Ahead Of Senate Healthcare Vote, It's Pure Chaos

The ongoing saga to repeal Obamacare continues, and with just hours left until a critical vote, the sheer chaos has never been greater.

On Monday, Trump remained defiant warning Senate Republicans that anyone who votes not to take up debate of the bill today is saying they are “fine with the Obamacare nightmare.” Realistically, Republicans have been struggling to find a replacement plan that can attract >50 votes in the Senate, even though the party has a 52-48 majority. Nonetheless, Senator Cornyn appears to be fighting to the end, noting yesterday that “if for some reason we aren’t able to muster the votes tomorrow…it’s not the end of it….”

Still, in what Bloomberg described as an “uncharacteristic gamble” for Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Senate GOP Leadership, the Senate is set to hold a crucial procedural vote to open debate on the Republican plan to undo ObamaCare without knowing A) which plan they will be voting for B) if the vote will pass. But by insisting on a vote, Trump and the leadership are playing a game of political chicken, forcing lawmakers to either publicly proclaim their opposition to the president, incurring the wrath of his supporters and maybe even a primary challenge, or show their support.

Or maybe not: as Citi describes today's main political event, "there's some confusion on what version of the bill will be voted on. The vote is on a procedural vote i.e. to allow the Senate to proceed to debate on the House-passed healthcare bill, which would then be followed by an open amendment process. Thus its the first step of a long road for repeal and replace healthcare legislation."

As one anonymous Senate aide "clarified" to the Hill: “Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted. You have to have a clarifying vote, and McConnell has done that before.” The problem is for the GOP, some have to be counted twice.

Right now, Susan Collins of Maine is the only confirmed “no” vote against beginning debate on either of the two plans: the Senate’s latest bill to repeal-and-replace, and its plan for a straight repeal. As many as seven other Republican Senators remain undecided on one or both measures, according to the New York Times.  Meanwhile, Trump has embraced the bully pulpit, threatening holdout Republicans on Monday in a series of tweets, and a statement from the Blue Room of the White House, where the president surrounded himself with “victims of Obamacare." He reminded Republicans that they made a “promise” to repeal and replace Obamacare seven years ago, then excoriated the holdouts for “not doing their jobs.”

“So far Senate Republicans have not done their job in ending the Obamacare nightmare, but now they have a chance to fix what has been broken this whole time,” Trump said.

He also took a few moments to bash Democrats as “obstructionist.” Unfortunately, lawmakers who ultimately vote in favor of either measure risk incurring the wrath of an organization that some believe holds more sway with voters than the White House: The AARP.

“AARP, the powerful lobby group that represents older Americans, urged the Senate to reject the measure and said it would communicate to members in key states how their senators voted.


“We will report to all 38 million AARP members how their Senators vote, via ads, our print publications, social media and more,” the group said Monday night on Twitter.”

According to the Hill, a recent Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that 27% of Republicans favor immediate repeal of Obamacare, while 54% want to repeal the law once there’s agreement on replacement legislation. And many conservative grassroots groups appear to support Trump’s plan. Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder of the grassroots group Tea Party Patriots, told Bloomberg that, while it appears McConnell doesn’t have the votes, he is pushing “really hard” and that he’s working with the president to paint holdouts as supporters of the “status quo,” according to the Hill.

“His message is senators need to be for the motion to proceed or they’re for the status quo,” said Martin, who attended the meeting. “He would not be pushing it so hard, probably, if he had the votes lined up already.”

While there’s a slim chance McConnell could pull together a last-minute deal, it’s widely expected that, even if he succeeds in marshalling enough votes to begin debate, McConnell likely won’t be able to count on that support for a final up-down vote, according to Bloomberg. Furthermore, the Senate leadership is still considering last-minute changes to win the support of certain holdouts, like Pat Roberts of Kansas.

“Roberts said his main concern is the effect of spending cuts on rural hospitals that get Medicaid funds. ‘Under the current system, they’re just not going to be able to make it,’ Roberts said. ‘We’ve just got to figure out a way to make that work better.’


He said he was in touch over the weekend with Seema Verma, the Trump administration’s head of Medicare and Medicaid, and that her proposal to make up some funding with non-Medicaid money has potential.


‘It’s awfully difficult when people climb the tree and get out on a limb and say, ‘I’m going to vote no,’ the Kansas senator said. ‘For them to skinny back down that tree, that’s tough. And they have to have some very good reasons as to why that’s the case.’”

Even if the vote fails, there’s still some upside for McConnell, and maybe even Trump: It would demonstrate that what the Hill calls options A, B and C – the House plan, the Senate plan and straight-up repeal – aren’t viable, forcing the administration to consider a fourth option – moving on to another issue like "tax reform", although many Wall Street strategists have contended that a failure to repeal Obamacare would only make tax reform even more difficult, if not impossible.

At the end of the week, moving the agenda - any agenda - forward with or without a “1” in the points column will be McConnell’s biggest accomplishment.

As for today, here is Trump's summary tweeted out moments ago:



philipat VinceFostersGhost Tue, 07/25/2017 - 08:41 Permalink

Obamacare is collapsing under its own pile of shit. Trump should just have left it alone and waited for the DIMS to beg him to do something.But the corrupt REPUG attempt to pretend to reform healthcare whilst actually further subsidizing Corporations and further pissing on the American people is, frankly, disgusting. Rand Paul has it quite right on this one.

In reply to by VinceFostersGhost

froze25 (not verified) Mustafa Kemal Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:10 Permalink

WallStreet, "tax cuts for the middle class are impossible without health care reform", Wallstreet "War with Russia, no problem, war with N. Korea, no problem. We have plenty of money for that". Interesting that there is plenty of money for everything other than cutting taxes for working people that don't receive any "benefits". Plenty of money for everything other than, fixing our roads and bridges, building power plants to lower our electric bill, giving our children a useful education.

In reply to by Mustafa Kemal

Jim in MN SubjectivObject Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:44 Permalink

No shit.  It's gone way beyond farce, into something like menace.  I get repealing the Ocare mandates, sure, but SOMEONE needs to address actual market structure and cost containment.Industry AND voters share a common interest in having competitive markets work to the greatest extent possible. How about a state-based incentive fund that essentially takes a share of health provider profits 'in escrow' and then returns it based on performance incentives being met? We need supply chain bidding, market depth, arbitrage. It's been done many times in many industries in many countries. The lack of substance here is more than disturbing--it's terrifying. A true breakdown of the US governance system. Let's get back on track--with substance!

In reply to by SubjectivObject

HardAssets froze25 (not verified) Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:42 Permalink

The system is about a small group ripping off the broader population. They sit in banking, corporate, and government positions. They often move through a revolving door between the private and public sectors, but its all the same. They employ vast numbers of usually clueless minions to pull off their theft. When threatened they unleash those minions - police, military, violent 'protesters', etc, etc in order to keep the broader population in line. They use their counterfeit 'credit' 'money' to buy off people. They also use propaganda which is constant - the media, 'schools', etc, etc

They appear to be very powerful, but this is an illusion. They are vastly outnumbered. Their 'muscle' is the very people they exploit. Once the con is recognized, it's all over for them.

The Question is - Will people choose to wake up ?

They haven't done so for thousands of years (at least on a wide scale).

In reply to by froze25 (not verified)

Jim in MN HardAssets Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:57 Permalink

 Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, thesis 177 (in part): A new artificial peasantry is recreated by the conditions of housing and spectacular control in today's "organized territory": the geographic dispersal and narrowmindedness that always kept the peasantry from undertaking independent action and from affirming itself as a creative historical force again today become characteristics of the producers--the movement of a world which they themselves produce remaining as completely beyond their reach as the natural rhythm of tasks was for the agrarian society. But when this peasantry, which was the unshakable foundation of "Oriental despotism" and whose very fragmentation called for bureaucratic centralization reemerges as a product of the conditions of growth of modern state bureaucracy, its apathy must now be historically manufactured and maintained; natural ignorance has been replaced by the organized spectacle of error. The "new towns" of the technological pseudo-peasantry clearly inscribe on the landscape their rupture with the historical time on which they are built; their motto could be: "On this spot nothing will ever happen, and nothing ever has."

In reply to by HardAssets

philipat Mustafa Kemal Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:11 Permalink

Diplomacy? I don't think the rest of the world believes you anymore. Part of the problem is that you delude yourselves into believing that you are "The exceptional country". ROW is sick of your Government but understands that the American people have no say.That's a very sad conclusion because it describes a Totalitarian State?

In reply to by Mustafa Kemal

Joe Davola froze25 (not verified) Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:19 Permalink

I'm not so certain it wasn't wrecked a long time before that, a few crucial points:Suspension of Habeas Corpus and the interpretation that joining the USofA is a one way street with no way out by Honest AbeLetting in all the Italian anarchists and the socialist "union" organizers in the early 1900'sThe first communist presidency of FDRThe second communist presidency of LBJ 

In reply to by froze25 (not verified)

doctor10 Joe Davola Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:35 Permalink

If Fed.gov CANNOT repeal Obamacare -then it will not ever legislate anything meaningful ever anywhere ever again. It means Fed.gov is fini.

They would all hope it collapses into single payer. If it collapses it may take Fed.gov with it.

The USA is too heterogenous for single-payer. The European Countries where it historically worked well were homogeneous-and now that they have been refugee-invaded its all going to hell. The more heterogenous a country's population-the more expensive it is.

Tip O'Neill-the Democrat Speaker of the House during Reagan's tenure in the White House once observed he would never bring health care to a vote because it would destroy the successful American legislative process.

Congress historically legislates to a very small minority population-wise. There is always a lobbying "buffer" between the issue and those being regulated that serves to further expand the representation of those subject to regulation/legislation. They have a firm on K St. in DC they can call on to help with their representation before congress if things are going south.

Healthcare affects the entire population. There is no specific lobby for patients. Only the income tax is as broadly applied-and that was incrementally implemented over a 100 yr time span. Imagine the trauma to the country if it was first enacted in its entirety in 2015.

ObamaCare has screwed the Fed.gov's carefully crafted DC legislative process, assembled over several generations. It is ir-reparable. It cannot be tinkered with. It cannot be "mended"-there is no sufficient lobby capable of ensuring appropriate mending for the people's benefit. The only lobby's involved in the legislation is pharma and big hospital systems and insurance companies. All of which will prevail over the people. It must be ended.

Neither can it be "replaced" at the Federal Level for all of the above reasons. There simply is insufficient representation for any piece of legislation in the USA that affects the ENTIRE population.

Hubris has been the end of more than one civilization.

In reply to by Joe Davola

Zorba's idea petar (not verified) Tue, 07/25/2017 - 11:20 Permalink

Wake up Petar! The inertia of past administrations and CONgresses legislative favors is coming to roost. In the end, it is all too clear the American people do not have a representational government...it's been auctioned off to the highest bidders! Our constituion is thoroughly co-opted..."of the Corporations,by the Corporations, for the Corporations." All hail the Corporate Citizen!!! Here's an appropriate name for whatever the fuck becomes the new and improved HC fuckery...BOHICA CARE ACT. USA! USA! USA!

In reply to by petar (not verified)

HardAssets philipat Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:31 Permalink

Just websearch - 'Dr Dave Janda' -

he's been studying the nature of the 'healthcare' system for a long time. We're being screwed over by people running a system for profit and control of the people. Healthcare could be drastically improved while reducing costs by 90%. Dr Janda opposes obama'care' and all the new garbage that is only being renamed by the crook Republicans. More of the same ole, same ole 'R vs D' theater to hoodwink We The People.

'Dr Dave Janda'


In reply to by philipat

The Wizard VinceFostersGhost Tue, 07/25/2017 - 10:11 Permalink

Pure chaos in DC is to be expected and embraced. These goons have done nothing but protect a corrupt status quo for so long they have convinced the people DC is to function in a peaceful manner. It is about time hell is raised and exposed.Rand Paul is the logical voice on healthcare. Hell, he is a doctor by trade. You would think most would be consulting him. 

In reply to by VinceFostersGhost

ronaldwilsonreagan (not verified) Tue, 07/25/2017 - 08:30 Permalink

The best thing for the democrats would be a repeal with no replacement. Politicizing 33 million voters that are about to lose their Health insurance will not work out for the repugnicans. Keep tweeting Drumpf I fucking love this shit show. You are all the democrats have and the Trumptards are to propagandized to see it. Fucking Zombies me thinks.

Never One Roach Arnold Tue, 07/25/2017 - 08:49 Permalink

"If you want to keep your doctor you can keep your doctor. I promise" TOTAL lie. Fewer and fewer doctors accept Obamacare. It's so bad, MD Anderson cancer hosptial, one of the top hospitals in the world does not accept Obamacare. So those cancer folks had to find some other doctor to treat them in the midst of their dying.Not to mention many areas do not offer any insurance now and the ones that do have pushed premiums thru the stratoshpere. The democrats like Shumer who still defend this should be hung.Obama and Piglosi should be in jail.

In reply to by Arnold

Big Creek Rising ronaldwilsonreagan (not verified) Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:10 Permalink

You are a douchebag and should have your face punched in for dishonorable use of a good man's name.Single payer will never work nor pass Congress in the foreseeable future, plus it's unconstitutional and would violate the laws of 49 states..Americans just want Congress to repeal obocare, that's all. If Congress wants to try new shenanigans after that the people will judge the legislation and respond accordingly.

In reply to by ronaldwilsonreagan (not verified)

GunnerySgtHartman Tue, 07/25/2017 - 08:31 Permalink

The mere fact that the GOP can't get enough votes to DEBATE anything after spending the last seven years promising to "repeal and replace" Obummercare is all the proof anyone needs that the GOP is part of the problem.  In the immortal words of Clara Peller, "Where's The Beef?"

amor terra GunnerySgtHartman Tue, 07/25/2017 - 08:39 Permalink

Sgt, you have apparently been believing the BS propaganda about how the Rs are SOOOOOO different from the Ds, and how it's the Ds who are screwing everything up, and it's the Rs who will "fix" it, if only we'd give them the chance to govern.   I'll bet that in the midst of all that divide and conquer bullshit, you actually thought that they had different goals--like that one party is "for" the richy-rich-bitch class and subsidizing big pharma and big insurance with money stolen from regular people, and one party is for the "common man," freedom, and apple pie.   You probably feel a little silly now, don't you? 

In reply to by GunnerySgtHartman

GunnerySgtHartman amor terra Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:22 Permalink

Sgt, you have apparently been believing the BS propaganda about how the Rs are SOOOOOO different from the DsI don't know where you are getting this because I do not think it nor believe it.  Try again.You probably feel a little silly now, don't you? Absolutely not, I have nothing to feel silly about.  The two parties are two sides of the same coin, and I have said as much on this site many times.Take your personal attacks somewhere else, pal.

In reply to by amor terra

OutaTime43 Tue, 07/25/2017 - 08:33 Permalink

It's funny because it's basically just Obamacare with a few changes. The mandate is still there. Just in a different form (Tax penalty vs. a 6 month ban).  There are some positive HSA changes but the Cruz amendment will be a disaster if they keep it. Anyone with a pre-existing condition will have thier (and/or their employers) premiums skyrocket as healthy people move to the Obamacare light plans. Your employer will have incentive to get rid of you if you have a pre-existing.  It's ugly man. Trump has no clue whats in this bill as he doesn't read. They will just tell him where to sign.  

CheapBastard Tue, 07/25/2017 - 08:40 Permalink

Simply abolish the mandate to begin with. It's a tax, nothing to do with health care. Then move on to tax cuts for the middle class and small businesses. Later they can come back to Soweetocare as it implodes under it's own weight of disaster and the blame will fall of the democraps and the Kenyan.