McConnell: Senate Will 'Have A Big Challenge Trying To Pass’ O’Care Repeal

Even if House Republicans are able to achieve an Easter miracle and resurrect their Obamacare repeal bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is warning that things won’t get any easier for the legislation in the Senate.

“In four straight elections, we told the American people we wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare. Obviously thats a lot harder to do than to say and the House has been wrestling with trying to figure out how to craft a replacement that can get enough Republican votes to pass,” McConnell told NewsMax Thursday.

“If the House is able to pass it, we’ll have a big challenge trying to pass it in the Senate as well,” he later added.

The American Health Care Act, which would dismantle some of the Affordable Care Act’s market reforms, eliminate most of its taxes, rework its subsidies and gut Medicaid, was pulled from a floor vote last month due to opposition from the House GOP’s far-right and centrist wings.

Since then, White House officials and rank-and-file members have engaged in discussions to attempt to salvage the legislation, but no potential compromise has been able to bridge the gaps between the dueling intra-party factions so far.

The territory gets perhaps even more complicated in the Senate, where some Republicans have already warned that the bill is dead on arrival. Senators hailing from Medicaid expansion states in particular are skeptical of the bill’s massive cuts to the program.

“It’s tricky because some states expanded and some didn’t…Kentucky expanded. Florida didn’t and how do you treat both of those fairly?” McConnell asked. “It’s a very challenging subject — and so far, regretfully, we’ve not been able to figure out a way forward.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.
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