Now that the Senate Republicans are nearing consensus on a health care bill to repeal and replace Obamacare — a great achievement — the Democrats are threatening to slow down the Senate using every procedural device known to man. They want to torpedo plans to pass the replacement bill before the July 4 recess in the hopes that constituent pressure during the holiday might influence some Republicans to vote no.
President Donald Trump should call their bluff:
He and Mitch McConnell should announce that if the replacement bill does not come up for a vote before July 4, they will stay in session as long as it takes to get to a vote. Freeing America from the crippling Obamacare legislation is far more important than firecrackers, speeches and hot dogs.
Trump should set a date by which he will terminate subsidies to health insurers if the new bill is not passed. The Democrats are howling that he is holding Americans hostage by stopping the payments, because few insurers can continue without them. They have a point. But if the freeze in payments is triggered by Democratic delays — rather than a presidential threat — it will be easier to live with.
In the meantime, Republicans coast to coast must call their GOP senators to stiffen their backbones and demand passage of the replacement bill. There is no demand more central to the Republican message in the past four national campaigns than the repeal of Obamacare.
If we fail to honor that promise, made and repeated millions of times, we will lose all credibility with our votes.
Now is the time to stand up and vote yes.