GOP Sens. Jerry Moran (Kan.) and Mike Lee (Utah) announced Monday night that they do not support the bill repealing and replacing ObamaCare, successfully blocking the legislation.
Their decision means Republicans in the Senate do not have the vote to pass their legislation, and this obstructs President Trump in reaching his goal of ending ObamaCare.
Because of this challenge, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-Ky.) stated that the Senate will try to separate ObamaCare repeal and replacement, ending the chamber’s current health care legislation.
“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,” McConnell stated.
In other words, Senate Republicans will try to repeal and replace ObamaCare separately, returning to a plan Senate GOP leadership that was introduced earlier this year but had to abandon due to lack of support.
Moran and Lee explained that the bill failed to do enough to lower premiums.
“This closed-door process has yielded the [bill], which fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address health care’s rising costs. For the same reasons, I could not support the previous version of this bill, I cannot support this one,” Moran stated.
He said that the Senate “must now start fresh with an open legislative process,” indicating that minimal changes to the current bill will not make him change his mind. “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for
“In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle-class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations,” he stated.
Lee Twitted that he and Moran do not want “this version” of the Senate GOP legislation, known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act, leaving the door open to additional changes.
Lee notified that a controversial amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) included in the bill does not go far enough. That amendment allows insurers to sell plans that don’t fulfill ObamaCare’s coverage mandates if they also sell plans that do. Lee objects that the amendment still does not repeal ObamaCare’s requirement that healthy and sick people be grouped in a “single risk pool,” which he claims would challenge the effectiveness of the amendment.
Lee objects that the amendment still does not repeal ObamaCare’s requirement that healthy and sick people be grouped in a “single risk pool,” which he claims would challenge the effectiveness of the amendment.
Many health experts and major health insurance companies are indicating that premiums would spike for the people remaining in the ObamaCare plans. Any attempt by McConnell to do something about Lee’s concerns and move the bill further to the right would risk losing the support of key moderate senators, many of whom are already cautious about the legislation.
With a 52-seat majority, and with Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Rand Paul (Ky.) already expected to vote no, he cannot afford to lose two more votes.
President Trump twitted, “Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate,” adding that, “Dems will join in!”
Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
The White House had something to say, “Inaction is not an option.”
“Insurance markets continue to collapse, premiums continue to rise, and Obamacare remains a failure. Inaction is not an option”.
“We look forward to Congress continuing to work toward a bill the President can sign to end the Obamacare nightmare and restore quality care at affordable prices.”
The chairman of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, Rep Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and former chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), also took it on Twitter.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) July 18, 2017
No more waiting. Americans sent us here 2 repeal Obamacare. Lets send 2 Trumps desk the same bill we sent 2 Obamas https://t.co/AsNZPggxM9
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 18, 2017
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) attacked Lee-Moran announcement, saying that it’s time for Senate Republicans to take a “new approach.”
“Getting money/power out of Washington & returning it to the states is the antidote to 1-SIZE FITS ALL approach embraced in Obamacare,” he wrote.
Graham and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) issued a proposal late last week that would change most of the federal funding and decision making on ObamaCare directly to the states.
Johnson accused the GOP leader of a “breach of trust” for privately saying to moderate senators that some of the bill’s cuts to Medicaid wouldn’t go into effect.
“I’ve confirmed those [remarks] from senators [who] those comments were made to, so I find those comments very troubling,” the Wisconsin Republican stated Monday night.
He also said, “last week I was strongly urging colleagues to vote a motion to proceed, I’m not doing that right now.”
Medicaid arose few key concerns, even though Republicans want to use the bill to enact entitlement reform and push tougher requirements for the program, moderates from Medicaid expansion states are concerned that the legislation’s dramatic overhaul will leave their constituents unable to get insurance
McConnell said Monday night that he doesn’t share the same opinion as Johnson.
“I prefer to speak for myself, and my view is that the Medicaid per capita cap with a responsible growth rate that is sustainable for taxpayers is the most important long-term reform in the bill. That is why it has been in each draft we have released,” he stated.
McConnell was also required to postpone the vote expected for this week due to a surprise announcement that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would be in Arizona this week recovering from surgery.
It’s still unknown when the Senate would try to pass repeal legislation.
In a Monday night McCain issued a statement:
“One of the major problems with Obamacare was that it was written on a strict party-line basis and driven through Congress without a single Republican vote. As this law continues to crumble in Arizona and states across the country, we must not repeat the original mistakes that led to Obamacare’s failure.”
“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.”
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