The Senate health committee chairman on Tuesday released a statement ending a bipartisan effort to find an ObamaCare fix amid a new GOP push to repeal the law.
“During the last month, we have worked hard and in good faith, but have not found the necessary consensus among Republicans and Democrats to put a bill in the Senate leaders’ hands that could be enacted,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate health committee, said in a statement.
The effort at a bipartisan deal to stabilize ObamaCare markets had always faced headwinds, given the polarizing nature of the issue. But the effort faced even higher obstacles in recent days as Republicans refocused on a GOP-only effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
That atmosphere made it very difficult to work in a bipartisan way on the law. Alexander acknowledged that to reporters earlier on Tuesday, and also blamed Sen. Bernie Sanders‘s (I-Vt.) announcement of single payer legislation last week for creating a partisan atmosphere as well.
Putting blame on the Democratic single payer bill is utter baloney — that bill won’t even get a committee hearing for years. One hundred percent of the fault here lies with the Republicans. And this was, believe it or not, a good-faith effort by some in both parties to stabilize the exchanges. But to the infinitely cynical Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump, that couldn’t be tolerated.
* Sean Sullivan, Kelsey Snell, and Juliet Eilperin report that responsible people in both parties are waking up to what a disaster the Graham-Cassidy health care bill would be:
The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a major blow on Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), 10 governors came out against the plan, which Senate Republican leaders have embraced and are debating bringing to the floor for a vote by the end of the month.
The governors who signed the bill are particularly notable, since some are from states represented by Republican senators who are weighing whether to back the bill. Among them: Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I), who holds sway over Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a potentially decisive vote.
“We ask you not to consider” the repeal-and-replace bill, “and renew support for bipartisan efforts to make health care more available and affordable for all Americans. Only open, bipartisan approaches can achieve true, lasting reforms,” the governors wrote.
Also among the governors signing the letter: John Kasich (R-Ohio) and Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.).
Keep in mind that they’re trying to sneak this thing through without a CBO score so nobody realizes just how many people will lose their health coverage if it passes.
* The American Medical Association comes out against Graham-Cassidy, saying it “would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage, destabilize health insurance markets, and decrease access to affordable coverage and care.” Yeah, but that’s exactly the point.
* Kaitlan Collins reports that the White House is pulling out all the stops to get Graham-Cassidy passed. This Senate vote is the whole enchilada, because Paul Ryan has already said he’ll bring it to the House floor intact, so after it passes there it will go straight to Trump for his signature.
* Sam Berger and Emily Gee detail the enormous premium increases that people with pre-existing conditions could face under Graham-Cassidy.
* Mark Leon Goldberg offers six takeaways from Trump’s UN speech, and they ain’t good.
* And Hillary Clinton’s book is No. 1 on Amazon. It’s almost as if a substantial number of people don’t wish she would shut up and go away.