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Trump can’t get his way on health care

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US President Donald Trump can’t seem to win a trick when it comes to replacing his predecessor’s universal healthcare system.

His promised repeal of Obamacare is dead in Congress for now after the Senate refused to cooperate with the President.

His own Republicans could not muster enough votes to kick out the healthcare system put in place by President Barack Obama.

They lost the on the floor by one vote – their own Senator John McCain casting his vote against them.

Republicans (and in particular President Trump) were hoping the Arizona Senator would be the saviour of the repeal bill, but instead he joined with two others GOP senators to vote no. If McCain had voted with his party, the repeal bill would have passed.

But his move killed it.

And according to reports coming out of Washington, Senate Republicans have no plans to revive attempts to repeal Obamacare.

Senator McCain is now being treated for an aggressive brain tumour, taking him out of action in the Senate.

But the 50th Senate vote Trump needs to pass his bill still seems out of reach.

The President’s frustration is evident in his continued erratic tweeting – calling his own GOP senators “fools” and “total quitters” if they totally abandon his healthcare plan.

But the Republicans appear unmoved, with a growing number openly saying it is time to move on.

“Until somebody shows us a way to get that elusive 50th vote, I think it’s over,” South Dakota Senator John Thune is reported to have said.

“Maybe lightning will strike and something will come together but I’m not holding my breath.”

Senator Roy Blunt, a member of the GOP leadership team, has openly said the party should only revisit health care once it can “put some wins on the board” in other areas.

“Tax reform, infrastructure are the kinds of things we ought to be looking at,” he said.

The phrase “move on” is being increasingly bandied around by the Republicans.

But President Trump seems less inclined to give up on his major campaign promise.

The White House appears ready to take other moves to gut the existing healthcare laws.

Trump has used Twitter to suggest he might follow through on his threat to end subsidies to health insurers – effectively throwing the insurance market into chaos.

“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” he Tweeted on July 30.

Denying the cost-sharing subsidies has been under consideration for some time, and has been referred to as “Trump’s nuclear option” that could see insurers lose billions of dollars – potentially sending America’s whole healthcare system into further decline.

But as the Trump administration continues its frantic downward spiral, many around it are suggesting a “nuclear option” might the frustrated President’s way to address a number of controversial issues.

CHRIS JOHNSON

 

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