Senate health care bill: The five forces killing Trumpcare
This is Mic’s daily read on Donald Trump’s America. Welcome to the political newsletter that wishes John McCain a speedy recovery.
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What we’re watching
Today: Republicans will not vote on health care this week.
More: The CBO score will not be released Monday.
Even more: The president kicks off “Made in America” week.
Yes, more: Trump’s overall poll numbers are dropping. Republicans are still with him.
Trump’s agenda today: Lunching with the vice president. Meeting with the secretary of state. Hosting the Made in America showcase.
The five forms of opposition faced by the health care bill
With Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the hospital, a vote on the Senate health care bill has been delayed. McCain’s unexpected craniotomy to remove a blood clot from above his left eye leaves Republicans a vote short on the health care vote.
On Sunday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, promised a vote as soon as McCain returns. His office said his recovery will be a week, though experts told the New York Times it could be two weeks or longer. Two of the 52 Republican senators have already said they will not vote to bring the bill up for debate — meaning every other GOP senator must vote “yes.”
So over the next week or more, the opposition’s goal will be to convince one more Republican senator to publicly state his or her intention to vote “no.”
Here are the five forces that could kill the bill:
Republican senators: Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) remain the two Republicans publicly opposed to the Senate health care bill. The Maine moderate said “eight to 10” fellow Republicans have serious concerns about the proposal.
Governors: At a National Governors Association meeting over the weekend, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, attracted particular attention because of his opposition to the Senate bill and influence over Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) — a Republican who was among the first to oppose the first draft of the Senate bill. GOP governors from states like Arizona, Arkansas and Ohio, which expanded Medicaid, expressed similar skepticism.
Insurers: “Simply unworkable.” That’s how two top health insurance groups described the new health care plan on Friday in a letter to Senate leaders Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) They said the amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that would let insurers offer bare-bones coverage would lead to sick people losing insurance and paying more. A host of other medical groups remain opposed to the bill.
Democrats: Democratic senators are continuing to ask Americans to tweet, call, mail, show up or otherwise tell Republican senators to oppose the bill. They hope unrelenting pressure will make Republican support collapse.
Protesters: Sit-ins are planned on Capitol Hill this week, starting Monday, to continue high-profile pressure on Republicans to oppose the health care bill. Those protests are the latest in a string of sit-ins and other actions aimed at killing the bill.
Another factor, the Congressional Budget Office: The CBO score on the latest GOP bill will not be released on Monday, as previously expected. Politico reports it could come Tuesday.
Today’s question: What’s the bigger story out of the latest polling: That Trump’s approval rating has dropped or a majority of Americans do not believe Democrats have a message? Email your thoughts to email@example.com.
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“Made in America” campaign at the White House
The Trump administration is launching “Made in America” week to discuss trade and manufacturing. The White House will showcase products made in the United States. Trump will also give speeches in Midwestern states about how tax and trade reform ideas.
When asked whether Ivanka Trump’s products will now be made in America, a White House spokesperson told reporters, “We’ll get back to you on that.”
News and insight you cannot miss:
Trump now has the lowest six-month approval rating of any president going back 70 years in polling. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds only 36% of Americans approve of the president. The poll also found a majority of Americans believe the Democratic Party stands “just against Trump,” not “for something.”
“Being not-Trump is not nearly enough”: The Democrats’ largest donor in 2016 is attacking the party’s current strategy.
The president is looking for ways to challenge Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a vulnerable Republican in 2018.