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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What's Next for the AHCA?

Not a whole lot of news so far today (thankfully), and it looks like we're going to get a bit of a reprieve from news on Trumpcare:

Having successfully pushed an Obamacare repeal bill through his own conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is hoping that it takes the Senate only “a month or two” to pass its own legislation dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Ryan told “Fox & Friends” Tuesday.
“The legislation should not take that long. Hopefully it takes a month or two to get it through the Senate,” Ryan said. “Hopefully it takes a month or two. Because we need to give people the ability to plan. The insurers are pulling out very, very quickly. And we need to show the insurers there’s a better system coming. Stay in the market.”

My guess is that we go the summer without a vote in the Senate. Mitch McConnell doesn't really want to go through that. According to Greg Sargent, while we wait for the next step, Democrats have a strategy to use the current House bill against elected Republicans:

Now that Senate Republicans are plunging into a protracted, divisive debate over the monstrous House GOP health bill, top Democratic strategists are consumed with a question: How can the party seize on this moment to hold GOP lawmakers accountable in 2018, keep the grass roots engaged, and, more broadly, bring about a period of Democratic renewal?
In a new memo to fellow Democrats, two senior Democratic strategists are arguing that the party must highlight the fact that the GOP health bill would not only leave many millions of people stranded without coverage — but, crucially, it would do this while delivering an enormous tax cut to the rich.

It's probably a good idea, though Republicans have found ways to spin their tax cuts for the rich many times before. It will be interesting to see how they handle this. For now, it appears they're doing so by running away:

Rep. Rob Blum (R-IA) had an on-camera meltdown with a reporter, in front of a room filled with young children, days after changing his vote and supporting the American Health Care Act.
Blum was one of several Republicans who initially opposed the bill supported by Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, but who later supported stripping health insurance from 24 million Americans. As a result, he has been identified as a Republican holding a seat vulnerable to a Democratic takeover in 2018.
In the interview with local reporter Josh Scheinblum, Blum answered some questions, then stood up and took his microphone off, angrily complaining about the reporter asking him questions about campaign donations.

There's video at the link.

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