Bipartisanship is the solution

As of this writing, Republicans in the United States Senate are one for three in addressing health care issues this week.

On Tuesday, they won a procedural vote to gain the right to begin debate on health care proposals when — after a bunch of arm-twisting and threats — a 50-50 vote was broken when Vice President Mike Pence (acting as president of the Senate) cast a tie-breaking 51st vote to take the measure up.

Later Tuesday, the GOP could only garner 43 votes to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Wednesday, they lost a 45-55 vote to simply repeal Obamacare.

It is interesting to note there are 52 Republicans in the Senate. GOP leadership hopes to cobble something together that can garner 50 votes — they’ll rely on Pence to deliver the deciding vote. That way, they could at least go to a conference committee with the House of Representatives to try to work out differences between the House bill and whatever the Senate passes.

In other words, the GOP is still trying desperately to gain a “win” in health care.

We agree with Arizona Sen. John McCain — it is time to return to “normal order” in the Senate where committees hold hearings, experts testify and a consensus is reached on the best way to proceed. In other words, it is time for a bipartisan approach to our health care problems.

There are many flaws in the Affordable Care Act. Many exchanges are failing, premiums are soaring and it never really addressed the skyrocketing cost of U.S. health care. But it did give millions of Americans access to health insurance.

We’d like to see Congress work like it is supposed to — with the American people the winners, not one party or the other.

The Senate has always been referred to as the “greatest deliberative body” in the world. It hasn’t acted that way in the recent past.

There are adults in both parties that would like to see a bipartisan approach. It is time for party leaders to listen to them.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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