Hewitt: GOP should 'go for a big deal with Democrats' on healthcare
© Getty Images

Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt says Republicans should "go for a big deal with Democrats" after the collapse of their ObamaCare repeal-and-replace plan in the Senate.

Hewitt argued in a Washington Post op-ed on Tuesday that Republicans "could decide to pivot from health care to racking up small victories and awaiting reinforcements from the 2018 elections. Or they could go for a big deal with Democrats."

"It’s a tough choice for [Speaker Paul] Ryan [R-Wis.] and [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell [R-Ky.], but I’m hoping they opt for the latter," he wrote.

The conservative commentator noted that "Democrats will have their list" of demands, while "Devolution of authority over Medicaid to the states, and repeal of the insurance mandate and absurd taxes such as the medical device tax, are the GOP must-haves."


Hewitt argued that the odds of Republicans and Democrats reaching a deal increase if they focus on issues such as immigration reform and removing the sequester’s limits on defense spending, as well as judicial confirmations.

“[T]he more moving parts, the better the chances of success. McConnell, Ryan and Democratic leaders Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) could get together with a half-dozen of the smartest members from both parties to work on an expedited basis and go big,” he said.

The comments from Hewitt, who has been highly critical of the GOP-led Congress after the bill's failure, come as congressional Republicans deal with the aftermath of their failed repeal-and-replace legislation.

The senate Republican healthcare legislation was dealt a fatal blow on Monday when GOP Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Bernie Sanders: US should pull out of war in Yemen if Saudis killed journalist Senators warn Trump that Saudi relationship is on the line MORE (Utah) and Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranSenate Republicans demand Google hand over memo advising it to hide data vulnerability Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Missing journalist strains US-Saudi ties | Senators push Trump to open investigation | Trump speaks with Saudi officials | New questions over support for Saudi coalition in Yemen Senators demand answers on Trump administration backing of Saudi coalition in Yemen MORE (Kan.) said they would not support the bill.

McConnell said his party would attempt to move forward with a plan to simply repeal ObamaCare next week, despite apparently lacking the votes to pass such a measure.

President Trump is hosting GOP senators at the White House on Wednesday to plot a plan forward. He said Tuesday “we’re probably in that position where we’ll let ObamaCare fail.”

Hewitt said this approach with hold political consequences for Republicans, as well as health-related consequences for the American people.

“A ‘watch it fail’ approach to Obamacare, when the crisis is real and the consequences for poor children are so enormous, is not just bad politics; it is also immoral,” he wrote.