The Senate will vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also widely known as Obamacare) without a replacement, announced Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, after two Republican senators—Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas—came out in opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) Monday night.
The bill was revealed in June, with some alterations from the House’s version. In addition to repealing Obamacare, the Senate’s bill would have left 23 million more Americans uninsured by the year 2026, and would have had a significant impact on how older and low-income people were able to access healthcare.
The bill needed 50 votes for passage. With 52 Republican senators and four nays (Republican Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine were also opposed), the bill was shot down.
In a statement, McConnell said, “Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.” He also said that the goal of the Republicans will remain to establish a “patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care.”
In a statement announcing his vote against the bill, Senator Lee said, “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.” Senator Moran said that he could not support the bill “For the same reasons I could not support the previous version of this bill,” adding that, “We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy.”
Meanwhile, Donald Trump took to Twitter after McConnell’s announcement to express his hopefulness that a new attempt at an Obamacare repeal will be successful.
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
Both Lee and Moran voted for a clean repeal of Obamacare in 2015, as did 48 other current Republican senators. The partial repeal bill passed the Senate with a 52 vote majority, but was ultimately vetoed by President Obama. This time, however, many are predicting that a full repeal has a much better chance of going through. Whether or not the Republicans will commit to developing a new healthcare plan, as Trump tweeted, remains to be seen.
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