GOP Obamacare replacement deal seems dead for now

Obamacare replacement has little support in Congress at least for now

Depending on who you are listening to this morning a Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) seems to be dead even before it got started.

According to the Conservative Website The Hill, less than a day after House conservatives panned a leaked GOP draft ObamaCare replacement plan, a top Republican leader on Tuesday described the proposed legislation as “no longer even a viable draft that we’re working off of.”

Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), the No. 3 House Republican and chief vote-counter, told reporters he had just spoken to Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.), who issued a statement Monday saying he could not vote for the leaked draft or recommend his 170 members support it because of its use of refundable tax credits.

Another influential conservative leader, Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), came out against the draft plan earlier in the day.

In a hastily called press conference this morning Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) downplayed the Republican divisions on repealing and replacing ObamaCare, saying they will be unified once the plan is finalized.

“I feel at the end of the day when we get everything done and right, we’re going to be unified on this,” Ryan said at the press conference.

“I think you’re going to have a lot of churning on legislation like this. This is a plan we’re all working on together — the House, the Senate, the White House, so there aren’t rival plans here.”

Ryan added that the plan “looks a lot like” the one former Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), now the Secretary of Health and Human Services, drafted in 2015.

Scalise predicted that at the end of the day, Republicans would rally around the final repeal and replacement legislation and pass it.

However, there are still is still issues with the Freedom Caucus, who have their own replacement legislation, not to mention the plan expected to be presented sometime this month by the White House.

Speaking of the White House and President Donald Trump, a Florida lawmaker feels that it should be his choice of what plan that Congress adopts.

“He’s the leader on this issue right now; he’s the one that’s got to hold us together,” said Rep. Dennis Ross of Florida as he left a morning meeting during which he said Republican leaders urged the rank-and-file to “‘stay strong'” on the issue and told them: “‘Now is not the time to back down.”

So, this issue remains, at least for the moment very much in flux.

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.