McConnell Says Senate Republicans Might Revisit Obamacare Repeal

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Republicans could try again to repeal Obamacare if they win enough seats in U.S. elections next month, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday, calling a failed 2017 push to repeal the healthcare law a “disappointment.”

In a forecast of 2019 policy goals tempered by uncertainty about who will win the congressional elections, McConnell also blamed costly social programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, for the fast-rising national debt.

On Nov. 6, Americans will vote for candidates for the Senate and the House of Representatives.

McConnell’s Republicans now hold majority control of both chambers. Democrats will try to wrest control in races for all 435 House seats and one-third of the 100 Senate seats.

Despite their dominance of Congress and the White House, Republicans dramatically failed last year to overturn former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, known as Obamacare. McConnell called it “the one disappointment of this Congress from a Republican point of view.”

He said, “If we had the votes to completely start over, we’d do it. But that depends on what happens in a couple weeks… We’re not satisfied with the way Obamacare is working.”

President Donald Trump also favors ending Obamacare, which Republicans criticized as a costly and unneeded intrusion on Americans’ healthcare. About 20 million Americans have received health insurance coverage through the program, a landmark legislative achievement for Obama and Democrats.

On social programs, McConnell said in an interview with Reuters: “Entitlements are the long-term drivers of the debt.”

Social programs that help the poor, the aged, the unemployed, veterans and the disabled are often referred to as “entitlements” in Washington. These also include Medicaid.

“We all know that there will be no solution to that, short of some kind of bipartisan grand bargain that makes the very, very popular entitlement programs be in a position to be sustained. That hasn’t happened since the ’80s,” he added.

“But at some point we will have to sit down on a bipartisan basis and address the long-term drivers of the debt.”

The Treasury Department this week reported a 2018 budget deficit of $779 billion, the highest since 2012.

The report cited higher military spending as a reason for the increase and showed government revenues were flat after deep tax cuts pushed through late last year by Republicans, despite a growing economy and rising spending levels.

McConnell said Republicans would take a hard look at funding for discretionary domestic programs next year, saying he reluctantly agreed to increased discretionary spending this year to get Democrats to accept more military spending.

“We had to negotiate with the Democrats and spend more on the domestic side than I would have preferred,” McConnell said.

“We’ll have to sit down again and decide what we’re going to do with our annual discretionary spending after the first of the year and see what kind of agreements we can reach.”

Trump on Wednesday asked his cabinet for proposals to cut their budgets by five percent.

(Reporting by David Morgan. Additional reporting by David Shepardson, Richard Cowan, Amanda Becker, Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Alistair Bell)

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Tery Gohsman
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Tery Gohsman

Is this going to be before or after they decimate social security and medicare?

1ntrepid
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1ntrepid

“It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem” McConnell So after cutting government revenues unnecessarily, he turns around and says we have to cut spending because of Social Security and Medicare/Ade? That’s not responsible governing. He said it – he IS coming for your SS after the mid-terms. What are… Read more »

WhyNot
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WhyNot

You are unsatisfied with ObamaCare period and always have been because it was initiated by an African-American president who was trying to help Americans who are not your rich donors! You have already crippled it and gotten rid of the individual mandate, so what s your problem now? ObamaCare is… Read more »

1ntrepid
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1ntrepid

Keep in mind that McConnell has absolutely no interest in protecting YOU!

He famously said, “I don’t do policy, I do politics”.

He is just politicing.

Otisamsonite
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Otisamsonite

Congress is guilty across the board when it comes to mis-spending the taxpayers hard-earned money.
What is the answer? Socialism? Then we all go down the tubes.

Screwtape
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Screwtape

No. In any socialist regime the “elite” always remain on top. q.v. Orwell’s “some animals are more equal than others”. e Does any sane person believe for a moment that Bernie, Feinstein, Pelosi, etc. will give a penny of their own wealth to support the programs they endorse? Hell no.… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Dummy Otis will suck the rich C*ck to the very end. He’s no quitter.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

No, Sorry Mitch….you silly little bitch. The deficit is being driven upward by those tax cuts to the rich co*ksuckers and the increased spending by the orange clown in Chief. This guys a piece of sh*t. Always blaming the poor, the elderly and veterans for their spending blunders. That’s the… Read more »

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