Jonathan Martin – The New York Times:
Senator Dean Heller of Nevada, perhaps the most vulnerable Republican facing re-election in 2018, said Friday he would not support the newly-released Senate health care overhaul as written, dealing a blow to his party’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Using remarkably caustic language, Mr. Heller, who is seen as a pivotal swing vote, denounced the Senate-drafted health care bill in terms that Democrats swiftly seized on.
“I cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans,” he said at a news conference in Las Vegas …
This is a problem for the GOP, and has been since the ACA was upheld by the Supreme Court. Sure, conservatives and libertarians want the legislation undone. Undoing this law, however, has a real, negative, and immediate effect on millions of Americans. Try taking that away and getting elected again. Try, please.
US health insurance goes one of two ways from here. Legislators tinker with the ACA plumbing, improving what’s already there, or we go to a single-payer system. We already have that for people over 65. On the one hand, costs will stabilize once our unpredictable president is swept from the White House. On the other, payroll taxes jump a great deal, and we join the rest of the West in cradle-to-grave guaranteed health care.