Lindsey Graham, a longtime Establishment fixture, and Bill Cassidy, senator from Louisiana, (who is also a former physician) revealed a surprising effort over the weekend to revisit getting rid of the failed and costly Obamacare boondoggle that has decimated American healthcare while making the insurance and drug companies even more wealthy than they already were.
The gist of the Graham-Cassidy bill is to eliminate the central-authority mandates of Obamacare and instead allocate block grant monies to states to created viable healthcare programs that are more locally controlled. Should it succeed it would mark a remarkable shift away from the D.C. power structure that currently dominates the healthcare industry in this country.
(Above: Senators Cassidy and Graham, co-authors of a new Obamacare replacement bill.)
Democrats are now screeching in real time. Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a “red-alert” soon after the bill was introduced that warned Republicans were trying to sneak a repeal and replacement into place by the end of September.
POTUS Trump has given little support to the bill yet which in turn has Senator Graham begging the President to help out the cause while he spoke on the floor of the Senate.
“Without your voice, we cannot succeed,” said Graham.
Whispers indicate some red state Democrats facing potentially difficult re-election bids have already indicated they might vote in favor of the bill. A few wobbly Republicans remain – like Senator Rand Paul who opposes it on being “Obamacare light” and Maine’s left-leaning Republican Susan Collins who voiced concerns over how the bill might “hurt her state.”
Senator Cassidy stated that an informal voted count, even before any real pressure to gather votes has started, showed the bill is already just a few shy of passage.
And it all was initiated by POTUS Trump.
Cassidy and Graham were said to be both startled at the levels of voter animosity they were receiving in their (southern) states for the lack of support being given by Congress to the Trump agenda. They soon discovered their concerns were shared as other Republicans shared similar stories of voter unrest. These unhappy voters remained steadfast in their support of Trump and placed the blame of legislative inactivity squarely on the shoulders of Republicans in Congress. The promise to do something about Obamacare had been broken and voters indicated they would remember that failed promise come the Midterm Elections.
Trump then made a very public pivot toward Democrat leadership which angered Establishment Republicans who felt they were being shut out. This anger turned to fear, though, as feedback from voters in their respective states made clear it wouldn’t be Trump who paid a price, but them.
Suddenly, Republicans were literally begging Trump to support their legislation.
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump remains focused on a tax overhaul and his White House staffers are now coordinating a possible one-two legislative knockout punch that would have him signing legislation to repeal Obamacare and slash taxes.
More healthcare choices. Lower taxes. A stronger economy.
As the war in Washington wages on, Team Trump is poised to win some very critical battles as he unleashes some Art of the Deal mastery over the political roadblock known as Congress.