Speaking at a Rotary Club meeting in Southern Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell acknowledged that the GOP controlled Senate may be unable to pass a healthcare replacement bill as things stand. Stating, “If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur…”.
This is not surprising because only 1 in 5 Americans approve of the current Senate bill, and a clear 55% disapprove it as per latest polls. Even Republican Party officials have voiced concerns regarding the bill’s provisions,
“There are people who tell me they are better off under Obama’s law, and I believe them,” said Sen. Jerry Moran at a Kansas Town Hall meeting.
While Sen. Ted Cruz hedged his bets claiming his party’s Senate majority ,“is so narrow, I don’t know if we can get it done or not”. Referring to the bills’ position as “precarious”.
This internal disarray comes on the heels of a Congressional Budget Office report that stated the GOP bill would see an estimated 22 million Americans lose insurance over the decade, with further Medicaid cuts for the poor and disabled to be expected.
At an earlier press conference, McConnel communicated that he understood why the bill’s delay was causing so much concern for American families,
“The American people said, ‘We elected a Republican president, a Republican House and a Republican Senate. We want to see some results.”
However, reaching any sort of party consensus about where the bill goes from here is unlikely anytime soon, “We’re still several weeks away from a vote, I think,” said Republican Senator Pat Toomey regarding the standoff.
As things stand, it would take only three Republican Senators voting against the bill for it to fail. With most prominent GOP officials still committed to repeal and replace, it might be necessary to reach across the aisle so that a bill can move forward with bipartisan support.
But, McConnell has warned against this course stating, “any negotiation with the Democrats would include none of the reforms that we would like to make, both on the market side and the Medicaid side.”
With the American public facing rising premiums, and with insurers pulling out of existing markets it is obvious that we need a solution to Obama’s law sooner rather than later.