And away we go! Here’s the schedule as explained to us via Twitter:
“The Senate will gavel in at 10am Thursday. About 10 hours of debate left on the health care clock. First amendment votes @ 2:30pm” … First (and so far only) amendment on deck: @SteveDaines ‘Medicare for All’ proposal – i.e. effort to force Dems to take a tough vote”.
Mike ‘Payola’ Allen writing the Axios morning email thingie has ACA Repeal at item #6 out of 10:
“We’re hours away from a series of votes that will culminate, we think, with a brand-new bill to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act [Ed. – the so-called Skinny Repeal–TG]. Of course, no one’s seen it. Senate Republicans don’t know where they’re headed, but they’re putting the pedal to the metal to get there.”
Meanwhile, Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie tells us:
“Even a bare-bones repeal of Obamacare is no sure thing in the Senate. A handful of key Republican senators who had spurned earlier overtures from GOP leadership endorsed the latest plan to gut Obamacare’s individual and employer coverage mandates and its medical device tax. But several centrists said they’re undecided on the so-called skinny repeal, leaving the GOP in limbo through at least the end of the week. …
“Centrist GOP Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia were undecided on the so-called skinny repeal Wednesday. Another Republican from an expansion state, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada indicated he would back it. … Conservatives could be another matter. ‘I don’t like it,’ Sen. David Perdue of Georgia said of the process. ‘Because I don’t know where we end up. This whole [health care system] holds together or falls apart in totality. We’ve got a system that is collapsing.’”
So why would they put their necks out? Tiger Beat has a theory:
The pitch from Republican leadership is this: vote for the skinny repeal so the House and Senate can move to a formal health care negptoatopm [sic]. But a negotiation between the House and Senate will be thorny: there is disagreement on changes to many things, including changes to Medicare. If you vote for the skinny repeal and end up with a negotiated product you don’t like a few weeks or months later, it could be politically perilous.
So it’s a circular firing squad: Republicans in the Senate will pass something, lob it back to the House Republicans, who will treat Americans with their usual diligence and tenderness, and each can blame the other when the peasants storm the Bastille.