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I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

Political Editors / Sep. 27, 2017

GOP Saddles Itself With ObamaCare

Senate Republicans’ failure to repeal ObamaCare means they will now have to deal with funding it.

With support for the Graham-Cassidy ObamaCare overhaul effort eroding, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was forced to cancel this week’s planned vote. This now marks the third straight failure for Senate Republicans in their attempt at repealing — or really doing anything with — ObamaCare. But this news come as no surprise since the writing was on the wall after Sen. John McCain announced that he would vote against the bill. Sen. Susan Collins was the one who pulled the plug.

Of course this doesn’t end the cascading problem that is ObamaCare, and Democrats know it. They vigorously pushed to save the disastrous “Affordable” Care Act and are now pushing Republicans to join them in “fixing it.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently said, “Instead of trying to cut health care, we Democrats are ready, willing and eager to work to improve our health care system.”

Getting a majority of Republicans on board a Democrat “fix it” plan will be a tall order since Republicans know that the law is flawed beyond repair. As Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) stated, “I think there are a number of [Republicans who] are going to be very hesitant to try and put more money into a system that they are convinced is going south.”

But for Republicans, ObamaCare will remain a thorn in their side. Up next on the agenda is tax reform, which now will have to account for the ballooning cost of the ACA. Republicans had the opportunity to set the budget around a law they created, but now they will be beholden to a law they campaigned on removing. The ugly truth is the GOP is now stuck with ObamaCare — there is no ignoring it and moving on.

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