Late Tuesday, the Senate voted by a narrow margin (a 51-50 vote that required a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence) to debate health care reform. Just seven hours later, as expected, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) failed on a 43-57 vote. Nine Republican senators voted “no” on the BCRA, as did all Democrats. The Republicans were Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dean Heller of Nevada, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Mike Lee of Utah. This version of BCRA… Read more
Efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act(ACA) advanced in the Senate today, as Republicans voted to open debate on the controversial legislation. It was a 51-50 vote, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tiebreaker.
Senator John McCain (R., Arizona), recently diagnosed with brain cancer, has confirmed that he will return to the Senate this afternoon to vote on bringing health care reform to the floor for debate. Specifically, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Kentucky) is expected to ask for a procedural vote to approve debate on the Senate’s version of the “repeal and replace” and/or “repeal” bill regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This vote is needed to continue the Republicans’ 7- year promise to repeal and replace the ACA.
After the collapse this week of the Senate’s version of the “repeal and replace” legislation, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), a “repeal and replace in 2 years” bill was introduced in the Senate on July 19, 2017. The “Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017” (ORRA) is based on a repeal bill passed in 2015 by the House of Representatives and the Senate but vetoed by then-President Obama. The ORRA would repeal various provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) but delay the effective date of repeal for two years, during which Congress would craft replacement legislation. Assuming the Senate… Read more
Last night, Senator Mitch McConnell admitted defeat of the Senate’s health care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). “Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” he admitted after two more Republican Senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kanas, announced that they will be voting “no” on the bill. This defeat comes after the decision on Monday to delay the vote as Senator John McCain, a supporter of the bill, recovers from removal of a blood clot above his left eye. Now, Senator… Read more
As soon as the revised health care bill was introduced yesterday, criticism began and the margin for passage may already be compromised. Two Republican senators, moderate Susan Collins of Maine and conservative Rand Paul of Kentucky, have already announced they were not swayed by the revised bill. Republicans must have 50 out of 52 Republican Senators voting for the bill. As mentioned in my blog yesterday, the revised bill includes an amendment from Senator Ted Cruz (R., Tx.) which would allow insurers to sell “skimpy” plans, as long as they also offer at least one which meets the Affordable Care… Read more
As discussed in my blog yesterday, Republican Senators will be introducing a newly revised health care bill today. According to reports from multiple media sources, the bill will include cuts to Medicaid, expansion of the use of health savings accounts and tax credits, and additional funding for states to fight the rising opioid addiction epidemic. Additional funding is also expected to be included beyond the $62 billion currently allocated to states to help low-income individuals afford health care coverage. It is also expected to retain the 3.8% investment tax and the 0.9% Medicare surtax on upper-income earners (see details in… Read more
Late yesterday, Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader (R.KY.) announced that the Senate will delay its summer recess for two weeks. The AP (7/11, Taylor) reported that McConnell promised “to wrap up” the Senate’s ACA repeal bill “next week, but a number of neglected items have been left in health care’s wake as that bill has been repeatedly delayed.” The article adds, “Little progress has been made on other legislation, and the Kentucky Republican says the chamber would work on the annual defense policy measure and, perhaps, must-do legislation to increase the government’s borrowing authority.” The revised health care bill, the… Read more
According to multiple sources, the Senate Republicans will introduce an updated version of the Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (H.R. 1628) (BCRA) this week with hopes of voting on the measure next week. Protests during the July 4th recess and continuing in the halls of the Senate now make passage of BCRA less likely. Up to 10 Republican Senators have expressed reservations about the bill-passage in the Senate requires that all but 2 Republican Senators must vote for the measure. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will be briefing the full 52… Read more
As mentioned in prior blog posts, the Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate and need 50 out of 52 Republicans to vote for the health care bill. Both conservatives and centrists want different provisions in the bill, and Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-KY.) is struggling to bring the factions together in a way that will attract the votes of both of these groups. Once rewritten, he still needs to produce a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score of the legislation’s impact on coverage levels and federal spending. Senate McConnell is planning on sending a revised version of… Read more