“Maybe the best outcome is for this to fail in the House so we can move on to tax reform. Which is what we should have done anyway,” said one Republican senator, granted anonymity to make a frank assessment of the party’s political predicament…
“The question is can we as Republicans get the health care bill out of the House and through the Senate? And I’m optimistic,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas).
He and McConnell have not started whipping their caucus yet, but right now it’s ugly. Paul and Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Tom Cotton of Arkansas are “no” votes. Two moderates, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have panned recent versions of the House proposal. That’s not to mention dozens of publicly undecided members, raising concerns about everything from coverage losses to premiums increases in the short term.
The House tweaked some of those provisions just this week to get their members on board. And now some on-the-fence House Republicans say they will vote in favor so as not to derail the entire process.