Health Care Failure Takes a Political Toll on Trump, GOP Lawmakers

Lawmakers have scattered for their summer recess, leaving behind a slim record of achievements and a steaming President Donald Trump. But, so far, no version of a proposed Republican legislation has successfully made it to Oval Office for signature. Trump had campaigned on the promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, but has been stymied by his party's inability to round up enough Senate votes. The three GOP senators who cast "no" votes on what became known as "skinny repeal" last week - John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - are all liked by Democrats and disliked by Republicans. A powerful and competent chief of staff, if that's what new hire John Kelly becomes, would be a good start, says political scientist Matt Glassman. The payments total $7 billion this year and are helping around 7 million people afford coverage.

And a wild card element is whether Trump will press to pay for the U.S. -Mexico border wall as part of the spending bill. That's why Obamacare has been targeted so fiercely for repeal.

But Congress might get in its own way on passing tax reform. Maybe the president isn't a policy wonk, but so what? Pat Toomey, who is not one for criticizing Trump publicly. Trump has called for renegotiating NAFTA, a deal he bashed ceaselessly as a candidate. The young and healthy and less-well-off will drop out of the market and pray they'll go another year without getting hit by a bus or stricken by some life- and bank-account-threatening disease.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a staunch conservative, said while there are some differences, he thinks it will be easier for members to come to a consensus on tax reform than it was for health care.

Senators are apparently treating those words as empty threats.

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that 16 Democratic state attorneys general may intervene in a lawsuit challenging subsidy payments to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

On Monday, several top Republicans said that at least for now, they saw no clear route to the 50 votes they'd need to get something - anything - refashioning the nation's health care system through the Senate.

Asked Wednesday about Trump's criticisms of the sanctions law, Sen.

Nor are lawmakers the only officials in Washington contradicting the president. Chinese state-owned enterprises are increasingly entering US markets by purchasing American companies, but the reverse doesn't usually happen because of restrictions in China on USA investments, Democrats said.

Last week the Department of Defense was put in an awkward position, and explained that transgender soldiers have not been banned from the military, as Trump had tweeted. Most of the insurance executives I've spoken to in the past few weeks are planning to assume the CSR payments are not coming unless they see some big change on behalf of the White House. It has even more to do with things such as procedural radicalism in Congress, constant breaking of the norms that allow government to operate, and pandering to the party's base with the dumbest and most morally repugnant appeals it can devise.

"If the 2018 Congressional elections were held today, voters say 52-38 percent, including 48-37 percent among independent voters, they would like the Democrats to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives".

Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has been quietly reassuring allies that Trump is not in fact rejecting NATO's common defense, as he sometimes seems to do.

After that, it will be too late to make any revisions, regardless of what happens in Washington, D.C. The requests must still be approved by state regulators, in most cases.


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