Fearless Zombie Hunter

So, you remember what I said in the dim, dark, unrecorded past of… well, yesterday actually?

Because I am naturally cautious and have experienced too many Zombie Resurrections I’m not quite ready to declare Trumpcare staked, decapitated with a mouthful of garlic, pumped with a clip of silver bullets, dissolved in a vat of Holy Water, and shot into the surface of the Sun.

Though I certainly hope so.

Yeah, me too.

See, that’s the thing with the undead (and jalapeño burritos also, don’t even ask) they keep coming back on you. You have to kill them again, and again, and again, and again.

And again.

That makes 6 doesn’t it? Because that’s how many bites at the apple the Republicans have had, 3 in the House (third time’s the charm) and now 3 in the Senate. You don’t recall House 2.0 because it lasted about as long as Senate 2.0 (Trumpcare 5.0) which is to say mere hours.

Today we have the big lunch with the unfortunate Dean Heller seated to The Donald’s right so no piece of incinerated cow flesh drowned in ketchup could be unseen no matter how much brain bleach was applied. From it emerges the Turtle/Human Hybrid Mitch saying, “We will definitely have a vote. Next week. On Plan A. Or Plan B. Or maybe some other plan, I’m not sure- we’re negotiating. But there will definitely be a vote on something.”

Now you may think that they are simply trying to baffle you with fresh, steaming, agricultural enhancement product, perhaps even from the poor animal that was so badly abused (look, it’s one thing to eat meat and quite another to cook it so badly) and you may be quite right because it’s very confusing and probably deliberately so.

Trump challenges senators to resurrect Obamacare repeal effort: ‘We’re close’
By David Nakamura, Washington Post
July 19, 2017

Hoping to avoid a humiliating political defeat, President Trump on Wednesday demanded that Republican senators resume their efforts to approve a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, insisting that lawmakers are “very close.”

A day after the GOP strategy to roll back the ACA appeared dead, Trump invited Republican senators to lunch at the White House and challenged them to work out an agreement even if it means remaining in Washington through their summer recess next month. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had previously announced that the recess would be delayed by two weeks.

“People should not leave town unless we have a health insurance plan, unless we give our people great health care,” Trump said at the beginning of the lunch. “We’re close, very close … We have to hammer this out and get it done.”

The president’s effort to resurrect negotiations came a day after he declared that it was time to give up on the contentious process to overturn President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement and “let Obamacare fail.”

With Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), a key vote who has wavered on the GOP’s repeal proposal, sitting to his right, Trump touted what he said were benefits of the plan — including the repeal of the individual mandate, expanded coverage options and getting rid of “burdensome taxes.”

The president appeared to issue a veiled threat that he would campaign against Republicans who stood in his way.

“He wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?” Trump said with a laugh of Heller, who also chuckled. “And I think the people of your state, which I know very well, I think they’re going to appreciate what you hopefully will do.’’

Trump added: “Any senator voting against starting debate is telling the American people you’re fine with Obamacare.” But the current health-care law, approved in 2010, has “failed,” Trump declared. “It’s gone.”

Yet Trump’s remarks were sharply at odds with the comments from Senate GOP leaders over the past day who have said the reality is that there is not enough support for a replacement plan.

The effort by Senate Republicans to undo Obamacare has been fraught with internal divisions and apparent discord between the White House and GOP leaders. With little room for error, McConnell abruptly switched course Monday after several Republicans announced they would block efforts to vote on a replacement bill that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would leave up to 22 million more Americans without health insurance.

Instead, McConnell announced plans the plans to vote early next week on a straight repeal of the law with a two-year delay. But that strategy appeared doomed as at least three GOP members said they would oppose that course of action, enough to block it. A repeal of the ACA without a replacement plan would leave even more people uninsured, according to the CBO.

McConnell told reporters after the lunch that he still intends to hold the vote next week on a repeal plan, but other key senators suggested they would need an acceptable replacement before agreeing to move forward.

Trump Defends Health Care Bill Over Lunch With G.O.P. Senators
JULY 19, 2017

President Trump vigorously defended an all-but-dead Senate health care bill on Wednesday, pressing Republicans to stay in Washington and improve the proposal or risk being tagged as supporting the current system, which he called a “big lie.”

At a lunch at the White House with Republican senators, Mr. Trump gave the latest in a series of shifting reactions to the collapse this week of the Senate’s health care overhaul effort, and what amounted to a belated sales pitch for a measure that Republicans have privately complained he has done little to champion.

It was a stark turnabout from earlier this week, when Mr. Trump said Congress should let President Barack Obama’s signature legislation fail and blame Democrats.

Instead, Mr. Trump said Republicans should get back to work, ignoring clear indications from Capitol Hill that not enough Republicans are willing to support the proposal.

“Any senator who votes against starting debate is really telling America that you’re fine with Obamacare,” he said.

It was a pep talk that could have been more effective in the last several days as Republican leaders desperately sought support.

The prospect of repealing the health care law appeared to be doomed on Tuesday when an 11th-hour effort to force a vote on the matter failed and three Republican senators said they would not vote to repeal the law without a replacement.

You know, it’s not just that Trump is threatening Senators who oppose him with primaries, it’s that he’s imposing collective punishment by forcing them to stay in the sweatbox that is summertime D.C. (100+ degrees and 90% humidity for the foreseeable future).

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