Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is set to introduce an amendment to the budget Thursday to protect health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
Though the budget is a nonbinding document, the move comes as Republican senators seek to regain their footing after being caught off guard by the Trump administration’s renewed push to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) first announced Monday that it was siding with a district court ruling that found the whole Affordable Care Act unconstitutional after previously arguing only the law's pre-existing condition protections should be struck down. The surprise decision comes after Democrats around the country centered their campaigns on health care, helping usher in a 40-seat wave in the House.
“I don’t think there was any heads-up on anything that he was going to say,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyAnother voice of reason retires Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter McConnell: GOP should focus on future, not 'rehash' 2020 MORE (R-Iowa), whose panel has jurisdiction over health care, said.
“It doesn’t seem to make sense politically,” another Republican senator told The Hill.
Democrats have already pounced on the DOJ’s announcement ahead of the 2020 election cycle.
“I, frankly, do not understand why Republicans seem to have such a hatred toward providing health care to the American people,” Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders on Medicare expansion in spending package: 'Its not coming out' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden must keep progressive promises or risk losing midterms Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Study finds Pfizer vaccine almost 91 percent effective for 5 to 11 year olds MORE (I-Vt.), the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee and a top-tier 2020 presidential candidate, said.
Senate Republicans in the last congressional session tried and failed three times to pass varying ObamaCare repeal plans despite having a majority in the upper chamber. Multiple media outlets reported that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyCheney reveals GOP's Banks claimed he was Jan. 6 panel's ranking member House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress GOP memo urges lawmakers to blame White House 'grinches' for Christmas delays MORE (R-Calif.) called on President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE to drop his effort to repeal the entire law.
“If you look at past history, we don’t really know how to do it,” a Republican senator told The Hill, referring to broad health care legislation.
However, Trump appears determined to dismantle Obama’s signature legislation, vowing Tuesday that “The Republican Party will become ‘The Party of Healthcare!’”
The Republican Party will become “The Party of Healthcare!”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2019