Despite lacking votes, McConnell pushes for straight repeal-only bill
A grim-faced Mitch McConnell (right), after one of his many attempts to explain his latest moves to foist a secret tax cut for the rich, disguised as a healthcare bill, on the American people. | AP

Only hours after Trumpcare imploded in the U.S. Senate yesterday Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he is scheduling a vote “next week” on just the part of the bill that repeals Obamacare. The cruel and cynical measure would kick 35 million or more people off of healthcare, experts say.

“We’ll just let Obamacare die,” President Trump sarcastically declared yesterday after his bill collapsed in the Senate, adding that doing that will force Democrats to come to the table. McConnell said that he was scheduling the vote on the cruel measure in part because President Trump has requested it.

The willingness of the president and GOP Senate leadership to induce massive suffering as a political scheme to force Democrats into joining an  attack on health care, just after the world witnessed the dragging of protesting disabled people from their wheelchairs, has shocked even some Republican senators.

Three of them, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Shelley Capito of West Virginia have already declared they will oppose the latest Trump-McConnell call for straight repeal. If the three women senators hold firm the McConnell proposal to just repeal Obamacare will fail because Republicans can afford to lose only two votes in the Senate.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., declared on national television last night that the collapse of Trumpcare in the Senate “is a victory for the American people.” Sanders, who has travelled across the nation into the heart of states represented by GOP senators, said in an interview on MSNBC last night that “the American people stood up by the millions in town halls and rallies and said we are not going to throw 22 million off of healthcare, we are not going to deny care to people with pre-existing conditions and we are not going to take $800 billion out of Medicare in order to give tax breaks to the rich. They stood up and said health care is a right for all.”

“Trump is the leader of this country,” he declared, “and it is beyond comprehension that he would want millions to suffer just to make a political point.”

Sanders and others who oppose the Trumpcare bill admit that Obamacare, which it would have replaced, is imperfect but they advocate policies that would fix some of the problems rather than kill the Affordable Care Act. Sanders has called for lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 55, from the current 65, and he and others say a public option allowing everyone in states where insurance companies have pulled out would help shore up the ACA.

“Ultimately,” Sanders said, “we need to move to a Medicare for all system. The American people are asking why in every advanced country of the world less is spent on healthcare per person than in America and they are asking why health outcomes in those countries are nevertheless far better than the outcomes we get here.”

One national poll last night showed that the president’s approval rate is down to 36 percent, the lowest for any president six months into his first administration in the last 70 years, essentially since modern-day polling began.


CONTRIBUTOR

John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is editor in chief at Peoplesworld.org. He started as labor editor of the People's World in May, 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.

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