Published: Fri, July 28, 2017
World News | By Cecilia Wilkerson

Strike Two: Senate Republicans fail again on ACA repeal vote

Strike Two: Senate Republicans fail again on ACA repeal vote

The Senate on Wednesday knocked down a proposal to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act without an immediate replacement amid a chaotic string of health-care votes this week.

Capito had said she would not vote to repeal the ACA without a replacement plan in place. Then a so-called "vote-a-rama" begins, opening the floodgates for all senators to introduce as many amendments as they want.

The United States Senate is getting ready to vote on Obamacare repeal. Murkowski responded that she was "comfortable" with her vote. But there has been a lot of hesitation among Republicans for "repeal" without a plan for "replace". It is based on a plan that Congress passed in 2015 knowing that it would face President Barack Obama's veto. The legislation also would have immediately repealed the individual mandate while continuing the Obamacare requirement that insurers offer coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

Instead, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is presenting a series of confusing amendments that seem created to give the GOP political cover without fixing America's health insurance system.

"Pilots like to know where they're going to land when they take off, and we should too", he said.

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When House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act in May after months of contentious negotiations, many members voted in favor of the legislation despite their concerns, because they believed their colleagues in the "cooling saucer" of the Senate would iron out the kinks in the bill - but they couldn't.

The Congressional Budget Office, the nonpartisan agency that analyzes the effect of legislative proposals for Congress, said that bill would lead to 24 million people losing their insurance.

Nevada was one of 31 states and the District of Columbia that expanded the Medicaid program under the ACA, resulting in coverage for 11 million people nationwide, including more than 200,000 in Nevada, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Although they control the Senate, Republicans do so only by a bare majority. Republicans campaigned and won on the promise to repeal Obamacare. Under today's proposal, the individual and employer mandates would be repealed, the Medicaid expansion and federal subsidies would be ended, and numerous law's taxes would be rolled back.

Alexander's "no" vote was perhaps the most surprising. The failure highlights the continued struggle Senate Republican leadership is facing in coalescing their conference around one health care proposal.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, accompanied by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), speaks with reporters following the successful vote to open debate on a health care bill on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 25, 2017.

The Byrd rule generally blocks provisions that don't affect the federal budget - and blocks provisions whose changes to spending or taxes are "merely incidental" to a larger policy objective.

Ultimately, this all means that contrary to what we've been hearing the last couple of weeks, the repeal and replace process is far from dead - but neither is the fight against it.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price described the approach as finding the "lowest common denominator" of what Senate Republicans can pass with the 50 votes they need, along with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.

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