Political Notes — Latest attempt to pass Trumpcare in Senate falls apart

[private]The latest attempt to pass a Senate version of Trumpcare has crumbled, leaving the fate of the healthcare bill and the future of the Affordable Care Act more muddled than ever.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced late Monday night that he was pulling the plug on the latest version of Trumpcare after two more Republican senators — Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas — said they couldn’t support the bill.

“Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” McConnell said in a statement.

McConnell indicated he will later offer senators the opportunity to vote on the issue of simply repealing Obamacare, with a two-year phaseout of the program to give Congress time to work on some form of replacement. However, it was not clear that the votes for an immediate repeal are there either.

Georgia Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, who both were seen as solid votes for the Trumpcare bill, did not comment on the latest twist in the healthcare melodrama.

Kemp vs. Abrams

It’s very clear that one of the more interesting subplots in the governor’s race will be the intense dislike that Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state Rep. Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) have for each other.

It dates back several years to when Abrams set up a voter registration organization with the goal of registering more African Americans to vote. Kemp, a Republican, has fought Abrams’ efforts by pushing for more restrictive voter ID and citizenship check laws.

During a campaign stop in Athens last week, Abrams remarked of Kemp that “voter suppression is a way of life.”

Kemp fired back this week with a statement: “Even with record turnout election after election, liberals like Stacey Abrams continue to attack me and the commonsense policies that hardworking Georgians throughout our state overwhelming support. Despite their brazen bullying, baseless accusations, and ridiculous lawsuits, I will continue to fight – and win – for Georgia voters. I won’t be deterred and I won’t back down.”

This war of words obviously is not going to stop. The only problem is that Kemp and Abrams are running in different primary elections, which they both have to win before they could face each in a general election.

Montgomery is in

Chalis Montgomery, an educator and children’s minister, announced she will run as a Democrat in the 10th Congressional District in hopes of unseating Republican Rep. Jody Hice.

“My daughter Gwen has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a pre-existing condition, and Congressman Hice is supporting an approach to healthcare that would be devastating to children like her, along with our seniors,” Montgomery said.

“I never thought I’d be a candidate for public office, but after hearing the stories of so many 10th district residents, from Athens, Winder, Milledgeville and Dacula, I realized that Jody Hice is failing families, just like he failed mine,” she added.

Like Hice, Montgomery resides in the Barrow County town of Bethlehem.

Personnel notes

The healthcare group Georgians for a Healthy Future said Laura Colbert has been named as the new executive director. She replaces Cindy Zeldin, who stepped down to run for state insurance commissioner.

“Under Cindy’s leadership, Georgians for a Healthy Future has grown into the state’s leading consumer health advocacy organization, and we are grateful for her vision, dedication, and hard work over the past eight years,” said GHF Board Chair Allyson Burroughs.

Colbert, who has been with the organization since 2014, moves up from her position as director of outreach and partnerships. . . .

Former state legislator Doug Teper is back in the political game as campaign chairman for Alex Wan, a two-term city councilman who’s running for Atlanta City Council president.

Teeper served in the Georgia House from 1989 through 2004, representing a DeKalb County district. He later worked as a State Department employee in Iraq for several years before returning to Atlanta. . . .

The Georgia Foundation for Public Education has named Ann W. Cramer its new board chair and Walt Helms as its new vice chair. GFPE has also added three new board members: Debbie Burdette, Art Dunning, and Mary Sue Murray.

“Ann and Walt have been members of the GFPE board since its inception in 2010,” said Paige Pushkin, GFPE Executive Director. “I look forward to working with both of them as we continue to grow the scope of the foundation.”

© 2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Affordable Care Act , Brian Kemp , Georgians for a Healthy Future , Stacey Abrams , Trumpcare