Before Trump was inaugurated in January, Republicans debated and ultimately discarded the idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act before replacing it, concluding that both must happen simultaneously.
Short predicted a repeal bill would have enough Republican votes to pass, and "then at that point, if you've repealed it, you can come back with a replacement effort that could be more bipartisan", he said.
Senate Republicans had given themselves an unrealistic deadline of coming up with a bill reconciling the demands of their conservative and moderate members by Friday, before lawmakers broke for a long recess for July 4, the United States independence day.
As much as some senators and GOP spokespeople lied to minimize the bill's effects, polls indicated the public saw it - correctly - as gutting health care for the less fortunate while granting $600 billion in tax cuts mainly to wealthy Americans.
What all this means for the politics of health care right now is that a bipartisan approach can only help with fixing or improving the Affordable Care Act; choosing bipartisanship would nearly by definition be a total surrender of the goal of "repeal and replace", at least as long as Democrats say they want to keep Obamacare in place.
Last week, after McConnell delayed a vote on overhauling ObamaCare a group of GOP senators - including Joni Ernst of Iowa, Mike Lee of Utah and David Perdue of Georgia - wrote to the leader to cancel the recess to work on legislative priorities like healthcare and tax reform.
GOP factionalism in the Senate will nearly certainly prevent coming to an agreement that could pass muster in the House. McConnell said late Friday. But Trump's suggestion that Republican senators should switch gears and immediately try to repeal the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act if compromise is elusive could embolden conservatives, making it harder for McConnell to broker a deal.
The money from the tax boost would instead be used to bolster proposed health care subsidies for lower-income people. Texas' Sen. Ted Cruz is pushing a conservative version that aims to aggressively reduce costs by giving states greater flexibility to create separate higher-risk pools.
Rand Paul to GOP: Pass a 'Clean Repeal Like We Promised'
Republicans have been talking about repealing Obamacare's taxes since before the bill be became law.
Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said getting repeal and replace bills close together in time would be key for centrist members of his party.
Sasse said that if Senate Republicans are unable to agree to a comprehensive measure that both repeals and replaces the existing law, "then there's no reason to walk away". "Obamacare" is the most evil legislation in the history of the galaxy, featuring death panels and, well, the details get fuzzy after that, but it's definitely a disaster, one that absolutely must be fully and totally repealed.
"We believe that real repeal means full repeal". One idea is to encourage insurers by eliminating the health insurance tax for plans that enter these markets, though Spiro said he's open to other suggestions and tweaks.
Keeping the tax, he said, would be a "tough red flag" if the bill goes back to the House.
Their latest draft of the legislation would lead to 22 million more people to live without health insurance by 2026.
"I'm not for that, but I'm saying I want repeal to work, and the way you do it is you separate it into two bills and you do it concurrently", he added. "The American people said, 'We elected a Republican president, a Republican House and a Republican Senate".
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