ASR Melissa Smith Predicts No Significant Legislation from Congress This Year

The title of the article in today’s Politico by Bernie Becker and Aaron Lorenzo, “Tax writers see peril in Trump's Obamacare persistence," says it all.


Now that TrumpMcConnellCare flunked, the current occupant of the White House, who has no experience dealing with Congress or in government, has been unusually petulant. He still wants Congress to fix the Affordable Care Act, and he is threatening to destroy it by stopping its cost-sharing reduction payments, through which federal funds flow to insurance companies to keep down coverage costs for low income people (which is why Bernie Sanders is right: we need a single-payer health care system).


Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which is responsible for tax legislation, is frustrated. He said, “We are not going back to health care. We’re in tax now. As far as I’m concerned, they [the Senate leadership] shot their wad on health care and that’s the way it is. I’m sick of it.”


But, as Becker and Lorenzo write, “At the same time, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), the Chairman of the Senate’s health committee, is working with Democrats on potential measures to shore up the health care law.”


In the midst of all this confusion, we asked our chief Congressional correspondent, associate solitary reporter Melissa Smith, to make predictions on whether any significant legislation will come out of Congress before the end of the year. Her answer was succinct: “Nope, not a chance."