Yesterday, the “repeal bill” known as the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA) failed to win enough votes for passage, losing 45-55. Now, Republican Senators will try to pass what has been dubbed a “skinny repeal” bill that will eliminate the mandates for employers and individuals to maintain health coverage, and potentially roll back medical device and other corporate taxes. The exact bill has not yet been crafted, but many Republicans appear to be determined to find some way to keep the health care debate alive. As stated by Senator Thom Tillis (R., N.C.), “we need an outcome, and if a so-called skinny repeal is the first step, that’s a good first step.” As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, this last-ditch effort may be the best option to get the Senate to committee with the House (which already passed the American Health Care Act), where the hard work of drafting a health care repeal and replace bill will begin. Passage of the “skinny bill” is not assured, but may be the Senate Republicans’ best option to attract the 50 votes needed for passage.
For more information on this topic, contact your Health Care counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.