healthcare reform

By the narrowest of margins, the Senate’s latest vote for a stripped down ACA repeal bill, which was dubbed a “skinny” repeal, was shot down. Now the GOP faces some tough questions about the likelihood of its “repeal-and-replace” efforts.

By a 49-51 margin, the skinny repeal legislation was defeated. That was just short of the 50 votes needed to pass the bill. The deciding vote was cast by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who returned from cancer treatment last week to vote “yes” to an unusual procedural move to open up the ACA repeal effort for debate.

Following his “no” vote, McCain said,

“We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people. We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve.”

Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) as well as every Democratic senator also voted no on the legislation.

Following the collapse, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “I regret that our efforts were simply not enough, this time. This is clearly a disappointing moment. It’s time to move on.”

Would end mandates, device tax

The skinny repeal bill would have ended the ACA requirement that all individuals must buy health insurance and suspend through 2026 the rule that applicable employers must provide insurance for workers or face a penalty.

The bill would have also extend a moratorium on the medical-device tax through 2020, increase the contribution rate for HSAs and defund Planned Parenthood for one year.


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