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Mitch McConnell Concedes Republicans May Not Be Able To Pass ObamaCare Repeal Legislation

DEMOCRACY

Mitch McConnell Concedes Republicans May Not Be Able To Pass ObamaCare Repeal Legislation





Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is quietly acknowledging that Republicans may be unable to pass a bill to repeal ObamaCare, warning that if the bill fails in the Senate, lawmakers must take immediate action to stabilize the health insurance markets.

“If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to private health insurance markets must occur,” McConnell said a Rotary Club meeting in Kentucky on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

Republican lawmakers are attempting to use fast-track budget rules to prevent a filibuster from Democrats and move the legislation through the Senate that would repeal and replace ObamaCare.

With several members of the GOP openly opposing the unpopular bill, McConnell reiterated on Thursday that taking “no action is not an alternative.”





“We’ve got the insurance markets imploding all over the country, including in this state,” McConnell said, according to the AP.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) touted McConnell’s comments, saying he has “opened the door to bipartisan solutions.”

“It’s encouraging that Sen. McConnell today acknowledged that the issues with the exchanges are fixable,” Schumer said. “As we’ve said time and time again, Democrats are eager to work with Republicans to stabilize the markets and improve the law. At the top of the list should be ensuring cost-sharing payments are permanent, which will protect health care for millions.”

The Hill adds:

Republicans have campaigned for years on repealing and replacing ObamaCare, arguing the Affordable Care Act is “failing” and in a “death spiral.”

GOP leadership had hoped to vote on a healthcare bill last month, but delayed the move as nine GOP senators came out against their legislation. With a 52-seat majority, leadership can only afford to lose two senators and still let Vice President Pence break a tie.

GOP Sens. Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) signaled separately on Wednesday that they don’t expect Republicans to be able to vote next week.

McConnell previously warned after a closed-door meeting with President Trump and Senate Republicans last month that if they can’t pass a repeal bill they will be forced to negotiate with Democrats.

“Either Republicans will agree and change the status quo, or the markets will continue to collapse and we’ll have to sit down with Senator Schumer. And my suspicion is that any negotiation with the Democrats would include none of the reforms that we would like to make, both on the market side and the Medicaid side,” he said at the time.

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