The Note: Senate’s unhealthy start on health care

Senate Republicans share their health care draft this morning.

ByVeronica Stracqualursi
June 22, 2017, 6:46 AM


THE TAKE with ABC News' Rick Klein

It's a discussion draft that will leave much to discuss, and it's unlikely to get prettier from here. The history of health care bills in Congress provides a clear lesson: process matters. On that count, the Senate's health care effort is off to a distinctly unhealthy start, with members of the GOP's conservative and moderate wings sounding similar only in their skepticism around a bill that's been kept from even most of them until today. The secrecy has built anticipation and trepidation around the details, and now people will be able to judge the impact on their lives. Medicaid cuts, pre-existing conditions, abortion and Planned Parenthood; there's enough cobbled together to convince senators that they'll want to hear from constituents, or at least stakeholder groups, before taking votes that leadership insists need to happen before the Fourth of July. "I've been talking about a plan with heart," President Trump said Wednesday night in Iowa, in another implicit dig at the House bill he once celebrated, adding that he told senators to "add some money to it." Nobody is against "heart." But the details are not even an easy sell at campaign-style rallies, much less congressional hearings and voter gatherings, with an effort that starts out as unpopular as this does.


A next generation of Democrats shook their heads and threw up their hands at the party bosses Wednesday, accusing them of deaf ears and zero introspection after another embarrassing defeat in Georgia's special election. A handful of those in the House went as far as to say that the entire Democratic leadership team needed to go. Republicans successfully ran against the image of Nancy Pelosi specifically in the race outside Atlanta, a fact that did not go unnoticed by folks in her ranks. Adding insult to injury, internal letters to the team Wednesday failed to mention any strategic changes the party may make to win races and only gave lip service to the idea of developing an economic agenda while still failing to hammer out concrete details. "There's a level of depression," Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who challenged Pelosi in the House Democratic leadership elections last fall, said. "Our brand is worse than Trump," he told The New York Times. The president wasted no time taking a victory lap, tweeting about the win and touting it at a stop in Iowa Wednesday night. He said people had hoped for a "great humiliation" to the president but he came out on top instead, ABC News' MaryAlice Parks writes.


"And I love all people, rich or poor. But in those particular positions, I just don't want a poor person. Does that make sense?" President Trump on economic jobs within his administration

NEED TO READ with ABC News' Adam Kelsey

Trump talks immigration overhaul, border wall at Iowa rally. President Trump on Wednesday night held a campaign-style rally in Iowa, at which he announced his intentions to pursue legislation that would bar immigrants from being eligible for welfare for at least five years.

Despite Trump tweet, Mattis, Tillerson are full steam ahead on China, North Korea. After a day of meetings with top Chinese officials, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States and China have made progress on a handful of issues and are pushing ahead on pressuring North Korea, despite President Donald Trump's claim that "it has not worked."

Russia cancels meeting with the United States on improving relations amid updated sanctions. The Russian deputy foreign minister canceled Wednesday his meeting with his U.S. counterpart -- a long-planned summit to address more minor problems in the relationship -- because of the updated U.S. sanctions announced Tuesday.

Ex-DHS secretary defends Obama handling of Russian meddling. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson defended the Obama administration's decision to delay publicly commenting on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. "We have to carefully consider whether declassifying the information compromises sources and methods," Johnson said.


@jdawsey1: No camera or recording allowed tomorrow at White House briefing with spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, per advisory.

@KLR_Editor: NEW: Flynn may have aided Russian company the U.S. opposed. @anitakumar01@MattSchodcnews reporting

@MichaelCBender: TRUMP: "We're thinking about building the wall as a solar wall. This way, Mexico will have to pay much less money...Solar wall. Makes sense"

@JonLemire: FYI: the TVs on Air Force One are programmed to record "Property Brothers"

The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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