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Looking for a healthcare fix in 2017? Don’t hold your breath, says top Republican

Looking for a healthcare fix in 2017? Don’t hold your breath, says top Republican
June 08
16:25 2017

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C), one of the Senate’s top conservatives, says he doesn’t believe the healthcare reform legislation passed in the House will make it through the upper chamber before the end of the year.

The House bill pushed through amid protests from conservative lawmakers is “not a good plan” to repeal and replace Obamacare, Burr told North Carolina’s WXII News.

Burr’s insistence that the bill is dead on arrival in the Senate betrays the GOP establishment’s repeated promise that Congress will produce a workable plan before the approaching August legislative recess. That’s due in part to the likelihood that senators and House members will have to work through a lengthy reconciliation process to produce a final. That bill will look nothing like the current legislation.

With a workable plan not in the near future, Burr contends that it’s important for lawmakers to consider measures to stop some of the bleeding occurring under Obamacare in the interim.

“It’s unlikely that we will get a healthcare deal, which means that most of my time has been spent trying to figure out solutions to Iowa losing all of its insurers, to Tennessee losing theirs, to North Carolina only having one insurer in 95 out of 100 counties,” Burr said.

Burr isn’t the only senator warning voters that Obamacare repeal and replacement is going to take longer than promised.

Iowa Republican Sens. Joni Earnst and Chuck Grassley told voters that the inability of Republicans to repeal the law with a simple majority makes it impossible to undo the former administration’s healthcare package without Democrat support.

“As much as I’d love to go back and scrap the whole darn thing, we’re simply unable to do that,” Ernst said, adding that Republicans can only “tinker around the edges” of the law.

Grassley agreed, saying: “We don’t have 60 votes at this point.”

The Trump administration has also pounced on the lack of a simple majority option for the law, urging senators to rethink rules that hasten the passage of a repeal package.

But even if the Senate could pass the current legislation on a simple majority vote, it likely wouldn’t happen because of GOP disagreements on the completeness of the current plan.

Looking for a healthcare fix in 2017? Don’t hold your breath, says top Republican

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