MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Republican lawmakers promised for seven years to repeal Obamacare, and voted more than 60 times to do it when Democratic President Barack Obama was in the White House.
Now the GOP controls the House, the Senate and the White House. Suddenly, it’s a hard promise to keep.
“President Obama basically told you, ‘You are too stupid to make your own choices.’ These people that want to dictate to you, they’re elitist!” said Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. “They think they know better than you what kind of insurance you’ll get!”
Late Tuesday night, the Senate failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. And on Wednesday, Senate leaders squared off again.
“This certainly won’t be easy. Hardly anything in this process has been. But we know that moving beyond the failures of Obamacare is the right thing to do,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“It’s a Trojan horse designed to get the House and Senate into conference where the hard-right flank of the House Republicans, the Freedom Caucus, will demand full repeal or something very close to it,” said New York Senator Chuck Schumer.
So here’s the Senate scorecard:
“Repeal and Replace Obamacare” failed.
So did the vote for an outright repeal, but delaying it for two years.
Next up is a “skinny” repeal: repealing the individual mandate and the medical device tax.
The U.S. House has already passed a version of Obamacare repeal.
Minnesota Republican Congressman Jason Lewis called on Senators to keep their promise.
“I will tell you this. If the Senate doesn’t do some health care reform, they are not doing their job!” Lewis said. “That is my observation, you can call that shaming if you want, but I think we did the heavy lifting in the House, that’s what we were sent here to do, and the Senate ought to follow!”
Senators are facing political consequences by repealing Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in their current forms, the Senate repeal bills could mean up to 32 million people could lose health care coverage.