While Trump publicly speaks out support for the Graham-Cassidy bill, termed Trumpcare 3.0, privately inside the White House there are serious doubts being raised as to what’s even in the bill and if it’s what they really want to have passed in the first place.
Privately, Trump has asked his aides: What can we do that can be seen as “repeal and replace?” He has asked this numerous times.
Republicans only have until September 30th to have a simple majority in the Senate (51 votes) to pass a bill. After that timeframe, they would need to have 60 votes, which is seen as largely impossible. That’s why time is of the utmost essence.
According to Politico, “several White House officials described the president as determined to sign something — anything, really. And they noted that the bill has drawn concerns from conservative groups for enshrining some parts of Obamacare and taking attention away from tax reform.”
“That’s not a very ringing endorsement when people start out with it’s better than nothing,” noted Senator Rand Paul when asked about the White House and leadership argument. “They think that people just want us to do something and do anything.”
So far, GOP governors around the country have become uneasy, unsure of what the political consequences of passing the bill would mean for their individual states, which would see the federal government issuing health care subsidies as block grants, causing huge cuts for some and a surplus for others. They, too, are saying “we aren’t really sure what the impact will be.”
The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and one of the most influential Republican members of Congress, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, even admitted the bill was more about winning elections and less about the actual bill.
“You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” he said. “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”
He wasn’t the only one. Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts said he needed to think about his past commitments to repeal and replace Obamacare. That’s not exactly a huge endorsement.
“If we do nothing [on health care], I think it has a tremendous impact on the 2018 elections. And whether or not Republicans still maintain control and we have the gavel.”
If passed, Trump care 3.0 would allow states to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and allow insurers to charge higher premiums based on a person’s medical history. If for example, someone had cancer, they might not even be able to afford healthcare according to experts.
Because of this, Senator John McCain, the maverick, and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, came out and said they would be voting “no” against the bill. Susan Collins (R-Maine) also said she was leaning against the bill.