Thus far, four Republicans senators have said "No" to the TrumpCare bill in its current version -- Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson, although for different reasons. There is no word yet from Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Rob Portman, who had been reported on the fence -- or any others, for that matter.
Sen. Paul (R-KY) said they weren't trying to kill the bill, but hoping there could be changes that would make the bill something they'd support.
There are several problems with that. The first is that the four who've thus far said "No," did so for different reasons, as I noted, so that makes fixing it far more of a challenge. Also, the easiest way to pass the bill would be before the House to vote on the Senate bill and approve it, as is -- but with so many changes required in the Senate bill for these four (and it's four just to begin with...) to accept it, that will make House passage of the exact same bill far less likely. And that means Reconciliation would be required, which is a big challenge on such a delicate bill trying to please so many different views.
And all this is before the Congressional Budget Office has weighed in to "score" the bill for its cost and how many Americans will lose health coverage.
And before the public chimes in with its reaction -- that has a starting point of only 17% of the public likes the House version of the TrumpCare bill.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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