June 28, 2017
One month after Goldman gave up on Trump being able to pass any major (or minor) tax package in 2017, overnight – in the aftermath of Senate GOP’s deplorable failure to find the needed 51 votes to ” repeal and replace” Obamacare- Goldman’s Washington analyst Alec Phillips throws up his hands, and no longer believes that passage of Obamacare is possible.
In a note that looks at the current state of health legislation, titled appropriately enough “Nearing the End”, Goldman summarizes that Senate Republican leaders have postponed the vote on health legislation that had been tentatively scheduled this week. A vote is possible in two weeks, but further delays are possible.
Phillips does note that there are still some arguments in favor of eventual enactment: Republicans will be under pressure to follow through on a long-standing political commitment, and the estimated deficit reduction and tax cuts in the health bill could be useful in passing tax legislation later. Fixing the existing program for the coming year will also be necessary.
However, he is skeptical and says that “these factors are likely to be outweighed by the political obstacles. Estimates of the potential increase in the uninsured population seem unlikely to improve substantially even after revisions to the bill. Public support for the effort is also weak, and intraparty divisions appear to pose too many obstacles. At this point, enactment of broad health legislation like the House passed or the Senate is contemplating seems unlikely.”
That said, Goldman is not too worried about the implications of the Senate’s failure, saying that “the prospects for passage should also be somewhat less important to broader financial markets than they might have been several months ago. The debate over health legislation is likely to end—either with enactment or a failed vote—by mid- to…