Senators back in Washington and back on health care

Republican Senators in June failed to pass a health care bill, then left Washington for a week of recess. This week they’re back.

They have faced the difficulty of their position. Many of the healthcare effort’s supporters spent the July 4 vacation week avoiding public appearances, where protesters might lurk. McConnell himself told a Kentucky Rotary group that if the effort failed — even acknowledging it could fail was significant — then Republicans would have to work on something to shore up the current system.

No option appears easier after the week of recess. Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona on Sunday told CBS that the bill is “probably going to be dead.”

Interest groups have spent the recess issuing warnings from either side.

The conservative group Heritage Action for America blasted the moderate compromises coming out of the Republican side, saying in a press release, “Senate Republicans promised to repeal Obamacare, not bail it out.” Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz offered an amendment trying to relax requirements for insurance companies.

Coming from way on the other side of the issue, Senate Democrats pounded home their position, bringing up the importance of Medicaid. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent out a notice implying Obamacare helped create 2 million jobs in the health sector. House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called Cruz’s amendment “a hoax.”

However, the same analysts who give it waning chances point out that the House version this spring also was deemed dead. And then it suddenly revived, and passed the House.

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