A chorus of experts, actuaries, independent analysts, governors, and voters are all lined up against both of the health care bills the Senate might vote on. They say the bills would lead to millions of people losing coverage, make it harder for the poor and the sick to get coverage at all, and raise deductibles and maybe premiums. Voters say they don't want it. And yet Senate Republicans are plowing ahead.
Behind the scenes: Aides are frustrated, and candidly skeptical that a deal is achievable at this point. One senior GOP aide referred to the repeal-and-replace bill — as well as a straight-repeal bill the caucus is now also considering — as "corpsicles." Another aide said, "It's a terrible idea to make people vote for the 2015 [repeal] bill" and that last night's attempt to revive the replacement bill was a "death rattle."
"They can't accept they've been promising something that is undeliverable and a bad idea for seven years," one well-connected former GOP aide told Axios' Caitlin Owens.
Bottom line: Congressional Republicans aren't listening. They're ignoring health care experts, industry groups, governors from both parties, and voters. They seem to have decided passing something — anything — is better than failure. The irony is that if they succeed, and everyone else was right about the effects of this bill, they'll own the disastrous consequences.
"Governors, industry, and policy experts are not really the right experts for the problem at hand. This is no longer about salvaging what is left of the individual market. This about salvaging what's left of the Republican Congress," one health care lobbyist said.