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ALDA & Associates International, Inc. Newsletter

July/August 2017

What if you threw a party for 52 Republican senators......... An Editorial by David H. Fater

Since the November 2016 election, the Republicans have been in the enviable position of  occupying the White House as well as controlling the Senate and the House of Representatives. For 7 years they have vowed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare).

Despite it taking a lot of tongue gnashing and twisting arms, the House finally passed their version of a repeal and replace bill. Mitch McConnell then decided it was time to throw a party and invited his 51 closest friends and colleagues. The dilemma was that not everyone showed up. So here we sit at almost the end of July with ObamaCare intact and in place and no alternative in sight, even with the knowledge that a Senate passed bill would still have to be modified and voted on by the House so anything passed by the Senate would still be subject to change. So rather than making some progress, the entire healthcare situation is in a state of suspended animation.

Months later, still lacking a majority, maybe the time has come to execute the final, clarifying move. It’s time for Mr. McConnell to make this all about his self-interested members. Up to now, this exercise has been about trying to improve health care and the federal fiscal situation. The House bill isn’t perfect—no bill ever is—but it amounts to the biggest entitlement reform in history. It repeals crushing taxes. It dramatically cuts spending. And it begins the process of stabilizing the individual health-care market and expanding consumer freedom.

None of this is good enough for a handful of senators, so now it’s time to make this exercise all about them. Mr. McConnell should make clear that the overwhelming majority of the Republican Party stands ready to make good on its repeal-and-replace campaign promise—and that it would have done so already were it not for a cynical or egotistical few. It’s time for some very public accountability, something which sometimes happens in Washington.

That rests in Mr. McConnell giving his caucus a drop-dead date to broker a compromise, after which he will proceed to bring up the House bill. And any Republican who votes against moving forward, “a motion to proceed,” will forever be known as the Republican who saved ObamaCare. The Republican who voted to throw billions more taxpayer dollars at failing entitlement programs and collapsing insurance markets. The Republican who abandoned struggling American families. The Republican who voted against a tax cut and spending reductions. The Republican who made Chuck Schumer’s year.

And that’s only a short list of the real-world accountability. That vote might also provide home-state voters a new, eye-opening means to account for the character of their senators. Few things drive conservative voters battier than phony politicians, those who say one thing and do another to avoid hard choices.

Nearly every Senate Republican is on record having voted to repeal ObamaCare—back when they knew that President Obama’s veto made the vote consequence-free. And to be crystal clear, any senator who now votes against simply proceeding to debate is doing so for just one reason: To again avoid consequences, to again avoid accountability.

What the Senate leadership most needs to stress these coming days is that senators who claim they can’t “support” debating a flawed bill are snowing voters. Don’t like the bill? Get it to the floor and offer amendments. But do it in the open. Do it with some accountability!

Maybe, finally under the public glare, Republicans will get their act together. Congress needs to get their act together and work for the American people not the lobbyists and others who try to get their pork in the same place they get their laws.

 

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To explore the continuing impact the Washington mindset  may have on your business or healthcare organization, please contact David H. Fater at dfater@alda-associates.com or Richard M. Cohen at rcohen@alda-associates.com or (877) 845-4657. 

 

 

 

 

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