The Senate is moving ahead with the repeal of Obamacare with their vote on Tuesday to begin floor debate. However, hours after the first vote they failed to pass the repeal-and-replace proposal. That failed vote signaled the desperate straits the Republicans find themselves. They voted over and over for seven years to repeal Obamacare, but when they finally gained complete control of the House, Senate and Presidency they are at a stalemate. They are paralyzed to act, not because of the Democrats, but because they can’t reach a consensus among their own members.
Republicans have violated every recognized rule for successfully advancing legislation. They crafted their Trumpcare bill in secret and they refused to hold public hearings to obtain input from the many healthcare providers most effected by the law. They used the unconventional reconciliation process to avoid the 60-vote requirement in order to specifically exclude Democrats from the process. They didn’t even allow their own members to read their bill in advance. They have painted themselves in a corner with their undemocratic and incompetent attempts at writing a repeal and replace bill.
In addition, the Tuesday vote was eclipsed by the return of Senator John McCain to the Senate floor following brain surgery for cancer. McCain’s courageous return less than two weeks after life-threatening surgery was cheered and celebrated by both Democrats and Republicans. His return and his critical comments about the Republicans process dominated the news-cycle. McCain delivered a fiery speech condemning Republicans process for excluding Democrats.
“Let’s trust each other. Let’s return to regular order. We’ve been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle,” he said.
“Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio, television and the internet,” he intoned. “To hell with them! They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood.”
“I voted for the motion to proceed to allow debate to continue,” McCain said. “I will not vote for this bill as it is today. It’s a shell of a bill right now.”
The fight by Democrats to preserve or improve Obamacare continues. Dozens of liberal groups across America are joining ranks to oppose the Republicans’ attempt at Obamacare repeal. They are planning “Day-of-Action” rallies in many major American cities this Saturday, July 29th. That date was chosen because it’s the 52nd anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. They have chosen as their theme, “Our-lives-on-the-line,” which signifies the life and death consequences of the Republicans’ proposed Medicaid cuts and Obamacare repeal.
The national sponsoring groups have drawn organizers from this year’s Women’s March, the Science March and the Tax March. The participating groups include Indivisible, Organizing for Action, Our Revolution, Move-On.org, Planned Parenthood, Center for Democratic Action, Labor groups and others.
Here in Iowa the leaders of the Women’s March are taking the lead on statewide organizing. The following Iowa cities have events planned: Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Sioux City and Waterloo. Individuals can find the Iowa event nearest to them by going to the national site, http://ourlivesontheline.org
by Rick Smith