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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 14th July 2017 > FROM RUSSIA WITH SHRUGS

FROM RUSSIA WITH SHRUGS

Democrats are salivating over the Russian hacking scandal, but it may not help them retake power in Washington

IT WASN’T supposed to be this way. For seven years, Republicans promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare once they had one of their own in the White House. “It’s going to be so easy,” Donald Trump often said about it during the campaign. But instead of signing a GOP health care plan “that was so much better” than Barack Obama’s—another favorite Trump phrase—the president and congressional Republicans have struggled to pass their legislation.

By the end of June, one version of the GOP health care bill had barely passed the Republicancontrolled House, even though the party has its largest majority in the chamber since 1928. In the Senate, Mitch McConnell, the majority leader from Kentucky known for his legislative wiles, was forced to delay the health care vote because his Republican colleagues were in open rebellion against the plan, which he and a handpicked coterie of senators had drafted quickly and in secret without the usual open hearings and committee votes.

The public wasn’t impressed by what Trump, McConnell or House Speaker Paul Ryan came up with. One poll showed support for the GOP health care plan at 12 percent, which perhaps wasn’t surprising since both the House and Senate bills include huge cuts to Medicaid, the health benefit program for the poor and disabled. In addition, the Congressional Budget Office had declared that more than 20 million fewer Americans would have health insurance under either bill than if the country stuck with Obamacare.

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