Mitch McConnell’s Heavy Health-Care Lift

By Michelle Cottle

Say this for the health-care circus: It has been a master class in how difficult and delicate governing (as opposed to mouthing off) can be. Hill Republicans have had seven years to come up with a workable, palatable alternative to Obamacare. Instead, they have struggled and scrambled and, in shadowy, secret corners of the Capitol, cobbled together a plan—well, a succession of plans—that has thus far proved less popular than Mel Gibson at an Anti-Defamation League convention.  

The impressive thing about the GOP plan is not that voters dislike it. (Though a 17 percent approval rating does merit a certain awe.) Nor that Democrats refuse to engage with it. (This is the definition of a political given.) It’s that, despite having drafted the plan along partisan lines, and with the comfort of a president who has made clear he’ll sign whatever mishmash hits his desk, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is struggling to find 50 of his own members to back the plan. The most recent version, introduced Thursday, lacked the support necessary to even begin debate. On Saturday night, McConnell announced he would postpone any consideration of the bill until after Senator John McCain returns from his surgery.

What is it about the bill that’s such a turn off? Depends on who you ask, when, where, and which version of the plan they’re looking at. (With policy this complicated, there’s typically something for everyone to hate.) And since the plan keeps morphing as leadership cuts some regulations here and adds some money there in the ongoing push to woo specific lawmakers, it can be tough to keep track of who is (or is not) signing on to what. (This is itself a sneaky tool of the trade.)

So, for those keeping score at home, here’s …read more

Via:: The Atlantic


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