Mitch McConnell, the US Senate majority leader postponed a vote on the unpopular and cruel Senate health-care bill that was to bring about reforms on Tuesday afternoon. This was a huge deal just like the former vice-president Joe Biden would have described it. A majority of people were worried when the news of the vote being postponed reached them. Everyone was wondering whether McConnell was trying to derail the moving and inspiring backlash that the bill had managed to provoke over the past week or in the recent past. There are a few that wondered whether the extra time would allow the wily and corrupt leader enough time to entice his group. A few others wondered whether he would spread around the approximately $3 billion that the bill would save when compared to the one in the house.
Will McConnell manage to bring all the skeptical GOP senators on board? This is the question on everyone’s mind at the moment wondering whether McConnell will be able to buy these senators who are deeply concerned about the huge cuts that the bill will bring to Medicaid as well as opioid treatment. These include Susan Collins from Maine, Shelly Moore Capita from West Virginia and Rob Portman from Ohio. At the same time, a number of dark-money forces on the right-wing have started spreading their cash. A good example is the kind of intimidation been meted out on Dean Heller, the Nevada Senator who is seen as the most vulnerable among incumbents in 2018. These forces are continuing with an ad onslaught that has already started.
Truth be told, it was the zealous grassroots activism that left McConnell with no option but to pull this bill and the same will eventually trounce it once and for all if the fire keeps burning. When activists won the first bill in the house, there was a lot of jubilation but it was short lived in the Donald Trump age. Paul Ryan, the house speaker, worked his way round and revived the bill, making it even crueler in the process. A huge number of people fell for the revived bill as it had an additional appropriation that it would recreate some “pools” for people with some pre-existing conditions. Faux-centrists fell for this despite the minimal chances it had to work. The progressives almost lost on this bill too as some Democratic strategists and pundits had already given up even before the real war began. McConnell is equally not a fool and could have postponed this vote in order to get a chance to create a number of cosmetic improvements.
Most Democrats were worried about the red-state senators like Joe Tester (Montana), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) and Joe Manchin (West Virginia), who were susceptible to GOP appeals in an ACA revamp. Al these three senators were staunch supporters just like the progressives. The GOP troubles also forced some moderates like Collins and Murkowski to court the Democrats. The duo stated that they were ready to work on bipartisan enhancements especially on the ACA. According to Senator Chuck Schumer, the Republicans will not have their way until they drop the demands for Medicaid decimation and huge tax cuts for the wealthy Americans.
Senator Bernie Sanders welcomed the Republicans to cross the floor and join them in the expansion of Medicare to include persons who have attained 55 years. As much as they will not join Sanders, at least somebody put the idea on the table and reasonable proposals that should not be rejected by the GOP. Progressives cannot afford to be complacent at all as a host of activities are lined up for the coming days.