POLITICS
06/08/2017 09:43 am ET Updated Jun 09, 2017

Don't Let James Comey's Hearing Distract You From Republicans' Obamacare Repeal Efforts

Senate Republicans are closer than ever to passing their own health care bill.
The Comey hearing is great news for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's health care plans.
Joshua Roberts / Reuters
The Comey hearing is great news for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's health care plans.

In Washington, D.C., on Thursday, people lined up in droves as early as 4:15 a.m. to get a spot at former FBI Director James Comey’s highly anticipated Senate testimony. Bars across the country opened early to hold viewing parties, and networks interrupted their popular soap operas to broadcast the hearing. The event had even been dubbed “Washington’s Super Bowl.”

So it’s safe to say we’d all gone a little Comey Crazy.

What the former FBI chief said is important. It’s the most concrete evidence we have that President Donald Trump attempted to quash an investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia. However, Comey would not definitively say that Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice nor would he say that Trump personally colluded with Kremlin officials. As HuffPost’s Sam Stein notes, Comey’s testimony alone will probably not spell the end of Trump.

Meanwhile, Republicans are well on their way to repealing the Affordable Care Act, putting millions of people at risk of losing their health insurance. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday took steps to fast-track their efforts, sidestepping the typical committee hearings in favor of closed-door meetings. And many Republicans are avoiding their own town hall meetings, where the subject is likely to come up. 

As progressive New York Times writer David Leonhardt notes, the Comey hearing has relieved some of the pressure Republicans faced in previous months against their health care plans. But it shouldn’t, he says.

“Even amid the Comey testimony, and all of the attention it deserves, don’t let health care be forgotten,” Leonhardt wrote this week. “It’s too important.”

And as several Trumpcare opponents have noted, it’s not too late to fight back:

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