Health care: This is why we need town hall forum

"She should be ashamed of her vote to take that health care away". For the first months of this year, the upper chamber has been consumed with processing Trump's nominees - including the successful confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch - as well as GOP-backed Congressional Review Act measures to roll-back regulation from the Obama administration. Only minutes after the legislation passed, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander declared the Senate would write its own bill rather than simply attempt to make a few changes to the House version.

And so the show went on, and the cycle of speeches, fundraising, campaign ads and meaningless votes lasted for seven long years. Under Obamacare, age ratings could only vary by a ratio of 3:1, meaning the oldest insured person wouldn't have to pay more than three times the premium of the youngest. But a Democratic victory isn't foregone, not least because the Dems must overcome the effects of Republican gerrymandering, and-in the words of Jonathan Tobin for the conservative National Review-"districts' coming into compliance with the Voting Rights Act", which has funneled black Democratic voters into minority-majority districts so as to diffuse their influence.

After voting to strip 58,000 of his constituents of their health care, Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, made a startling admission: he hadn't even read the bill. All of it was, as tea-party favorite Pat Meehan, R-Pennsylvania, recently acknowledged, largely "ceremonial". Ted Cruz of Texas and Rob Portman of OH, think the House bill was a "positive step" towards repealing and replacing Obamacare but acknowledge critics' concerns. "They don't need maternity care", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in May. You have a common enemy, and unity becomes the natural order. And there isn't much heavy lifting, on the idea side.

But it also probably won't really make anybody healthier.

Public opinion certainly supports this idea.

While recent reports suggest strong opposition from interest groups to the AHCA, it is worth noting that even when confronted with a bill that many organized interests view as bad policy, universal health care has not been brought up as an alternative.

I strongly urge my Senate colleagues to work diligently with the House of Representatives to fulfill these goals.

Republicans now have big political problems on the horizon. That's why I find it unacceptable to allow a major setback like the AHCA from rolling back access to safe and affordable health care for women across the country.

Jones, who voted against the ACA when it was adopted by the House in 2010 and has voted often since for its repeal, joined 19 other Republicans and all House Democrats in voting against the American Health Care Act last week. Susan Collins - one of the least partisan senators in the entire body - to commence a meeting of the Special Committee on Aging, saying, "We have no path forward on the disgusting and momentous events of last night". Among them were provisions to keep children on their parents' insurance until 26 (thereby avoiding issues when they go to college), mandating businesses with more than 50 employees to subsidise healthcare, and making it compulsory to buy insurance - or pay a fine. As regular readers already know, our view is that Republicans should steer clear of this whole mess and let Obamacare die a natural death. They want a return of the "system" that was in place before Obamacare.

Again, that's not to say Obamacare doesn't need work. According to a recent report, "women have unique health care needs - and almost half of all women have an ongoing condition requiring regular monitoring, care, or medication". Maybe Gov. Hogan might have a lengthy career in politics after all.