The ongoing debate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, has taken another new twist. Senate Republican leaders are pulling the plug on the latest GOP healthcare bill following word last night that two more Republican senators would not support the legislation.
Republican Senators Mike Lee, of Utah, and Jerry Moran, of Kansas, announced late Monday they would not support the GOP’s most recent version of the Senate health care bill, effectively stalling the legislation.
The two senators join Senators Rand Paul, of Kentucky, and Susan Collins, of Maine, who both made clear last week they would not support the bill.
With a 52-48 majority, the two senators’ opposition to the bill means it is effectively dead in the Senate.
Although those Republican Senators publicly opposed the bill, others seemed poised to do the same thing which put the legislation on shaky ground.
TheHill.com quoted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-Ky.) as saying, “In the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period,”
The move means Senate Republicans will try to repeal and replace ObamaCare separately, reverting to a plan Senate GOP leadership initially proposed earlier this year but had to abandon due to lack of support.
President Donald Trump sent out several tweets laying blame for the legislation’s failure on “all of the Democrats and a few Republicans,” but vowed, “We will return!”
Arizona Senator John McCain, who recently underwent emergency surgery, responded to the news of the bill’s failure with a statement, which in part read, “The Congress must now return to regular order, hold hearings, receive input from members of both parties, and heed the recommendations of our nation’s governors so that we can produce a bill that finally provides Americans with access to quality and affordable health care.”
“The revised Senate health-care bill released today does not include the measures I have been advocating for on behalf of the people of Arizona,” McCain said. “That’s why if the Senate takes up this legislation, I intend to file amendments that would address the concerns raised by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and other leaders across our state about the bill’s impact on Arizona’s Medicaid system.”
Although this chapter appears to be coming to a close, the bigger story of how health care can best serve people here in Arizona and across the country is only beginning. Share your thoughts on what should come next and how we can make sure any future bill supports the people, patients and communities of of our state. Generating meaningful dialogue around key health issues is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!