Ahead of next week’s pivotal healthcare vote to repeal and replace Obamacare, the White House has launched an all-out effort to ensure that the Graham-Cassidy measure passes the Senate. While Trump has shown a tenuous grasp of the contents of the bill, he has nonetheless committed himself to rescinding the Obama-era legislation, even if for no other reason than the fact that his predecessor’s name is on it.
This morning, taking his assault a step further, the President tweeted a thinly veiled threat to members of his own party who plan on voting against the bill. He even calls out Rand Paul (R-KY), who has already announced that will not vote for the measure, by name.
Rand Paul, or whoever votes against Hcare Bill, will forever (future political campaigns) be known as "the Republican who saved ObamaCare."
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 22, 2017
Trump’s threat, while seemingly menacing, overlooks the fact that Obamacare enjoys historic support in the United States. Yesterday, in an unprecedented step, all 50 Medicaid directors announced their opposition to the Obamacare repeal bill.
Trump’s desperate move comes on the heels of surprise development by two key Republican holdouts, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Collins (R-ME).
When asked about his support for the bill that McConnell intends to put on the floor, Senator McCain said, “Nothing has changed. If McConnell wants to put it on the floor, that’s up to McConnell. I am the same as I was before. I want the regular order.”
When asked to further clarify if that meant he intended to vote “no” on the bill, McCain said, “That means I want the regular order. It means I want the regular order!” Since McCain stunned Washington with a “no” vote to Republicans’ last repeal and replace effort, the Senate has not returned to regular order, an indication that he will not, then, support the bill.
Meanwhile, Senator Susan Collins has teamed up with a Florida Democrat, Senator Bill Nelson, to introduce legislation to stabilize existing ACA insurance markets. The bipartisan legislation, called the Reinsurance Act of 2017, introduced last night, aims to “reduce risk for insurance companies by providing funds to insurers for high-risk enrollees.”
On CNN, Collins said that the Graham-Cassidy bill contains “many of the same flaws of the bill we rejected previously and in fact, it has some additional flaws.” As such, political experts are placing her in the “no” column for the upcoming vote.
While Trump may mistakenly believe that his threatening tweets hold weight in Congress, he fails to realize that Senators work for their constituents, not him. No amount of bullying on Twitter is going to change that.