Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republican’s American Healthcare Act was dead on arrival in the Senate. Senate Republicans have been meeting among themselves since May to create their own healthcare legislation, but according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “I don’t know how we get to 50 votes” meaning he can’t cut a deal among Republicans. I know how he can get to 50 votes and avoid cataclysmic healthcare for millions.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer must focus by putting politics and ego aside, he has to seize the moment. Now is the time for him to approach Senator McConnell about a compromise deal that takes repeal of Obamacare of the table. Senator McConnell has also said he would not approach Schumer or Democrats about any deal because of wide disagreement over the issue. Truth be told Senator McConnell doesn’t need Senator Schumer or Democrats to come up legislation Republicans have total control.
Fortunately for Schumer and Democrats Senate Republicans are currently legislatively dysfunctional on healthcare, but there’s no guarantee that the dysfunction will continue. As we saw in the House Republicans finally got it together after the first failed attempt to pass repeal legislation, hence the American Healthcare Act.
Democrats have no political power but have great people power
Senator Schumer must face the Democratic Party reality that they have very little political power. “If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad then Muhammad must go to the mountain”. He has to be prepared to make the first move, while Democrats have no political power they do have people power. Senator McConnell knows Obamacare is popular with the people and its repeal could be toxic to the Republican Senate majority. They both have enough moderates in their Party to come up with more than the 50 votes needed for a compromise deal.
McConnell is not Schumer’s only option. Republican Senator Susan Collins is working on legislation that would allow States to keep the Obamacare exchanges, her co-sponsor is Senator Bill Cassidy another Republican.
Unfortunately Minority Leader Schumer seems obsessed with all things Russia. It’s important that we investigate Russian interference in our election and it’s important that we find out if there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Neither is more important to the well-being of America and Americans than saving and fixing Obamacare.
Chuck Schumer now that your efforts have paid off and we now have an Independent Counsel investigating all things Russia, can you now focus and seize this fleeting moment! You should be on the Senate floor everyday raising hell about fixing Obamacare like you were on Russia, bringing attention and public pressure. Your people power can be more powerful than Republicans political power but you must focus it and yourself in order to achieve victory. Please do so now!
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective into current events. Drop by his blog for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.