Monday, January 16, 2017

Schumer Makes The GOP An Offer

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has made it crystal clear: If Republicans repeal ObamaCare without immediately implementing a plan to replace it, Democrats will not help them out of a pickle down the road.

Senate Democratic sources familiar with Schumer’s thinking say he will not engage in any negotiations to pass a watered-down version of the landmark healthcare reform law if Republicans unilaterally force its repeal first under special budgetary rules.

“That’s not a close call. They’re doing something so extraordinary reckless. You cannot reward hostage taking,” a Democratic senator said. The Democratic senator said.
Republicans have refused to work with President Obama for six years to come up with fixes to improve the law because they wanted to heighten its unpopularity and score political points.

Now, even if the GOP can secure a repeal through the budget reconciliation process – which requires only a majority – they’ll need support from at least eight Democrats to hit the 60 votes needed to pass repeal legislation.

The senator said Schumer’s view and the prevailing view in the Democratic Caucus is that they should not lift a finger to help Republicans out of a political mess if they repeal the healthcare reform law without having a replacement ready to avert severe market disruptions.

The spoiler is that the GOP has nothing of the sort.  In fact, they don't have a replacement at all, and haven't had a replacement for the six years that they've been trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act.  Schumer is making the right call here: let the Republicans completely own getting rid of health coverage for tens of millions of Americans, and let them completely own trying to replace it.

Of course Republicans will never replace Obamacare, no matter what magical unicorn bullshit Donald Trump is pushing, so it's up to Schumer to make sure that they know up front whatever to try will need Democratic help, which means Chuck is in the driver's seat. We'll see. 

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