cartoon credit: Walt Handelsman
via US News and World Report / The New Orleans Advocate
Scott McKay at The American Spectator asks:
Do Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, and Shelley Moore Capito expect to ever get votes from Republican voters again?
Here’s a question: How long have Republicans been running for federal office on repealing Obamacare, in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s terminology, “Root and branch”?
Answer: since 2010.
. . .
You would figure that with Donald Trump in the White House and Republican majorities in the House and Senate, repealing Obamacare would be a no-brainer.
OK, the repeal-and-replace angle could be harder to pull off. That’s understandable. There are lots of different kinds of Republicans, and it might be hard to get all of them to coalesce behind a single federal healthcare policy to replace it. Those of us whose studies of the American public sector have led to an understanding that the less federal healthcare policy there is the healthier the healthcare industry will be have a far simpler solution to that problem, but we are unfortunately not the majority — in the House, Senate or public. That’s a shame, and it’s a symptom of a larger civic disease, but that’s for another column in this space. There will be a replacement for Obamacare, and we can hope it’s less awful than what it stands in for.
But when the Senate version of an Obamacare replacement foundered and McConnell announced the next step would be, early next week, an up-or-down vote for an Obamacare repeal now and the crafting of a replacement as a consensus for one emerges, that’s something an entire GOP caucus can vote for.
Minus Susan Collins, of course; Maine’s quote-unquote Republican Senator wouldn’t vote to repeal Obamacare back in 2015 when McConnell’s majority sent a bill doing just that to then-President Obama’s desk to die. But outside of Collins and Mark Kirk of Illinois, who is no longer in the Senate, the rest of the caucus was on board with the repeal.
And yet Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito, and Ohio’s Rob Portman have now joined Collins in announcing they won’t support a repeal when the vote comes up next week.
What is wrong with these people?
Capito laced her announcement with a special bit of arsenic for Republican voters. “I didn’t come to Washington to hurt people,” she said.
No, Senator, apparently you came to Washington to lie to people.
. . .