Senate abandons second healthcare bill
The Senate GOP has effectively abandoned its revised version of the Affordable Care Act after determining it would not have enough votes to pass. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) announced the bill’s fate in Tuesday’s Senate floor session
Two senators, Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), announced Monday they would not support the latest version of the bill. Their opposition to the bill followed Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, who earlier said they would not vote for the new version.
As a frustrated President Donald Trump berated legislators—Democrats and opposing Republicans—for not getting the job done, McConnell said the Senate might vote instead on a stripped-down action that would repeal the Affordable Care Act within two years.
But the course change will face an increasingly cynical legislature that has shown it will not necessarily vote along party lines in the tight margins of the Senate. Based on the voting math, McConnell may now have little choice but to open the process up to greater bipartisan involvement, including negotiations with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York).
"To repeal, there has to be a replacement," Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told reporters Tuesday. "There's enough chaos already, and this would just contribute to it."
Pamela Tabar was editor-in-chief of I Advance Senior Care from 2013-2018. She has worked as a writer and editor for healthcare business media since 1998, including as News Editor of Healthcare Informatics. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Kent State University and a master’s degree in English from the University of York, England.