Trump's health care timeline is off

John McCain seemed poised to be the savior of the GOP health bill when he returned to the Capitol despite a brain cancer diagnosis.

His votes prompted gasps from his Republican colleagues and applause from Senate Democrats. The stunning collapse has exposed a party so paralyzed by ideological division that it could not deliver on its top campaign pledge.

After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called it a "disappointing moment", but said he's proud of his vote.

But that's simply not an option for a conservative base energized by its opposition to the health law.

The amendment was a last resort for Senate Republicans to pass something - anything - to trigger negotiations with the House. The real-world implications of repeal have proven sobering to Republican senators answering to voters who've come to rely on expanded insurance coverage under the law. The others were Collins, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Dean Heller of Nevada, John McCain of Arizona, Rob Portman of OH and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. None of the three is up for re-election next fall.

One such challenger has emerged.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to issue his response.

"We hope that the House and the Senate can get together on that", Sanders said. "You can not continue to elect the same people over and over again and expect different results".

"I'm very happy to announce that, with zero of the Democrats' votes, the motion to proceed on health care has just passed".

The vote comes after months of pressure from the White House for Congress to move ahead with a promise to repeal the ACA, also known as "Obamacare", and replace it with something else.

"When one pulled out, the others followed", said current Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who was then a regional director in the federal department of Health and Human Services.

The Trump administration has become engulfed in internal drama over personnel and personalities. The president did not appear to share conservatives' outrage about the Senate's vote, but repeated his promises to remake the health system. "We'll keep the process going".

The eight-page Senate bill, called the Health Care Freedom Act, was unveiled on Thursday night just hours before the vote. A recent AP-NORC poll found only 22 percent of the public backing the Republican approach, while 51 percent were opposed.

"Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead!"

Having covered the legislative battle over the Obama health law, many of those criticisms weren't entirely accurate - but the irony right now is that the GOP may be following a health care script in 2017 which mirrors many of their own complaints from 2009 and 2010. Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that Republicans' plan to allow states to waive certain Affordable Care Act requirements would violate Senate budget rules, according to Senate Budget Committee Democrats.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who'd been another holdout, turned around after Ryan assured him and others in a phone conversation that the House would hold talks with the Senate.

That goes to a basic concept about any kind insurance: People who don't file claims in any given year subsidize those who do.

But leaders were encountering problems.

"Let's think of the future, not of the political victory", Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said at a Friday press conference, on the Hill, noting that Congress' first order of business should be stabilizing the individual health care market by permanently appropriating cost sharing reduction payments to insurers.

  • Rogelio Becker