McConnell Signals a Shift in Fight to Kill ObamaCare

He talks about shoring it up instead of replacing it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2017 7:05 AM CDT
McConnell: We May Have to Fix ObamaCare, Not Kill It
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The holiday break doesn't seem to be helping Mitch McConnell's effort to get enough conservatives and moderates on board to pass the GOP's ObamaCare alternative. At a town hall in Kentucky, he likened the task to trying to twist a Rubik's cube in just the right way, reports NBC News. He also made what the Washington Post sees as a significant concession by saying that Republicans would have to consider shoring up parts of the Affordable Care Act if they fail to pass a replacement plan of their own. “No action is not an alternative," he said. "We’ve got the insurance markets imploding all over the country, including in this state.”

A McConnell spokesperson downplayed the significance, saying McConnell had warned fellow Republicans last week that they'd have to negotiate with Democrats if their bill fails. But the Post says the majority leader has never before explicitly talked about fixing ObamaCare, a concept at odds with his own promise to dismantle it "root and branch" and with his party's contention that it can't be repaired. The AP also sees his remarks as one of his most explicit acknowledgements to date that the Republican bill might not pass. The Senate returns to work Monday, but no vote on the measure is expected until the week of July 17. (A Ted Cruz amendment continues to draw interest as a compromise.)

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