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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The GOP Meeting This Morning

President Trump is going to Capitol Hill to meet with the House Republicans this morning at their weekly conference.  Depending on the news source you follow, this is either a "last ditch attempt to save" the Obamacare repeal/replacement bill or a "move to button up the last few votes to assure passage" of the bill.  Is the bill in trouble?  I doubt it.  Most House Republicans will agree that doing nothing is not an option, and that is the other choice available if the bill is not passed.  There already is going to be an amendment that will make some important changes to the original draft bill.  The changes will bring premiums down for older Americans and it will get rid of some of the Obamacare taxes this year rather than next year, among other things.

The key to the argument for the Republicans seems to be this:  they promised for many years to get rid of Obamacare if they had power.  If the House Republicans vote against the bill, they will violate that promise.  On the other hand, if the bill passes, the only thing that will be assured is that the Senate will then take up consideration of the bill.  It is clear that the Senate is going to make changes to the basic bill.  That means that after the Senate passes the bill (if it does-- which I assume it will), the bill will go to conference where a final agreement will be made.  Everyone in both houses then gets to vote again.  Those who do not like the final bill can vote no then with the cover of having voted yes the first time. 

The media is in a full frenzy of reporting to try to make the bill look like it has no chance.  Of course, these are the same people who told us that Hillary was inevitable and that she could bring Democrat control of the House and Senate too.  Hopefully, the Republicans in DC understand this.

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