By MARK SILVERMAN
Senate Republicans failed in yet another effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” having abandoned efforts to repeal and replace the ACA with a so-called “skinny” repeal-only effort.
Despite engaging in the bullying tactics for which he is noted, President Donald J. Trump failed to galvanize Republicans as he broke yet another campaign promise that no one would be without affordable health care.
The latest GOP effort to kill Obamacare took place in great secrecy, as Senators indicated that they hadn’t seen the legislation even as a vote was scheduled.
Millions would have been without health insurance, as funds allocated for Medicaid would have been redirected to support tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of the population. “I want everyone to know that this is a death sentence for me,” said Terri Frankel, who is disabled and dependent on Medicaid to provide the medical treatment she needs to survive.
Disabled rights activists, many associated with the direct-action oriented ADAPT organization, engaged in sit-ins at Senators’ constituent offices in opposition to the bill.
It would be wrong, however, to attribute the failures of both the Senate and the House of Representatives to repeal Obamacare to a sudden attack of conscience. In reality, the effort has exposed some divisions within the ruling class. The nursing home industry and many hospitals, particularly in rural areas, would have their revenue streams impaired by cuts in the Medicaid program.
In the wake of this latest defeat, President Trump fired his chief of staff, former GOP National Chairman Reince Priebus.
Photo: Eric McGregor / Pacific Press