Charisma Caucus

The GOP Senate Is a Bizarre World

Senate Floor
(Video screenshot image)

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Senate voted to take up debate on repealing and replacing Obamacare—the vote was 51 to 50, with two Republican Senators—Maine's Susan Collins and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski—opposing the motion.

The vote was saved by the return of Senator John McCain, sidelined by surgery that revealed brain cancer, and a tie-breaking vote cast by Vice President Mike Pence.

Keep in mind this wasn't a vote on a bill, this was a vote to agree to talk about a bill.

That Collins would oppose the motion was no surprise as she had voted against the bill that is likely to be brought up when it first came before the Senate back in 2015.

Murkowski—who backed the Senate bill repealing Obamacare in 2015 that was vetoed by then-President Barack Obama—flip-flopped and said, according to Fox News, that the Senate should "take a step back and engage in a bipartisan process to address the failures of [ObamaCare] and stabilize the individual markets."

This is code for "don't cut my state's Medicaid expansion money," because every objective observer we know of has said that the individual markets are in a death spiral due to Obamacare's uneconomic mandates and actuarially flawed business model.

In a bizarre foreshadowing of the "don't cut my Medicaid" argument, The Washington Post reported that former Speaker of the House John Boehner told a business gathering last week that Republicans are "not going to repeal and replace Obamacare" because "the American people have gotten accustomed to it."

"Here we are, seven months into this year, and yet they've not passed this bill. Now, they're never—they're not going to repeal and replace Obamacare," Boehner told a private crowd in Las Vegas, according to video footage obtained by The Washington Post. "It's been around too long. And the American people have gotten accustomed to it. Governors have gotten accustomed to this Medicaid expansion, and so trying to pull it back is really not going to work."

However, Medicaid itself is also in what might as well be termed a "death spiral", with 74,059,221 people now enrolled in Medicaid due to its expansion, to the point that, in the District of Columbia, it is covering people at 221 percent of the federal poverty level.

Total Medicaid outlays in Federal fiscal year 2015 amounted to $553.8 billion and increased by 11.6 percent between 2014 and 2015. This was the fastest growth in more than a decade, due primarily to the Medicaid eligibility expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Federal Medicaid outlays in 2015 were $349.8 billion and grew 16 percent over the previous year, in large part due to the Medicaid eligibility expansion. Federal outlays represented 63 percent of total spending on the program. State and local governments' outlays were $204 billion, which constituted 37 percent of total program costs.

It is safe to say that any federal program growing at 16 percent a year, when the deficit continues to mount despite record tax collections, is unsustainable—or is at least unsustainable to taxpayers.

But the idea that two Republican Senators should hold up the repeal and replacement of Obamacare over funding for an unsustainable program that serves 137,596 people in Alaska and 269,510 people in Maine isn't the most bizarre aspect of this process.

The most bizarre thing is that perpetual maverick Senator John McCain said one of the most sensible things about the Obamacare repeal uttered on the Senate Floor during the debate about whether to debate: "Let's return to regular order."

A big part of the problem with the Obamacare repeal process in both the House and the Senate is that the bills have been written behind closed doors by the two smartest guys in the world: Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

And then the two smartest guys in the world have presented the bills to the Republican majorities on a take it or leave it basis.

To their great surprise a lot of Republicans chose to leave it.

We'd like to see the 2015 repeal bill pass the Senate so that it can go to conference with the House, but if it doesn't, then we're going to have to allow that, for once, Senator John McCain is right. The Republican leadership is going to have to stop acting like the smartest guys in the world and let the Republican Majorities in the House and the Senate do what we elected them to do: craft legislation.

This article was originally published at Used with permission.

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective