coverage for American citizens. Members of the Republican Party are simply trying to save their political careers as opposed to saving the lives of the constituents that they serve.

After years of promising to repeal and replace the ACA package, the GOP is backed into a corner, and their response is to institute an insidious bill, that denies coverage to those who need it most. Pushing the bill out for vote without the benefit of proper examination and debate is a sign of underhandedness and trickery.

Republicans have placed their personal career goals above and beyond the specter of a comprehensive, inclusive healthcare package that would benefit the entire country. It should be mentioned that the effort to repeal and replace the ACA, was from the very beginning, a political maneuver designed to eradicate legislation by Barack Obama without merit.

Led by the father of all fools, Donald Trump, the GOP have attached their success as a party to hollow promises made without vision or expertise. The result is a bill that has GOP members like Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, to openly admit that he intends to vote in favor of the bill, simply because Republicans have to deliver on their campaign promises. He says this while also conceding that the bill provides at least ten reasons to be voted down. In the eyes of the GOP, doing the despicable is better than breaking a campaign promise.

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When you consider the potential for 32 million people losing coverage, UNLIMITED rising premiums and noncoverage of pre-existing conditions how can any GOP member vote yes for this package in good conscious?

Republicans who are seeing their political careers flash before their eyes in regards to 2018 midterm elections are operating without conscious, care or duty to country. The GOP have put votes and policy above the well-being of taxpayers. They have put the survival of party over the survival of your family.

Republicans have proved without a shadow of a doubt, that they are a collection of self-serving, conniving liars. Now that it’s clear that the drowning GOP has decided to use this reprehensible healthcare package as a life preserver for their party let’s make sure that they are the ones dead in the water in 2018. RESIST…

 

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Jimmy Kimmel Says Sen. Bill Cassidy Lied To His Face About Obamacare Repeal

“There’s a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you. It’s called the lie-detector test.”
By Nick Visser , Jonathan Cohn

Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel rained criticism on Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on Tuesday night over the Republican’s role in the revival of an Obamacare repeal bill currently making its way through the Senate.
Cassidy and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are co-sponsors of a measure that would end the Affordable Care Act, putting in its place a new coverage scheme featuring fewer rules on how insurers act ― and less money to help people get coverage. Those changes, combined with additional cuts to the traditional Medicaid program, would leave millions of people without insurance either because they couldn’t afford it or because they had pre-existing medical conditions.
Kimmel, who appealed to Cassidy in June to oppose a previous measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, said the current bill fails what has been called the “Jimmy Kimmel test,” the core tenant being: “No family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can’t afford it.”
“Not only did Bill Cassidy fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, he failed the Bill Cassidy test.”
Cassidy aroused ire because of what happened in May: Kimmel tearfully told his audience his son was born with a congenital heart disease and had undergone open heart surgery that may not have been covered by insurance before Obamacare was enacted.
“You were born with a pre-existing condition, and if your parents didn’t have medical insurance you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition,” Kimmel said at the time. “If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make.”
Shortly afterward, Cassidy said that principle ― access for all, regardless of income or medical condition ― should guide Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He even appeared on Kimmel’s show.
But in July, when the Senate voted on a repeal bill that clearly violated those principles, Cassidy voted yes. And now he’s pushing a bill that would, once again, expose many more people to crippling medical bills.
“This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied to my face,” the host said. “We can’t let him do this to our children and our senior citizens and our veterans or to any of us. I am politicizing my son’s health problems because I have to.”
During his program Tuesday, Kimmel pointed to the efforts of three Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, to help defeat the latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

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“I hope they have the courage and good sense to do that again with this one because these other guys who claim they want Americans to have better health care … they’re trying to sneak this scam of a bill they cooked up in,” Kimmel said of the bill that has only until Sept. 30 to pass to take advantage of parliamentary rules that allow a simple-majority vote. “They don’t even want you to see it.”
Kimmel ended the segment with a challenge.
“There’s a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you. It’s called the lie-detector test. You’re welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime.”
Kimmel acknowledged that some viewers might object to the overtly political message of his monologue. But, he said, “I am politicizing my son’s health problems because I have to.”
Then, after listing all of the consumer, medical and health industry groups that have opposed the Graham-Cassidy bill, Kimmel posted the number for the Capitol Hill switchboard and urged his viewers to call and ask Congress to reject the legislation.

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