Friday, March 24, 2017

Meehan in the spotlight as Trump demands health care vote

There is no place left to hide for Pat Meehan and his fellow moderate Republicans.

They can thank President Donald Trump for that.

Rep. Meehan, R-7, of Chadds Ford, has been riding the fence concerning the Republican push to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the GOP American Health Care Plan.

As late as Wednesday afternoon, the Delaware County Republican indicated he had still not made up his mind and was continuing to hear from constituents and review the legislation.

It was the smart political move.

Meehan is not likely to show his hand on health care until he absolutely has to; it's a no-win situation for the moderate. He's guaranteed to take fire regardless which way he votes. He'll earn the scorn of Trump and conservative Republicans with a no vote; be crucified by many constituents who do not want to see the ACA overturned should he cast a vote in favor.

Those folks have been a steady presence in protests outside his Springfield office. They were back out there again yesterday and already are vowing to show up again today.

So he stayed in the middle, despite his longtime opposition to ACA, and his vote in favor of moving the GOP plan out of the House Ways and Means Committee.

At first yesterday, it appeared Meehan and others riding the fence might get a break. Republican leaders said they were delaying the vote, a sure indication they did not have the votes for passage.

That wiggle room has now evaporated.

President Trump last night issued an ultimatum - he wants an up or down vote this morning or he is moving on to other issues.

So what will it be, Congressman Meehan?

We're about to find out.

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