For all of the signs that the GOP health care bill is on life support, a key fact should still frighten Obamacare proponents: None of the so-called moderate Republican senators who could kill the bill have done so.
And one of them, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who threw cold water on the legislation early on with a scathing statement, can be “bought off” with perks for his home-state, according to a report in Axios.
At this point, the Senate is deliberating over its second iteration of Obamacare repeal that has been ever-so-slightly modified to pick up the support of both centrist and hard-line conservative skeptics.
Obamacare tax on investment income for individuals making more than $200,000 a year
To address the concerns of moderates, the bill’s revisions keep in place a 3.8-percent Obamacare tax on investment income for individuals making more than $200,000 a year and significantly increases funding for opioid addiction treatment.
If Murkowski was bought off with funds from a long-term stability fund for her state, and Portman and Capito got their opioid funding, save Heller, North Dakota’s John Hoeven would perhaps be the biggest question mark left ― and no one should reasonably think a senator from a state that President Donald Trump won by over 35 percentage points would be the one to sink this effort.
After Heller’s June press conference announcing his opposition, most Republicans thought McConnell had his work cut out for him, as Collins and Paul had both looked likely to oppose the bill from the very start.
That Heller isn’t rushing out to announce his opposition, perhaps even sending McConnell back to the drawing board, could be an indication that he either wants this effort to fail, or that this bill is truly about to pass.