Senate Republicans on Tuesday abandoned their latest effort to replace ObamaCare, or, more precisely, a handful of Senators defeated the Graham-Cassidy proposal despite their campaign rhetoric. Mark them down as ObamaCare’s saviors.
Top billing goes to Kentucky’s Rand Paul, who rode into Congress in 2010 on repealing the Affordable Care Act but in office has become the definition of a feckless libertarian. He helped to kill the Senate’s first replacement bill over the summer because it did not repeal every last footnote in the law. Then he supported “skinny repeal” that merely repealed the individual and employer mandates and medical-device tax, justifying that vote as realistic.
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Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Tuesday said Congress should move onto tax reform and not try to pair it with a new plan to repeal ObamaCare.
Cornyn signaled the widespread GOP fear that adding a health-care debate to the tax bill will only bog down a reform package that is President Trump’s new top priority.
Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said he does not support combining tax reform and ObamaCare repeal in a single budget reconciliation measure that would allow the GOP to protect their bill from a Democratic filibuster.
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Middle-class Americans, who have been hardest hit by Obamacare, are desperate for Congress to do something — anything — to lower costs.
Today, health insurance can cost more than a mortgage. The average family of four will face a staggering $22,622 in health insurance and related medical costs this year ($14,300 for premiums with an $8,322 deductible). The average annual cost of a mortgage (principal and interest) is about $18,000 for a $309,000 house.
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