Overnight Health Care: Senate won't vote on ObamaCare repeal bill | GOP chairman ready to resume bipartisan talks | Republicans nix idea of pairing repeal with tax reform

Overnight Health Care: Senate won't vote on ObamaCare repeal bill | GOP chairman ready to resume bipartisan talks | Republicans nix idea of pairing repeal with tax reform
© Greg Nash

Senate Republicans have decided to not vote on their latest ObamaCare repeal legislation, signaling a collapse in their last-ditch effort to kill off President Obama's signature law.

"We don't have the votes so it's probably best we don't do the vote," said Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesMoore endorsements disappear from campaign website Alabama GOP chair warns party officials against write-in campaign GOP retreat from Moore intensifies MORE (R-Mont.) after the GOP conference met at its regular weekly luncheon. "We've lost this battle, but we're going to win the war."

The last-ditch bill sponsored by Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyTrump met Senate Republicans on ObamaCare fix Senate GOP tax bill will include repeal of ObamaCare mandate Alabama GOP chair warns party officials against write-in campaign MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock Graham on Moore: 'We are about to give away a seat' key to Trump's agenda Tax plans show Congress putting donors over voters MORE (R-S.C.) would dismantle ObamaCare's insurance subsidy program and Medicaid expansion and convert their funding into block grants to states.

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"We don't have the votes," Cassidy acknowledged after meeting with his colleagues on Tuesday for more than an hour.

"We made the decision since we don't have the votes, we're going to postpone it," he added, expressing disappointment.

Graham said the health care debate will resume after Congress tries to move a tax reform package and expressed confidence his bill will eventually muster 50 votes.

"It's not if, only a matter of when," he said, adding that with more "attention" and "time," the bill could eventually become law.

In the meantime, Graham and Cassidy plan to tour the country to build support.

"We're going to take our show on the road," Graham said.

Graham and Cassidy came a lot closer to success than many would have anticipated just two weeks ago.

In the end, they couldn't convince several of their colleagues, conservatives and centrists alike, to go along with their plan.

Read more here.

 

Chairman ready to resume bipartisan ObamaCare talks

Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderGOP senator: ObamaCare fix could be in funding bill Collins: Pass bipartisan ObamaCare bills before mandate repeal Murkowski: ObamaCare fix not a precondition for tax vote MORE (R-Tenn.) left the door open Tuesday to restarting bipartisan talks on an ObamaCare stabilization bill.

"I'm still concerned about the next two years and Congress has an opportunity to slow down premium increases in 2018, begin to lower them in 2019, and do our best to make sure there are no counties where people have zero options to buy health insurance," Alexander said in a statement late Tuesday afternoon.

Alexander halted negotiations on a stabilization bill after a last-ditch effort to repeal ObamaCare began gaining steam last week.

Read more here.

 

GOP nixes pairing ObamaCare repeal with tax reform

In both the House and Senate, Republican leaders on Tuesday poured cold water on the idea of combining another ObamaCare repeal effort with tax reform in 2018.

Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynGOP senator: ObamaCare fix could be in funding bill Senate GOP running out of options to stop Moore Texas Republicans slam White House over disaster relief request MORE (R-Texas) said he does not support combining tax reform and ObamaCare repeal in a single budget reconciliation measure that would allow the GOP to protect their bill from a Democratic filibuster.

He signaled the widespread GOP fear that adding a health-care debate to the tax bill will only bog down a reform package that is President Trump's new top priority.

Read more on Cornyn's remarks here.

 

In the House, Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) also said he opposes that approach because it could "interfere potentially with tax reform."

He warned he would only support instructions for health care if the issue could be kept in a separate bill, which does not appear to be allowed under the rules.

Read more about Meadows here.

 

Trump rips 'so-called Republicans' over ObamaCare repeal failure

President Trump on Tuesday said he was "disappointed" that some "so-called Republicans" were opposing the Senate's latest effort to repeal ObamaCare.

"We were very disappointed by a couple of senators, Republican senators I must say, we were very disappointed that they would take the attitude that they did," Trump told reporters. "But we are disappointed in certain so-called Republicans."

Read more here.

 

House to vote on 20-week abortion ban

The House plans to vote next week on a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced Tuesday that the House would vote on the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," on Oct. 3.

The bill last passed the House in 2015 but was blocked by Senate Democrats.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksConservatives fear end-of-year ‘Christmas tree’ spending bill Adoption tax credit restored after conservative backlash The Hill's Whip List: Where Republicans stand on tax-reform bill MORE (R-Ariz.), would make it a crime to perform or attempt an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with the possibility of a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.

Read more here

 

Florida lawmaker warned officials before retirement home tragedy

A day before eight residents from the same Florida nursing home died, Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica WilsonSheriff's deputy reassigned after dressing as Frederica Wilson in blackface: report Dem rep renews feud with John Kelly: He 'owes the nation an apology' Overnight Defense: Trump wraps up Asia trip | Friends say WH chief of staff is no politician | Army lifts ban on mental health waivers | Four injured in Taliban bombing MORE (D-Fla.) joined other state and federal officials on a Hurricane Irma recovery conference call and warned the situation could quickly turn deadly if power was not restored to local senior facilities.

The Florida Democrat's phone had been ringing nonstop since Hurricane Irma knocked out power to much of South Florida on Sept. 10. Wilson has 100 long-term care facilities in her Miami-area district, and many were begging her to help get the power -- and the air conditioning -- back on.

Wilson's account of the call suggests that officials at all levels of government -- including FEMA, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) office and members of Congress -- were all made aware of the dangerous and deteriorating conditions at local nursing homes at least 12 hours before the first resident died at the sweltering Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

Read more here.

 

What we're reading

Failure of ACA repeal brings 'momentary relief' for hospitals and insurers (The Wall Street Journal)

The Republican senators who have opposed the many bills to repeal ObamaCare (The New York Times)

Big questions and big rate hikes persist ahead of final exchange rate-filing deadline (Modern Healthcare)

 

State by state

Will Arizona's off-label drug law spur changes elsewhere? (Stateline)

Nursing home deaths: Owner's hospital was paid $23.2 million for state prisoner health (Naples Daily News)

State health benefit scam bust racks up 2 more guilty pleas (NJ.com)