As Congress goes on vacation, President Trump threatened representatives and their staffers with the loss of their generous government-provided health care benefits. After holding several votes, Republicans have been unable to even partially repeal Obamacare. They attempted to ram through a replacement for Obamacare, which did little to address conservatives’ main complaints. The only result being repeated failure after a handful of GOP Senators went against the vast majority of their party.
Republicans attempted to pass a repeal and to remove some of Obamacare’s worst elements. They failed again. After three Republican defections in the Senate defeated the most recent effort 49-51, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that he was giving up the fight. Despite voting for a repeal multiple times, including in 2015, many representatives changed sides once a repeal was actually possible. Seven years of campaign promises, including John McCain’s promises in his 2016 Senate race, turned out to mean very little.
In response, President Trump suggested that he might strip elected representatives and their staffers of their benefits by removing Obama-era protections. The president assumes that Congressional Republicans will have a great incentive to remedy the situation if they are forced to rely on the same system they have given to their fellow citizens.
Remaining Barriers to Success
However, this threat does not address the primary obstacle to repeal, as Murkowski, McCain, and Collins voted against repeal. Senator Susan Collins always voted against repeal, but McCain and Murkowski must be held to their campaign promises. Both raised money and won votes by repeatedly pledging to repeal Obamacare. Conservatives must remind voters and representatives of this fact until McCain and Murkowski realize that they must repeal Obamacare or lose their jobs. If our elected representatives cannot be held to this frequently repeated promise, conservatives will lose all faith in them.
Promise of 2018 for Obamacare Repeal
At the same time, it appears that more help is on the way if conservatives continue to vote. The 2018 election is a dangerous contest for Senate Democrats as far more Democrats than Republicans face election, including ten Democrats who must run for reelection in states won by President Trump. One of these senators, Senator Claire McCaskill, may face the former Libertarian Presidential candidate, Austin Petersen.
In an interview with The Rouser, Austin Petersen promised to join Mike Lee, Ben Sasse, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul in repealing Obamacare. He decried the failures of Senate Republicans, many of whom will face difficult primary challenges if Obamacare survives till 2018. By winning a larger majority and replacing some of our more craven lawmakers, conservatives can finally repeal Obamacare.
If Mitch McConnell and his allies want to survive, they had better repeal Obamacare before this election.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the solely those of the author and do not necessarly represent those of The Narrative Times.