Moderate, non-psychotic GOP senators want to delay Obamacare repeal

Five moderate Republican senators are pushing to delay the repeal of Obamacare from January 27 to March 3, citing the need for a better any sort of indication at all about what will replace the bill and save the GOP from being responsible for millions of Americans losing their healthcare.

“As President-elect Trump has stated, repeal and replace should take place simultaneously, and this amendment will give the incoming administration more time to outline its priorities,” Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee said in a statement. “By extending the deadline for budget reconciliation instructions until March, Congress and the incoming administration will each have additional time to get the policy right.”

Right now, party leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan want to push through a repeal as quickly as possible and delay figuring out a replacement plan until a later date. But seeing as how the party has had seven years to figure out an alternative and has come up with jack squat, these five senators, and a few other Republican members of congress, don’t seem to have a lot of faith that such a route wouldn’t prove to be a disaster for the party.

Senator Rand Paul, for example, has demanded that any repeal happen concurrently with a replacement, and even claimed that he has the support of the president-elect. While this week’s budget resolution, if passed, would allow a repeal to pass through the Senate with only 50 votes, Republican leaders might not even be able to obtain a simple majority. Only three GOP senators need to vote no for the repeal to fail, and right now, Paul, Senator Lamar Alexander, and Senator Tom Cotton all have publicly said repeal needs to happen only once there’s a replacement plan. Add the five senators who introduced the budget resolution amendment to delay a decision until March, and you’ve got at least eight that could potentially derail the vote.

An Obamacare alternative, however, is not likely to come. Obamacare, after all, was the alternative. It was a compromised bill from the beginning after it dropped single payer and public options. The GOP highlights real problems with the law’s high premiums and deductibles, but any legislation built upon existing healthcare markets, as Obamacare was and any Republican alternative would be, will never be able to escape those issues. If the Republicans are ever able to come up with an ACA replacement, it will likely look largely the same, except it will not have Obama’s name on it.

And if they don’t, they’ll just be the party that took away millions of people’s health insurance.

[Bloomberg | Photo: Getty]