If Republican efforts at health care reform fail this time, moderate Republicans of the Tuesday Group will bear the blame.
This will no doubt come as a surprise to many, in large part because the blame for the failure in March was laid solely at the doorstep of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. The mainstream media, never missing a chance to disparage conservatives, ran with that narrative and, sadly, some conservatives were all too eager to buy into it.
Twenty-two “no” votes were needed to sink the American Health Care Act (a.k.a. RINOcare); 15 came from the House Freedom Caucus, while 10 came from the Tuesday Group.
In recent weeks Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), chairman of the Freedom Caucus, and Tom MacArthur (R-New Jersey), co-chairman of the Tuesday Group, have been negotiating on RINOcare and produced a compromise that most members of the Freedom Caucus will support. While it doesn’t go far enough, it is definitely a step in the right direction for health insurance markets and the American people.
Here’s what’s most telling about those articles. From The Hill:
During a recent closed-door meeting, Tuesday Group lawmakers warned MacArthur not to negotiate with Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) amid an impasse over the health bill; they were worried moderates would be blamed if a deal brought conservative holdouts on board the bill.
So moderates are more concerned that the Freedom Caucus continues to get the blame than they are about negotiating a bill that can pass. On occasion the “RINO” moniker is unfairly applied to moderate Republicans. More often than not, though, it is well deserved, and this is definitely one of those times.
Moderates in recent days have cornered MacArthur, a leader of the centrist Tuesday Group, on the House floor or in hallways to air their gripes. “You are going to make us lose the majority,” one said, according to MacArthur.
Members of the Tuesday Group worry about losing their seats because they believe the new bill does not protect those with pre-existing conditions. They would prefer that insurers be forced to take those with pre-existing conditions without being able to charge them higher premiums. That would destroy insurance markets even faster than Obamacare, something which would almost surely lead to GOP loss of the House. As I’ve noted before, RINOs don’t understand how insurance markets work.
Moderate House members’ opposition could prove futile though. Republicans will likely vote on the new bill today, as leadership believes it has the votes. However, look for RINOs like Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) to try to tank it in the Senate.
Conservatives in the House negotiated and agreed to a compromise. Can’t blame them anymore.
Crossposted at Bombthrowers.