During the past year, we have argued that a big problem with the Affordable Care Act — dubbed Obamacare — was that Democrats rushed it through Congress in 2009.

We have also argued that the problem with repealing or replacing Obamacare is that Republicans were trying to push their measures through Congress too fast.

On Friday, Republican Sen. John McCain said that he would not support the latest repeal plan.

“I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried,” McCain said of the bill, co-written by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, his best friend in the Senate, and Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

“Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.”

But don’t think McCain is against repealing or replacing the ACA.

“I would consider supporting legislation similar to that offered by my friends, senators Graham and Cassidy, were it the product of extensive hearings, debate and amendment. But that has not been the case,” he said.

“We should not be content to pass health care legislation on a party-line basis, as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009.”

We agree with McCain. More time needs to be spent on just how to fix the flawed ACA program.

So, it appears do national groups.

The health insurance lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans, strongly opposes the latest GOP effort, as do groups such as the the American Medical Association, which represents the nation’s doctors, along with patient advocacy groups, including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association.

We’re puzzled why so many members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, have been reluctant to let the measure go through the so-called regular order process, where legislation goes through a transparent committee process and both parties are able to shape it.

While some believe McCain’s opposition to the bill could effectively kill it, there still is the possibility it could pass the Senate. If it does in its present form, it would be a shame.

Clearly, most people agree there should be serious changes to the current health care law. We argue that rushed-through legislation is not the answer.

• Dave Mathews

Dave Mathews: 409-683-5258; dave.mathews@galvnews.com

(24) comments

Steve Fouga

I'm no fan of John McCain, but I'm with him this time for two reasons: First, Congress MUST work as intended by the Founding Fathers. I'm disgusted by gridlock and disgusted by partisanship (I doubt I'm the first). Second, Congress MUST get health care right. It's too important to be held hostage to partisan gamesmanship.

The relationship of health care to the phrase "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" can be debated endlessly, but for me it's inextricably connected. Health care for American citizens is a right, period. Senator McCain and I should have equal access to equal health care, at equal price, and affordable to the poorest American citizen. [cool]

Mark Aaron

Steve: " First, Congress MUST work as intended by the Founding Fathers. I'm disgusted by gridlock and disgusted by partisanship (I doubt I'm the first). Second, Congress MUST get health care right. It's too important to be held hostage to partisan gamesmanship. "

Well said.

Gary Scoggin

McCain is right. The problems with Obamacare lie in the fact it a single party effort slammed down the throats of Congress and the American people. The latest approach is no different except it has even less thought and analysis behind it. Let the emerging bipartisan effort have its chance.

Mark Aaron

Gary: " The problems with Obamacare lie in the fact it a single party effort slammed down the throats of Congress and the American people."

Not really, Gary. Unlike the Republicans' repeated attempts to kill the ACA the Democratic supported ACA spent many long months in committee in the House and the Senate. In fact it was "the second-longest consecutive session in Senate history." Also: "Republicans have skipped the days of hearings and lengthy markups that were a feature of the crafting of Obamacare. In the Senate, for instance, the drafting of a health-care bill in the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee took from June 17 to July 14, during which 500 amendments were made. In the Finance Committee, which drafted its version between Sept. 22 and Oct. 2, there were 564 proposed amendments. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) even voted for the Senate Finance version."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/06/22/history-lesson-how-the-democrats-pushed-obamacare-through-the-senate/?utm_term=.7bf68932c5b5

Carlos Ponce

People are suffering under Obamacare and you're saying Congress is moving "too fast"?
Is the current ACA the one passed by Congress? No. Look at how many tweaks Obama had to put into it after signing. They call it Obamacare because many provisions were instilled by Obama himself.
The Galen Institute lists 43 out of 70 modifications to Obamacare after passage made through "Administrative Action".
http://galen.org/2016/changes-to-obamacare-so-far/
If Obamacare works for you, fine but don't gloat. It does not work for millions. Sure many were now insured but it's insurance they cannot use with high deductibles and now high premiums. The ACA was NOT affordable to the many it was supposed to serve. "Affordable" Care Act is an example of an oxymoron.

Mark Aaron

Carlos: "People are suffering under Obamacare"

Typical Carlos GOP propaganda. 25 million, or more, Americans would be completely without insurance without the ACA. Many millions more would pay much more for insurance, if they could even get any, because of pre-existing conditions. Others would simply die because they could no longer afford high costs once they surpassed the insurance caps. Less than 14% of the country wants to see the ACA repealed.

"If Obamacare works for you, fine but don't gloat. It does not work for millions. Sure many were now insured but it's insurance they cannot use with high deductibles and now high premiums."

Propagandists like Carlos keep making this claim, but when the individual cases are examined the truth comes out and they are almost always far better off with the ACA and more often than not their premiums and deductibles are far lower if they use the ACA plans.

Jim Forsythe

 Who first called it Obamacare, before it was  signed into law on March 23, 2010.
The answer appears to be: a lobbyist.
Jeanne Schulte Scott argued for the trade journal Healthcare Financial Management in March 2007 that then-President Bush had "put all his eggs into his 'privatization' basket" in his 2007 State of the Union address; nevertheless, he made health care the "issue du jour" for the 2008 presidential race. "Health care is hot!" she wrote, and then made a prediction that seems so quaint given all that's passed in the last four-and-a-half years The many would-be candidates for president in 2008 are falling over themselves offering their own proposals. We will soon see a "Giuliani-care" and "Obama-care" to go along with "McCain-care," "Edwards-care," and a totally revamped and remodeled "Hillary-care" from the 1990s.

A few weeks later, Gary A. Beckman, writing a letter to the editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, complained on March 26, 2007, "Wait until the Dems seriously whittle away the Patriot Act, Second Amendment rights and border security. Wait until we experience socialized medicine a la Hillarycare or Obamacare ...

Also the House called it "Obamacare"
Mr. Speaker, is it a violation of the House rule wherein members are not permitted to make disparaging references to the president of the United States," she asked on February 18, 2011. "In two previous gentlemen's statements on the amendment, both of them referred to the Affordable Care Act, which is the accurate title of the health reform law, as 'Obamacare.' " 

June 25, 2012
"Obamacare."
The sleek, slang word used by some to describe the health reform law signed by President Barack Obama has taken on a roller-coaster trajectory of its own, first coming into favor with Republicans as a criticism of the law, and more recently, as the subject of Democratic efforts to reclaim it.

Mark Aaron

Jim: "The sleek, slang word used by some to describe the health reform law signed by President Barack Obama has taken on a roller-coaster trajectory of its own"

Also remember that the ACA was popular with the GOP when it was first proposed and enacted by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. Before it was Obamacare it was Romneycare.

Jim Forsythe

Bi-partisanship can happen .If the groups work  together, you will get a better outcome. If it is passed by one party only, then when the other party gets into power, they will want to repeal it.  This will go on forever, unless they pass a Bi-partisan  bill.

First it was Clinton care, than Romney care and was Obamacare. If it passes this week, it will be Trump care.
Until they pass a Bi-partisan bill, and it becomes America care, we all lose.

100% for a bill! It can happen again.
Oct. 8, 2015 
 President Obama signed a bill Wednesday night making an important change to Obamacare that will prevent health insurance premiums for 3 million people from going up next year.
The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act seems like an unlikely Washington success story: A bipartisan health care bill passed by both chambers without a single no vote and signed by the president with no controversy or fanfare.
Except it's actually not that unusual. For all the raucous debate over repealing Obamacare, such technical fixes can happen. Since the Affordable Care Act was first passed along party lines in 2010, President Obama has signed at least 14 bills making substantive changes in his signature legislation of his presidency, according to an analysis by the Congressional Research Service. Eight of those have been Republican bills.

Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute, a prominent Obamacare critic, said the congressional action comes just under the wire, as insurance companies finish pricing contracts for 2016 coverage. And the quick, businesslike way in which , bill was passed just shows that neither side saw any benefit in politicizing the issue, she said.
"I think here the White House certainly doesn’t want to announce with big fanfare that the Republican Congress has led on making changes on the president's health law," she said. "And the Republicans don't want to say that they’re fixing it, because they want to repeal it entirely."

November 14, 2013
Measures are gaining bi-partisan support in Congress to help the millions of people who are losing their health insurance.  The Keep Your Plan Act, sponsored by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-MI, will be considered in the House this week. A companion measure is being offered in the Senate by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-WI.  Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-LA, is offering the Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act, which takes a different approach but has a similar goal.

Jarvis Buckley

McCain's reasons , for voting nay , are his jealousy of president Trump.
He has no concern for working folks
Who have had their insurance premiums doubled. He has become a multi-millionaire , by playing favor for the special interest groups & lobbyists. He is a never Trumper &
he is letting his hatred of our President hurt our country. He is fighting a horrible illness. Millions of us have fought or presently fighting
cancer. Myself included. Most don't have the insurance that allows the top quality treatment that Sen. McCain is getting. He has disappointed me & millions of others
with his selfish behavior.

Mark Aaron

Jarvis: "McCain's reasons , for voting nay , are his jealousy of president Trump.
He has no concern for working folks "

More GOP fairy tales for the dupes. Sen McCain makes the more than fair point that ramming through legislation without proper study or oversight is simply wrong. The GOP doesn't even want the CBO to score it before voting on it less the public realize what a complete sham the GOP repeal is. Even then, less than 14% of the country supports their craven efforts to take away 25 million citizen's health care insurance.

Jim Forsythe

Sen. McCain voted they way he felt was right, not down party lines. If more Senators would do the same, maybe progress could happen.

He knows for a bill to become a good law, you need support from both sides. He also said "I don’t think that is going to work in the end."
which looks he may be proven right.

McCain displayed that love for Senate procedure and regular order in a floor speech he gave on July 25, his first time in the chamber since announcing his cancer diagnosis. In that speech, which Democrats being cut out of the health-care process especially hailed, McCain in strong terms blasted GOP leadership for trying to cram through an unpopular Obamacare repeal measure and called in his party to start reaching across the aisle.
“We’ve tried to do this by coming up with a proposal behind closed doors in consultation with the administration, then springing it on skeptical members, trying to convince them it’s better than nothing, asking us to swallow our doubts and force it past a unified opposition," McCain said. "I don’t think that is going to work in the end."

Jarvis
I did not find Sen. McCain's name listed as a part of the Never Trump movement . But did find some Republicans that were listed as members. I do not think that a Senators being a never Trumper played into it.
Never Trump members. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.),Sen. Mark KirkMark , Sen. Lindsey Graham  if you want to see the full list go to.
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/278141-republicans-who-vow-to-never-back-trump

George Croix

It's certainly true that the current proposal is a lot less than 2700 pages, so I suppsoe that is less thought and analysis...sorta.....
There's no nobility and certainly no statesmanship and not even any attention to detail or the usual pretense of 'across the aisle' bonhomie by McCain in his latest turning of his coat, he himself having campaigned on and won his own reelection with tons of dump the ACA rhetoric...he simply has gotten even with now Pres. Trump, twice now, for running candidate Trump's big mouth during the primaries.
Nothing to be done to a guy already not running for re-election and also now know to be terminally ill...he can say and do whatever he wants, without the constraints of the hypocracy monkey on back, and without caring about the damage to the Party he claimed to support or the many millions of people, forgotten by the 'subsidy for me' folks, who have been upended by the ACA's lies about costs and doctor/hospital access, victims of group think that uses insurance as a pretend synonym for actual medical care or costs control.
Well, good luck, and goodbye, asap, to the maaavvvvrrriiicckkkkkk.....imo...

Jack Cross

Zero press about the disaster of ObamaCare, Zero press about ObamaCare was intended to fail and this was the scheme to get us to single payer. I agree the proposal on the table is not a fix but it is an improvement, It cuts many regulations and gives the states the ability to eliminate fraud. Killing it is much worse.

Mark Aaron

Jack: "Zero press about the disaster of ObamaCare, Zero press about ObamaCare was intended to fail and this was the scheme to get us to single payer. I agree the proposal on the table is not a fix but it is an improvement, It cuts many regulations and gives the states the ability to eliminate fraud. Killing it is much worse."

Pure hooey.The ACA is not a disaster, it makes most Americans' lives far better. It insures 25,000,000 Americans who would be without insurance if it were repealed. It isn't perfect, but it can be easily fixed with a little bipartisan effort. The GOP's problem is they demagogued it to death to win elections and now they have painted themselves into a corner with their craven lies.

George Croix

But, Jack..all the people who lost their jobs or had their hours cutback or ended up as min wage/part timers thanks to the mandates and penalties of Obamacare, along with the 30 plus unilateral changes made to try and cover the ex-Pres. butt, or who now can't afford their 'cheaper' premiums or can't fully use their 'affordable health insurance' because their deductibles are sky high, are just making that up, aren't they?
I mean, I was looking forward to my mandated 'lactation services', and my wife was some PO'd when the Dr. refused her request for a PSA screening.....[beam][beam]

Mark Aaron

George: "But, Jack..all the people who lost their jobs or had their hours cutback or ended up as min wage/part timers thanks to the mandates and penalties of Obamacare"

Poor George, duped yet again by his rightwing sources.

http://www.factcheck.org/2014/02/lost-jobs-from-obamacare/

George Croix

Jack, the simple fact is you can't fix stupid.....it doesn't want to be, anyway....it's happy being stupid....
Then, there's this slightly lesser problem.....
"The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
Of course, Ronald Reagan never got a Nobel for what he might someday accomplish...

Mark Aaron

George: "Jack, the simple fact is you can't fix stupid.....it doesn't want to be, anyway....it's happy being stupid...."

Sounds like a description of the Republican Party with their denial of science, climate change, Russian interference in our elections, and their pretense that taking away health insurance from 25 million Americans is a good thing.

Mark Aaron

George: "the many millions of people, forgotten by the 'subsidy for me' folks, who have been upended by the ACA's lies about costs and doctor/hospital access"

More of George's anti-government hokum. In practically every case where people are claiming the ACA hurts them closer examination inevitably shows they are far better off, with expanded coverage, and at a lower cost.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-care/obamacare-fact-check-shows-gop-obamacare-claims-are-often-false-n705151

Doyle Beard

total inept facts

Mark Aaron

Doyle: "total inept facts"

Please explain.

Jarvis Buckley

While I await my cancer operation & Mark awaits his heart transplant . We have to different ideas of health insurance. I will never give up. Trump is my President.

Mark Aaron

Jarvis: "We have to different ideas of health insurance. I will never give up."

Nor will I Jarvis. I am lucky enough to have good insurance, but that doesn't mean I will forget all of my fellow Americans who aren't so lucky. Nor will I ever believe taking away insurance from 25 million Americans is a good thing.

Best of luck on your operation Jarvis. Get well soon and come back to fight another day. Hopefully we will both be around next year to continue the debate.

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