IT HAS become a fool’s errand to try to predict when the Republicans may give up trying to reform health care. On July 25th Vice-President Mike Pence broke a tie in the Senate to pass a motion to start debate on a health bill, only a week after it had looked dead (and not for the first time). To win the vote Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate, had to water down its significance, portraying it as merely a procedural step that had no bearing on what might subsequently pass. (“Everybody will get a vote on everything they want to vote on,” said Senator John Cornyn, Mr McConnell’s number two). Even then, the motion passed only because Senator John McCain, just out of surgery for brain cancer, rushed back to Washington to vote yes.
The result is a mad rush to rewrite the bill on the Senate floor. The starting point is the version passed by the House in May. After voting to start debate, nine Republicans rebelled to defeat an…Continue reading