Obamacare Repeal: Failure to Launch

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Ever since Obamacare passed in 2010, repealing it has been a strong campaign issue for Republicans. Providing an Obamacare alternative was also a chief talking point of President Trump’s during the campaign. Since taking power, Republicans have been unable to agree on a viable alternative that was politically appealing. Any repeal law passing during Trump’s first year in office now seems highly unlikely, if not impossible.

Healthcare and Tax Reform?

Republicans have had to pick their battles here. McConnell’s option here was to send a bill to floor that would fail or admit defeat. He chose the latter, as pushing for 50 votes on short notice could further complicate GOP unity in the Senate. McConnell needed to save political capital for the next fight looming large on the horizon: tax reform.

One rumor option floating around Congress to keep the repeal bid alive, is in fact to tie repeal to tax reform in the 2018 budget. Senator’s Graham and Ron Johnson, both on the Budget Committee, support this idea. It no doubt would be an incredibly messy process, combining three legislative items (health care, the budget and tax reform) into one.