A week into President Donald Trump's declaration that Republicans will be known as the “Party of Health Care,” few GOP lawmakers want ownership of an issue proven harmful to the party’s political futures, Politico reported on Monday.
This includes the four Senate Republicans that Trump named as the ones to work on a plan, with one of them, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, saying he had no advance warning he was to be part of the health policy group.
Republicans have been at an impasse on an Obamacare replacement since the party’s repeal effort fell apart in 2017, leaving the GOP paralyzed because it does not want to contradict Trump, but scared of getting into another campaign cycle without a comprehensive message on healthcare.
Although Republicans are not completely without ideas, they have not managed to reach agreements on the divisions between centrists and conservatives in their party that doomed the last repeal effort, according to Politico.
The “Health Care Choices” plan proposed by the right's prominent think tanks would give states block grants to cover residents, but conservatives argue it doesn’t go far enough to repeal Obamacare, and more moderate Republicans are concerned the plan would contradict their promise to protect people with pre-existing conditions.
Democrats have mocked the Republicans on the issue, with House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth saying that “If you look at eight years of the Republican majority, they never came up with an alternative. We’re going to keep highlighting the fact that they don’t have a solution and never have.”
Republicans were further thrown for a loop when the party’s legislators thought they could attack Democrats' "Medicare for All" plans as a reckless threat to private insurance, but Trump ruined that strategy with his renewed offensive against Obamacare.
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