Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

As of this morning it seemed clear that while the votes might still have been in McConnell’s corner to pass his “repeal and replace” Obamacare, there were too many Republicans who wanted to wait until after the July 4th recess and see how the wind was blowing back home.  As happened in the House, pulling the bill now permits McConnell to save face somewhat, make enough of the changes being demanded, and bring the bill up successfully when the Senate reconvenes.  Whether this will work even with changes remains to be seen.

What is curious in the debate over health care reform is whether there is any possibility for legislative comity to develop in the Senate for the first time, except on defense issues–since Clinton or maybe earlier. The test will be if the Dems will recommend changes to Obamacare which indeed need to be done. The Democrats must insure that it is Obamacare that is being improved and that Republicans need to let them in the door so a bi-partisan effort can happen. It could then be championed as the Trump reforms of the Obama law.

Given the likelihood that this will not occur, reforming Obamacare may well have to wait until the Dems are back in control. Classic legislative models are a thing of the past. Perhaps during the break, Susan Collins and the moderate R’s could caucus with Dems and see if they could jointly write an alternative bill. If no moderate bill emerges and the Trumpcare bill becomes law or Obamacare remains, America’s health care will still be in the operating room and the American people will be in the ER.  

———-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Buried in stories about Trump’s warning to Syria not to use chemical weapons again, was a casual reference that U.S. knowledge about this development may well have been derived from outside intelligence service; i.e. Israel. There is something strange that the entire discussion has been about the President’s right to disclose classified information and a debate as to who in the Administration was in the actual loop when it was decided to go public with this challenge.

It is not troublesome that Israel had the information and passed it on to its ally. What is problematic is that this Israeli Government appears to be so interested in currying favor with the Trump Administration—which might provide Bibi some short term benefits—that it is jeopardizing the long term U.S.-Israeli professional intelligence sharing relationship. Implicitly, Trump is embarrassing his own specialists at the expense of the Israeli professionals.  At some point, this could redound to Israel’s detriment.   

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