OPINION | Latest McConnell healthcare plan is political suicide
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Top GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Criminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot MORE (R-Ky.) has spent 2017 leading Senate Republicans further into the most treacherous waters of American politics.

Now, with McConnell's latest repeal and replace ObamaCare plan lying dead and buried in the graveyard of horrendous ideas, he asks Senate Republicans to join hands and jump off the cliff together, supporting a plan to repeal ObamaCare now and replace it later.

The latest McConnell plan is the longest political suicide note in American history.

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It will create havoc throughout the businesses of insurers and healthcare providers. It will create uncertainty and confusion that makes business planning impossible throughout the healthcare sector, harming firms that sell insurance and companies that provide it to workers.

 

McConnell's plan to repeal now and replace later will create fear and anger among every citizen who buys insurance on current exchanges, private markets or through employers. If this latest McConnell plan is passed by the Senate, Republican members who desperately avoided public meetings with constituents during the July 4 recess will now be besieged by angry constituents.

The latest McConnell plan violates every cardinal rule of writing sound legislation, engaging in business and consumer planning and publicly trading stocks and bonds of companies throughout the healthcare and insurance businesses.

It is legislative malpractice for Republican leaders to try to pass legislation as important as healthcare as though Congress is a one-party Republican state, drafting legislation in secret without public hearings, consulting only a handful of insider Republicans and then springing disastrous legislative surprises with short notice votes designed to meet artificial deadlines based on political motives.

Poll after poll, month after month, demonstrates the huge levels of public opposition to these various GOP healthcare schemes. Poll after poll, month after month demonstrates the unprecedented public disapproval of Trump as president and the Republican Congress.

It is political suicide for Senate Republicans to pass a hugely unpopular bill, in support of a hugely unpopular president, through a hugely unpopular GOP Congress, with the red hot politics of the president engulfed in a Russian scandal and a GOP Congress that has not passed one single major bill of Trump's platform since his inauguration in January 2017.

It is political suicide for Republicans to attack vulnerable Republicans running for reelection in 2018, which is what happened in the cases of Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden eyeing Cindy McCain for UK ambassador position: report Profiles in cowardice: Trump's Senate enablers McSally concedes Arizona Senate race MORE (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R-Nev.) and will happen to other GOP candidates in the self-destructive panic of the Republican party in the summer of 2017.

The ill-fated amendment by Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration proceeds with rollback of bird protections despite objections | Trump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians | EU 2019 greenhouse gas emissions down 24 percent Trump's NATO ambassador pledges 'seamless' transition to Biden administration MORE (R-Texas) to the last version of McConnellCare not only failed in the Senate, but gave a huge lift to the hopes of Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), who will be a strong Democratic challenger to Cruz in the 2018 midterms.

I predict that soon other Senate Republicans will agree with me that passing this McConnell repeal would be political suicide for the GOP, and will send this plan to its political grave alongside the growing list of disastrously failed Republican healthcare schemes.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), then-chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. in international financial law from the London School of Economics.


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