New Years or Groundhog Day? Republicans start 2018 with promise to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

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Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) says that along with shredding the safety net, House Republicans will be on their worn-out hobbyhorse for 2018. “We’re going to have to work on health care again. I’m for repealing and replacing ObamaCare.” Because of course they are. Why should 2018 be any different than 2010, or 2011, or 2012. … And like all those previous years, they’ve got the same problems they’ve always had.

The reality is the GOP is so divided on Obamacare, they don’t have the votes to achieve either objective—repeal or stabilization. That means former President Barack Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment could keep limping along, crippled by the repeal of the individual mandate in the tax law but lifted by the surprisingly strong enrollment for the coming year. […]

Just last month, the House blocked a Senate-led effort to fund the health law’s cost-sharing subsidies for two years — a conservative victory that underscores how loath they are to do anything that props up the health law, said Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), who leads the conservative Republican Study Committee.

“You can see the difference on this side versus the Senate side as far as how much energy there is” for repeal, Walker said.

That rift could reappear almost immediately. Moderates — who say they have Trump’s backing — want to try again this month to fund those subsides, which help low-income people pay out-of-pocket medical bills. […]

“Alexander-Murray is a really tough one, I think, in this chamber,” said Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.). House Republicans would want to add abortion restrictions, Cramer and other GOP lawmakers say, and they don’t want to send “bailout” money to insurance companies.

Let’s keep it that way. Please give $1 to each of our Senate funds so that Republican senators know there’ll be a price to pay for repealing health care.