Refusing to give up after failure of ACA repeal
Tommy Binion of the Heritage Foundation joined Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” program yesterday to talk about the GOP’s tax plan and latest failed effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Q: Tell me if I’m wrong: I feel three defeats (on the repeal and replacement of Obamacare) looks worse than two defeats and just not doing it again, not trying for this one deadline.
A: From a political standpoint, that’s three bad weeks, it’s three bad news cycles.
The political consultants would probably tell you not to do that, but as an American who wants to see Obamacare repealed I’m glad they tried, I’m glad they’re still trying.
I don’t think they ought to ever give up, and it’s OK with me if the American people know which three senators to blame for the fact that Obamacare hasn’t been repealed yet. And I look at this, the announcement on Tuesday that they wouldn’t be pursuing Graham-Cassidy before today’s deadline. I say, “OK.”
What I hope is happening is that behind the scenes they actually never gave up, they’re working constantly to getting 51 (votes), whenever that is, past the deadline, a whole year from now.
Whenever that is, if they have 51, I hope that they go right away. And it may take the spotlight being off of the vote-counting and the constant changing of the draft of the health care bill; it may take that spotlight off of it to actually get to 51. So that’s what I hope is going on.
Q: Am I right or wrong that this time around it wasn’t (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell’s impetus. This was a Graham and Cassidy situation, right?
A: What it looks like to me happened was senators Graham and Cassidy got pretty close.
I think that they had been working on this proposal, it surfaced back in the summer, they had been working this and then when the repeal effort failed many Republican senators told them privately they’d be interested in this.
And when they were able to show such strong support they were able to bring it to the leadership and the president ... at this point in this cycle Obamacare and tax reform are the two big achievements that are left on the table ... and tax reform is going swimmingly.
There appears to be a lot of unity on this tax-reform framework that the president and congressional leaders put out together yesterday.
But the president, for his part, is having the Democrats over ... there’s a possibility that Democrats, a few, get on board with this.