Today, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. KY.) announced that the health care bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will not be put up for a vote in the Senate until after the July 4th holiday. According to the New York Times (6/27, Steinhauer, Subscription Publication), it appears that he “miscalculated in the first round of play.” He is said to have “put his legislative thumb on the scale in favor of conservatives, quickly alienating” other senators including Sens. Susan Collins (R. ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R. AK).
Other Senators have also opposed the Medicaid eligibility expansion provisions of the bill. As in the House, the first attempt to pass health care reform has faltered, and the Republican Senators have vowed to regroup after the holiday. Some Senators privately have said that they will just let the ACA “crash and burn”, a reference to the failing ACA health care exchanges in many states. In some states, only one insurance company is willing to write individual exchange insurance policies for 2018, and in in some specific pockets of the U.S., no insurance carriers are willing to sell exchange health care policies.
Therefore, it appears that the fight is not over; just postponed for another day, as the nation prepares to celebrate its independence from the U.K., a country that has embraced a government-run health care system.
For more information on this topic, contact your Health Care counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.