Skinny Repeal Is Dead

Arizona Senator John Mc Cain cast the vote that shut down the Senate Republicans latest attempt to repeal parts of Obamacare
YURI GRIPAS REUTERS Arizona Senator John Mc Cain cast the vote that shut down the Senate Republicans' latest attempt to repeal parts of Obamacare
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30 July, 2017

Sen. John McCain's decisive "no" vote early Friday marked a major turning point in the GOP's seven-year war to destroy Obamacare.

Now that the majority party's efforts to ram through a bill were defeated by senators who cited the absence of standard governing procedure as a reason for their nay votes, Republicans must work with Democrats to draft a replacement for Obamacare that addresses its shortcomings.

Speaking after the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell looked stunned and lamented the vote and the inability of the GOP to fulfill its long-term campaign pledge. GOP moderates have anxious it would anger voters nervous that Congress would fail to enact a replacement.

All it did was knock out one leg from the Affordable Care Act table (by repealing the individual and employer mandates), but the rest of it still remained.

The provision to defund Planned Parenthood drew opposition from moderate GOP Sens. (See related story.) Republicans Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have been "no" votes all along. "It's time to end the failed status quo".

"This is clearly a disappointing moment", McConnell said.

The American Medical Association immediately denounced the bill.

Trump said the "very outdated" rule "must go" and added, "Budget reconciliation is killing R's in Senate". In fact, it would result in higher premiums.

"The other members of our delegation, and especially the Republicans, have seen the polling numbers on how people felt about the Republican bill", he said.

"I thought it was the right vote", McCain told reporters as he left the Capitol.

Some "may have been breathing a sigh of relief that John voted the way he did", Gullett said.

"If moving forward requires a conference committee, that is something the House is willing to do". Back in February, he predicted that a full repeal and replace of Obamacare is "not what is going to happen". The Senate already did tinker with its health care bill, multiple times, and none of the versions were able to pass muster.

US President Donald Trump
CARLOS BARRIA REUTERS US President Donald Trump"3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down

"It's time to turn the page", said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of NY.

But he added, "We expect the Senate to act first on whatever the conference committee produces". Obamacare is collapsing and hurting American families. We yearn to work together.

Senate leadership had never intended "skinny repeal" to become law, but rather to serve as a vehicle with which to join forces with House Republicans and craft a broader repeal-and-replace plan.

The other reality in the Senate is that Republican leaders aren't interested in getting rid of the filibuster, knowing that one day the Democrats will be in power, and ready to use that. "We told our constituents we would vote that way and when the moment came, when the moment came, most of us did".

"I'm gonna have to have some assurances that they're not going to pass that".

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., stoked Democrats' fears by warning members to keep their travel plans flexible.

The motion to proceed to debate had historically been an automatic vote according to Senate norms, and one that didn't indicate which way a senator might vote on the final proposal.

But not all lawmakers saw a forced vote as such a bad thing. I don't think we can responsibly just let the insurance market continue to deteriorate. So now I think it's appropriate to ask, what are their ideas?

Ryan, R-Wis., opened a path for McConnell earlier Thursday evening by signaling a willingness to negotiate a more comprehensive bill with the Senate. They want to start talking about their other priority, to overhaul the tax code.

But Republican U.S. Sens.

The amendment was a political tactic created to make Democrats vote against a policy popular with their base. There they'd hammer out a compromise that can again pass both sides of Congress and reach President Donald Trump's desk for his signature.

He also said the Senate should consider a reinsurance program for the individual health market - and noted that Republican Sen. His return will amount to a surprise to most Republicans, who expected him to miss the crucial vote and return to Washington at a later date. It's not a serious effort to legislate. McCain returned to the Senate earlier this week after being diagnosed with brain cancer.


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