Democrats, who didn’t address DACA or other immigration issues when they had the presidency and congressional supermajorities in 2009-10, will have to make concessions to get the issue on the congressional calendar and to produce a version that won’t prompt a presidential veto.
One lesson that President Trump should have learned by now is that he needs more than 50 Republicans in the Senate to get 50 votes on his priorities. He needs to build his majority, not reduce it.
The moments after failure are a good time for Congress to focus on improving its own institutions. Ensuring rigorous, replicable policy analysis is a smart place to start.
Far from throwing in the towel, as some have reported, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is actually throwing a final Hail Mary pass in an effort to pass the Senate Republicans’ Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).
The main reason Republicans haven’t accomplished much is that they haven’t figured out what they want to do.
President Trump’s lengthy meeting with Vladimir Putin interestingly did not have a National Security Adviser or a note taker in attendance. Trump stressed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and involvement in Syria. Russia and the United States have incredibly different foreign policy agendas in the country, making compromise difficult. Domestically, it seems to be unlikely that health care reform in the Senate will occur without cooperation between political parties.
Instead of increasing the share of Medicaid costs that the federal government picks up, it would make more sense to direct any additional federal resources to help people with low incomes get private insurance by providing those who need it with larger tax credits, or with money toward their deductibles.
The Congressional Budget Office is exaggerating the effects of the Republican legislation on Medicaid enrollment, it’s worth putting Medicaid on a firmer footing, and any additional resources for health insurance for low earners should be directed toward enabling them to buy private coverage rather than pumped into Medicaid.
Moderate Republicans pushed for keeping Obamacare’s popular preexisting conditions provision and scrapping its unpopular individual mandate—even though this combination does not make sense. It would be irresponsible to pass the Senate bill without finding some way to fix this problem.