After the bruising crash of the GOP effort to reform the nation’s healthcare system, Tennessee Republican Senator Bob Corker now says that he is interested in working with both sides of the aisle in order to achieve a repeal and replace Obamacare.
“At some point, on behalf of the American people, we have to resolve the issues that are driving up costs, limiting choices, and causing the individual market to spiral downward. I stand ready to work with the administration and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in order to fix our broken health care system,” Corker said in a statement late Friday, just hours after Paul Ryan pulled the GOP healthcare bill from receiving a vote.
The House Republican ‘American Health Care Act’ took an unusual turn in the final week leading up to the projected vote. As the date loomed closer, while many pundits predicted a gelling of the party behind the bill, it did not gain support, and ultimately started losing support in the final days.
While Republicans are quick to point to the sharp divides in the party and the wide spectrum of the varying policy beliefs of differing factions, none of those was an unknown to the Republican leadership. President Trump’s immediate concession that the initial bill was merely an opening offer, virtually minutes after its unveiling, set the effort up for failure.
The bill ultimately fell apart after Trump made his final move in a string of catastrophic negotiating mistakes by giving the legislation’s detractors an ultimatum, one of the President’s few negotiating tactics. That caused the bottom to fall out from the bill which in the closing hours was set to lose by wide, embarrassing margins.
Democrats were quick to get on social media and news programs to voice their willingness to work with Republicans to improve Obamacare, something that they have repeatedly said. However, to the extent Senator Corker is still seeking Obamacare repeal and replace legislation, that is something that will have to be done only within the Republican Party as it will almost positively not receive a single Democratic vote in either chamber of the Senate.