Trumpcare; On The Line Again...
It seems like last week that the original version of the AHCA (hereafter known as Trumpcare) was fighting its way through the House, before finally passing the House of Representatives and giving the GOP excuse to celebrate at half-time. There was a press conference called, and there was an air of celebration in the Rose Garden as millions of working-class families prepared to lose their health coverage. Now, the bill has reached the Senate, where it has gone through a further serious of transformations via the cover of secrecy.
Trumpcare is now available for review, albeit dissenting Republicans have vowed to use the absence of Sen. John McCain (who's surgery may be more complicated than anticipated) as an opportunity to delay the bill in hopes of building resistance to it. The new version of the bill includes an amendment proposed by TX Sen. Ted Cruz that suggests that insurers would not be required to abide by ACA (Obamacare) standards, so long as they sold one plan compatible with those standards. This however, would be self-destructive to the ACA. It is precisely why Obama included the individual and employer mandate; If healthcare is constructed around the profit motive, all individuals must be required to contribute to the "pool", sick or healthy, to avoid soaring premiums and deductibles. It is a wonder indeed that options are not being discussed outside of the profit motive. 2 major health care providers have already warned that the new bill with the Cruz amendment is "unworkable in any form".
While Sen. McCain enjoys the benefits of full medical coverage, the Senate may lose votes from the far right in the delay, particularly as the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) draws up its delayed economic estimations of the fiscal implications of the bill, intended (but delayed) for Monday. The CBO score may be out before Sen McCain is, which is likely to lead several Republicans to jump ship, preventing the bill's passage once again. Whether the bill does or does not pass the Senate, the number draws nearer and nearer to passing with each amendment, and each new draft. The vote has been delayed with no set date on an actual vote, but McConnell promises a vote is soon, and 2 GOP Senators are voting "no", and several others are yet undecided. The longer the delay before a vote on the Senate floor, the greater the chances of another "no" vote, any one more of which would sink the boat, and yet again prevent the bill.