Live coverage of the health care debate – Do the GOP want a bill or a political win?

Health care or politics? That seems to be the key question today in Washington

WASHINGTON – Candidate Donald Trump promised his voters that he would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), while at the same time promising the voters “the best health care in the world.” President Trump is so hung up on a political win that he has pushed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to the brink of disrupting health care in the United States to the point of insanity.

For the Republicans and President Trump, repealing Obamacare is their version “Moby Dick,” a great white whale they have wanted to land for nearly eight years. The problem is that they have no well-crafted replacement for ObamaCare, but they just want a win and as for a quality the replacement law, well maybe they will work on that issue another time.

Both President Trump and Sen. McConnell spoke to the Republican base yesterday.

“Remember ‘repeal and replace,’ ‘repeal and replace’ — they kept saying it over and over again,” President Trump said yesterday at the White House, flanked by people who he said suffered as “victims” of the “horrible disaster known as Obamacare.”

“Every Republican running for office promised immediate relief from this disastrous law,” the president said. “But so far, Senate Republicans have not done their job in ending the Obamacare nightmare.”

Today’s vote has far more to do with keeping a political promise to kill ObamaCare than it does give the 310 million people of the United States, quality health care.

Sen. McConnell will bring at least three bills to the floor of the Senate where they hope to find one of them they can pass and then send to President Trump to sign. This process is both irresponsible and dangerous.

“Many of us have waited literally years for this moment to finally arrive, and at long last, it has,” Mr. McConnell said yesterday on the Senate floor.

The Senate is crafting one of the most important pieces of legislation in American history “on the fly.” What Sen. McConnell is doing makes what the Democrats did back in 2009 when they passed ObamaCare, as a showcase for how to govern.

Here is what is going to happen today on the Senate floor.

The first bill is the one that the House passed, that will be voted down on the first vote. Next up comes the “clean repeal,” that one you may recall simply repeals as much of the law as they can without a replacement, again that will be voted down.

The vote will come to the newest Senate bill, which was scored very low by the Congressional Budget Office. Again, that will be voted down and then members from both sides of the aisle will present amendments.

The Senate is floating the idea of what they are calling the “skinny bill,” the concept of the bill is to be something all Republicans can agree on, allowing something to pass and setting up a conference committee with the House.

Aides say the scaled-down bill would likely just repeal ObamaCare’s individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax.

At this point, the Senate does not have the votes to pass anything and they still need to pass their first hurdle getting the vote to the floor. So, the future of the GOP health care plans remains up in the air.


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.