The Senate failed to repeal and replace Obamacare, again, this time because of some Republicans.
President Donald Trump, as expected, blamed the Democrats for the failure when he should have blamed his party’s lack of vision of how effective health care systems are set up and the GOP’s disregard of the consequences of taking away health care from tens of millions of Americans.
Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
Republican Mitch McConnell was all set to put the Republican health care bill — the Better Care Reconciliation Act — on the floor this week, but he didn’t have enough votes.
Fifty votes were needed to bring the BCRA bill to the floor.
But after two more Republicans from the conservative wing backed out from the measure, it became impossible for the Senate to pass the bill with just 46 votes. Two other Republican senators already indicated they'd vote no as well.
Sen. Jerry Morron of Kansaz and Mike Lee of Utah declared they would vote no on the “motion to proceed” — a necessary step required to start formal debate on the legislation and, eventually, for its implementation.
Both complained the bill didn’t repeal enough of the Affordable Care Act. They also criticized the secretive, hurried process McConnell used to advance the legislation before the opposition. The legislation wasn’t openly discussed before it was put before the Senate for a vote.
Here is my statement explaining why I will vote no on the BCRA motion to proceed: https://t.co/lDpIGDS456— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) July 18, 2017
“In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations,” Lee said in a statement.
The repeal also failed thanks to to Sen. John McCain’s surgery to remove a blood clot and his subsequent recovery in Arizona. Without him, Republicans don’t have enough votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, especially now when the GOP is facing opposition among its own ranks.
So far, four Republicans announced their opposition to the bill in addition to Moran and Lee; Rand Paul of Kentucky also thinks the bill doesn't go far enough, while Susan Collins of Maine, from the “moderate” camp, thinks it goes too far.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters