February 12, 2017

THE BENEFITS OF HAVING GOVERNED:

The stealth Republican force behind Obamacare repeal (BURGESS EVERETT and JENNIFER HABERKORN, Feb. 11th, 2017, Politico)

The folksy Tennessee senator is quietly prevailing upon Republican lawmakers to take a deep breath when it comes to rewriting the health care law that controls a sixth of the American economy. His goal, in a nutshell: to reassure millions of Americans that Republicans aren't trying to snatch away their health insurance. [...]

A former governor and two-time presidential candidate, Alexander stalks the halls of the Capitol with a small card filled with bullet points about the health care law, pressing it into the hands of Republicans to alert them to the scope of the problems with the nation's insurance coverage. Just as he ran for governor by walking across the state in his trademark black-and-red checked flannel shirt, Alexander's goal is to buttonhole enough GOP lawmakers until the whole party is on the same page.

It hasn't been easy. Daily Senate Republican lunches regularly erupt in disagreement over strategy; it's now mid-February without a clear path forward, after years of Republican show votes to repeal the law.

Which is fine by Alexander. Republicans came back to Washington in January ready to repeal Obamacare before Inauguration Day. The chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee was one of the first lawmakers to call on Republicans not to scrap Obamacare until a replacement is ready to go.

That's now the GOP's mantra.

"What I'm trying to do is to make sure that we think carefully," Alexander said. "We're moving from a position -- repeal and replace -- to governing. It's a little more complicated."

Posted by at February 12, 2017 7:08 PM

  

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