From The Washington Post: What it takes to break gridlock.
As a result, many Democrats say, Republicans will keep fighting to repeal ObamaCare, and they have little appetite for a compromise.
“We’re not going to do a deal,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters last week.
“If we can’t come to an agreement, it will be a failure.”
The Republicans have an even more difficult task: they must agree to a deal to prevent a repeat of the political fallout that killed ObamaCare’s health care law in 2015.
And while Democrats have been promising to repeal and replace ObamaCare, they haven’t been able to convince their own party that the replacement should include a replacement plan.
That’s led some to conclude that they should instead wait for a third party to take over.
The idea that Republicans could agree on a replacement by November — or even January — is one of the key stumbling blocks to the GOP’s plans.
The next president could be much more inclined to accept a compromise, analysts say, as he or she has shown more flexibility over the past year in the way that the party has been running its legislative operations.
“I don’t think there’s any reason why we can say we’re going to repeal a law, and then we’re not doing it,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D, W.
Va.), who has emerged as a leading figure in the GOP effort to pass the replacement.
The Republican leadership has been holding back from publicly endorsing the idea of a third-party replacement because it’s unclear whether the party can cobble together the votes needed to win passage of a replacement.
“The Senate will be the only place where you can have a third option, and I don’t know what that third option is,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told a reporter on Tuesday.
“There is not consensus in the Senate, and the only thing that has united the Republican caucus is what we have said publicly and what we’ve done in private.
I don of course know how much of that is going to change.”
That’s also why Republicans are still considering whether they should offer their own health care plan as an alternative.
“What I can say is that we’re working on it, and we are looking at that,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R, Texas) said on Tuesday, adding that the Republicans are “actively pursuing that option.”
Republicans have offered two alternative plans, but none has received the majority support from the party.
Cornyn said that he doesn’t expect to see a replacement until after next year’s elections.
He noted that the Republican-controlled House and Senate have yet to come up with a plan, but that “we’ll continue to pursue that and we’ll see if we can find a way to come to agreement.”
While the White House has not endorsed a third alternative, President Donald Trump has expressed interest in using his power to pass a health care bill in the near future.
“At some point we’re gonna have to take care of the people, and so that’s what I’m focused on,” Trump said in January.
He said in February that he’d like to take the country “into a new era.”
“There’s no doubt that if we’re really going to take on the healthcare issue, we have to do it by the end of January,” he said.
“And if that means we don’t have a bipartisan agreement by the first half of the year, I’m going to work with Democrats on that.”