McConnell Plows Ahead With Trumpcare Despite Growing Outrage Over Secret Bill
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has announced that his party is moving ahead with their secret Obamacare repeal bill, promising his members will get draft legislation on Thursday with a floor vote next week.
McConnell says Republicans have debated the issue long enough and are ready to unveil their version of Trumpcare after the vote.
In putting his foot on the gas pedal, McConnell is pressuring centrists and conservatives alike to rally around ObamaCare repeal, a top priority for President Trump that congressional Republicans have been promising to deliver for years.
MHowever, sources familiar with the private deliberations of moderate Republicans agonizing over whether to support the bill said the legislation hasn’t improved over the past two weeks of talks and, if anything, has gotten somewhat worse.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Wednesday cast doubt on whether he would vote for the repeal bill next week, pointing to the short timeframe to review the bill.
“What I’ve told leadership very clearly is I’m going to need time and my constituents are going to need time to evaluate exactly how this is going to affect them, so I personally think that holding a vote on this next week would definitely be rushed,” Johnson said on CNN. “I can’t imagine, quite honestly, that I’d have the information to evaluate and justify a yes vote within just a week.”
Conservatives are also disgruntled, according to a source familiar with internal deliberations.
Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have insisted on including language that would exempt states from the ObamaCare regulation that requires insurance companies to sell affordable plans to people with pre-existing medical conditions.
McConnell has so far refused to put language in the bill that would eliminate the so-called community rating regulatory requirement that conservatives say has caused insurance premiums to soar.
Instead of letting up in the face of complaints, McConnell is shamelessly daring his Republican colleagues to derail legislation they have promised to pass since 2010, when Congress first passed ObamaCare.
Some Republicans said McConnell is forcing the conference to vote on the legislation before many lawmakers feel comfortable doing so.
McConnell on Tuesday waved aside concerns from Republican and Democratic colleagues alike that he is ramming the legislation through the Senate before there’s time for adequate review.
“What I want to do is I want to fully vet it in the public,” Sen. Ron Johnson said. “I want to make sure that my constituents have enough time to provide input.”
Johnson has questioned the strategy of pushing for a Republican-only bill, and says that he thinks lawmakers should first act on a narrower measure aimed at stabilizing insurance markets.