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Sat May 6, 2017, 08:09 AM

The Three Senators (and Two Races) That Will Decide the Fate of Obamacare

The Three Senators (and Two Races) That Will Decide the Fate of Obamacare
Washington is watching as Democrats in two special elections rip the repeal effort and run surprisingly close races in red-hued districts.
Michael Tomasky
05.05.17 10:39 AM ET


Another failure scenario is that three Republicans vote against it. This isn’t impossible. Dean Heller of Nevada, who’s up for reelection next year; Susan Collins of Maine; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Those are the three Republicans to watch. If you’re against what the Republicans are doing here and want to devote some time or energy to stopping this, devote it to groups working in those three states, trying to pressure those three senators.

But what’s more likely is that the Senate Republicans pass something. It will be their own bill. Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander, for one, has already said as much. Probably the two biggest points of departure from the House bill will be 1) senators, even most Republicans, won’t go for nearly a trillion dollars in Medicaid cuts, and 2) senators, even a lot of Republicans, would prefer to keep Obamacare rules on covering people with pre-existing conditions.

So the Senate’s going to pass a bill that’s less conservative than the House, and probably unacceptable to a lot of the Freedom Caucus people. And make no mistake—the Freedom Caucus people, the hottest of the red-hots, are who pushed this bill over the line yesterday. On the first go-round in late March, only seven of the caucus’ members voted yea. Thursday, 30 of them did. The caucus doesn’t disclose any official list of members but is thought to have around 35, so that’s a huge flip.

They’re not going to like what comes out of the Senate. And then it’ll all come down to the conference committee. Can those members get in a room for a week and hash something out that McConnell and Ryan just make people vote for because, folks, this is our only shot at this? In that case, I’m sorry to say, I think enough of them will vote yes, even to something they know is terrible. And I’d bet the conference bill looks more like the House version than the Senate one, because the House people are bigger crybabies, and crybabies get their way.

So that’s the inside game. It’s not especially hopeful.

But there’s an outside game, too, and the outside game can influence the inside game. It starts with pressuring those three GOP senators. It extends to letting so-called moderate Republicans who voted for this monstrosity—and there were 33 of them, from the Tuesday Group—know their constituents’ anger at their vote.

And the outside game also involves the two pivotal special elections that approach. Both are in red areas, but in both, the Democrat is running competitively, and the choice between the candidates is stark.



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Reply The Three Senators (and Two Races) That Will Decide the Fate of Obamacare (Original post)
babylonsister May 2017 OP
Dustlawyer May 2017 #1

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat May 6, 2017, 08:31 AM

1. +1!!! When is the next march? Please tell me we have a big one coming for this!

We have called our Tea Party Republican's office (Randy Weber) until we got through. I plan on walking the three blocks to his office on a regular basis and let this "good Christian" know how he has failed his God Jesus Christ by voting for this abomination.

We are fired up and ready to fight hard to let them all know what a mistake they are making. I plan on continuing to register voters in minority areas. My father-in-law lives across the street from a large black church so I know that I will be registering few Republicans. I follow the law so I am very careful where I set up to register voters.

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