The implosion of the Senate leadership's Obamacare replacement package, which included a version of the conservative "Consumer Freedom Option" advocated by Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, has made it perfectly clear to conservatives who among GOP Senators wants to free us from the shackles of government control of health care and health insurance and who doesn't.
While Senator Cruz convinced many conservatives to back the McConnell bill because it was "the best outcome possible as measured by lowering premiums to make health insurance more affordable," even that package designed to give something to everyone on the Republican side couldn't get to 50 votes out of 52 Republican Senators.
Midmorning yesterday, President Trump floated (again) the idea of simply repealing Obamacare, and even offered Democrats a seat at the table on the replacement, an idea quickly embraced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and quickly shot down by his fellow Republicans, three of whom declared they wouldn't even vote to open debate on the issue.
McConnell's latest gambit is to bring back the Obamacare repeal and replace bill that passed both the House and the Senate and was vetoed by Obama back in 2015.
This once again brought conservatives out to endorse the strategy, with our friends at the Club for Growth quickly issuing a press release in favor of the 2015 bill:
"Club for Growth applauds Leader McConnell's promise to bring the 2015 Obamacare repeal bill before the Senate," said Club for Growth President David McIntosh. "While the stories have already been written placing a nail in the coffin of repealing Obamacare, Club for Growth is not willing to retreat. Here's to hoping that the third time's the charm.
"While short of perfection—the 2015 legislation leaves several Obamacare regulations in place—it is the best option Republicans currently have to begin to repeal Obamacare. And this should be a slam dunk. After all, Senate Republicans already passed this legislation once.
"What's changed between now and then is that in 2015 Republicans could hide behind President Obama's veto. Well, Obama is no longer president and Senate Republicans got exactly what they wished for: a Republican in the White House who will sign repeal legislation brought to his desk. With the Obama impediment gone, moderate Republicans—most of whom supported the 2015 legislation—will now be forced to reveal their true colors.
"It was easy for moderate Republicans to grandstand and regurgitate fiery political rhetoric when they knew repeal efforts would go nowhere, but now they will have to do something politicians don't often do. And that is keep their promises.
"Because it is vital for the overall goal of eventually repealing all of Obamacare, the Club for Growth is going to key vote in favor of the 2015 repeal bill. The vote will be included in the Club for Growth's 2017 congressional scorecard."
The Club for Growth pretty much nailed it with this statement, but we think conservatives should take what's implicit in the Club's position to its logical conclusion: This is the last chance Capitol Hill's establishment Republicans have to fulfill their promise to repeal Obamacare and get right with the GOP's conservative majority.
Republican voters have finally figured out what we've been talking about for years—the Capitol Hill Republican establishment's strategy of government by "show vote."
Now they've watched this circus for six months and come to realize that there is no excuse for not passing the agenda President Trump and most Republicans in Congress campaigned on.
And with that realization has come recognition of another undeniable truth: The only sure path to repeal Obamacare, reform the tax code, rebuild our economy and build the border wall lies through the Republican Primary Elections.
So far, the battle for the Trump agenda has been conducted on the basis of a polite family disagreement. President Trump and his supporters have negotiated with the nasty establishment Republican children in the family and assumed that politeness (and perhaps some pork barrel-type bribery) would eventually bring them around, but it hasn't happened.
And the reason the family disagreement strategy hasn't worked is because the Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, John Kasich-type "Republicans" aren't, and don't want to be, in the same family with us conservatives.
They don't want to liberate their fellow citizens from the chains of Obamacare and government control of health care and health insurance—they want to keep the power to tell other people what to do firmly in their own hands.
The good news in all of this is that government by show vote is over.
If the Capitol Hill Republican establishment can't pass a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare that they already passed in 2015, then it is time for conservatives to recognize this is no longer a family disagreement, take the gloves off and declare war on those who renege on their 2015 vote.
This article was originally published at ConservativeHQ.com. Used with permission.
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