Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Democrats to force health care vote Wednesday in the Senate

Brett Kavanaugh is sworn-in as Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court on Oct. 8 2018 at the White House Brett Kavanaugh is sworn-in as Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court on Oct. 8 2018 at the White House. Brendan Smialowski—AFP Getty Images
Celia Hoffman | 11 October, 2018, 04:01

In an interview with The Associated Press, McConnell disputed President Donald Trump's prediction that Alaskans "will never forgive" Murkowski and that she'll "never recover" politically after bucking her party on Kavanaugh.

But Democrats, still stinging from the bitter fight over the confirmation of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, are emphasizing this new rallying cry during the final four week push to the midterms, with one senior Democratic aide telling CNN, "The vote this week puts Republicans on record, and is just the start of our relentless focus on health care down the stretch". Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, who became the only Republican to vote against him.

She acknowledges that some voters are disappointed in her decision, but says that's unavoidable because Alaskans were split on whether Kavanaugh should be confirmed.

"Whatever difference in enthusiasm Republican voters may have had going into the fall elections has been eliminated", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters.

On the campaign trail Trump insisted Mexico would pay for the wall.

And while Democrats lost the vote, they hope they've gained a message that will bolster their chances of winning Senate control in next month's elections. Heading into the November midterms, the party is defending its House and Senate majorities.

A group that identifies itself as "the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization" said that following Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, its hotline call center saw a record jump in calls from sexual assault survivors.

Despite the outcry from Republican voters against Sen.

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Kavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct in high school and college.

Ford had asked for confidentiality in a letter to Feinstein.

The Trump administration "junk" plan rule lifted the ban on insurance companies selling short-term limited-duration plans and association health plans (AHP), both of which can flout certain regulations and requirements laid out in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as coverage for maternity care, prescription drugs, emergency services, mental health services, preventive care (including contraceptives), and hospitalization.

In a letter Wednesday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, Roberts said he had selected the court in Colorado to "accept the transfer and to exercise the powers of a judicial council with respect to the identified complaints and any pending or new complaints relating to the same subject matter".

McConnell declined to weigh in on a possible replacement except to say he or she would not be coming from the ranks of his slim 51-seat Senate majority.

McConnell is also preparing for his own re-election in 2020 and, if he is successful, staying on as GOP leader.

Republicans are madder about the Kavanaugh controversy than Democrats are and more determined to vote in the upcoming elections because of it.

Baldwin pointed to one plan sold in her state that she said does not cover hospital care on a Friday or Saturday. But critics said Kavanaugh's demeanor raised questions about his temperament and potential political bias in deciding cases.

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