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Numbers not there for GOP senators

Herb Boyd | 6/29/2017, 9:24 a.m.
Numbers count.
U.S. Capitol Wikipedia

Numbers count.

Whether citing the list of GOP senators who are not satisfied with the repeal bill of Obamacare, or the recent score released by the Congressional Budget Office, the numbers certainly count, and this isn’t good news for the Republican Party.

To date, five GOP senators have said they will vote against the bill as it currently exists, and that discontent was enough for a scheduled vote on Tuesday to be canceled until after the July 4 recess.

Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Dean Heller of Nevada have all said they oppose the bill. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is another vocal opponent of the bill and may join the dissenters. If two Republican senators balk on the bill, it’s dead on arrival.

Monday, the nonpartisan CBO report gave the Republicans even more reason to balk when it disclosed that the budget would mainly benefit the nation’s wealthy while raising the premium on elders and working families. By 2026, the report said the bill would increase the number of people without health insurance to 22 million.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, facing a dilemma of whether to convince some senators to change their minds, to hold back the vote and renegotiate the bill or to let it collapse and go down to defeat, decided to delay the vote with an aim toward winning over the opposition. What we have is seven years of promising to repeal one of President Obama’s major accomplishments still hanging in the balance.

“Once again, Congressional Republicans are showing no real regard for the health and well-being of the American people,” NY Assembly Member Michael Blake said in a press statement. “As Democrats, we affirm that health care is a universal right for Bronxites, New Yorker and all Americans, not a privilege for the wealthy. Both House and Senate Republicans should be working with Democrats to improve and expand the Affordable Care Act instead of working so hard to strip people of this essential right.”

The Republican senate bill, Blake added, hurts women and people with pre-existing conditions “while simultaneously threatening essential health services like maternity care, substance-abuse addiction treatment and mental health service.” The statement continued, “No person in our assembly district, throughout the Bronx, or across our country should be afraid that their health care will be taken from them. Democrats are fighting for health care for all while the Republicans are fighting for a tax break for the top 1 percent of people.”

Republican senators unnerved by the bill are also joined by a number of Republican governors who fear that the loss in government subsidies through Medicaid for their constituents could weaken chances of maintaining control of the House during the midterm elections.

Yes, numbers count and McConnell saw they didn’t add for him, and so it’s back to the drawing boards, back to another round of plotting how to get rid of Obamacare.