Today, the United States Senate managed to vote on the mere idea to open discussion on a new healthcare bill. After the House of Representatives sent the Senate the dumpster fire known as the American Health Care Act, the Senate tried to get the votes it needed with their plan on top of it. Sadly for the Senate Republicans, the bill did not seem to gather the votes it needed and thus was D.O.A. before it was ever open for vote on the Senate floor.
The Affordable Care Act is the current standing healthcare model for the United States, which several Americans have hated. The premiums have gotten higher and higher each year, with insurances taking full advantage of the billions put into this by the government. On top of this, the government forced every adult American to have healthcare or they would pay a fine for not doing so. It was universally hated, even by Democrats.
Both parties agree, the time is now to act on a new bill. The problem is the bill that would replace it. Would healthcare get worse or better? Would Americans pay more or less? How long would things take to go into place? A lot of unanswered questions remain. That is why the vote today was such a big deal.
What Did The Senate Decide?
The vote today was done on opening discussion on a new healthcare bill. That’s right, the entire mess today you heard about was simply a vote on opening discussion. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted to vote this week on repealing the ACA, without bothering to replace it with anything at least for two years. You know, like you do. However, that seems to be out of the way for now.
Today, the vote was going to open discussion and most felt this idea made sense. However, some did not like the idea. Actually, half the Senate did not like it. The votes came down to a 50-50 tie, which gives the Vice President a deciding vote. Mike Pence would vote in favor, bringing things to a 51 level and majority.
The discussion seems to be okay with many, but the fact that this took things down to needing the United States VP is eye opening.
What Does This Mean?
With the Senate coming down to a 50-50 tie, it raising questions on whether or not any sort of repeal or new healthcare bill would pass. Republicans had to be involved in saying no. This was not just Democrats who would make the decision. Therefore, the Senate still has to make sure all Republicans are on board.
It is obvious Democrats won’t step on board of a Republican bill. However, many feel this is needed. While President Donald Trump was able to take a huge sigh of relief today due to things passing, he cannot hope for things to go well just yet with these numbers not being up to par for the Senate. As it stands, it seems few can agree on a new bill to replace the current. This is why a repeal seems crazy at the current time.
If a new bill passes, it would take both sides coming together to make it work. Healthcare is important to Americans, by removing it and not replacing it…we’re hurting millions of people here. The Senate must get a bill ready to replace before a repeal is put in play. By doing this, at least Americans will have some sort of healthcare to use going forward and won’t be worried over having nothing. Especially when it comes to affordability of the new.
Senator John McCain Returns
Arizona Senator John McCain has been recovering from surgery, following his diagnosis of brain cancer. He recently had surgery to remove this, and was at home recovering recently. Obviously the Senate could use another experienced person around to help with the healthcare bill. However, John McCain might be one of the biggest Senators to bring in on this.
McCain has been known as a man who has been able to work with both sides. He enjoys the aspect of working things out with both Republicans and Democrats and believes cooperation is key to getting things done. He is not just a little correct, he massively correct on this. With John being back for the vote today. He is very experienced and will bring that up to bat with everything upcoming.
Many do wonder what will happen with McCain. While he received a standing ovation upon his return, it is uncertain if his presence will help. The Senator would speak on the importance of opening debate, but no one knows if he can manage to bring everything together.
What Happens Now?
Mitch McConnell claimed that “we have a duty to act, we cannot let this moment slip by.” Mitch is right, as the time is now to act if they ever will. According to Reuters, Senators would claim that a variety of approaches have been discussed. This includes a straight repeal of Obamacare with no replacement plan or simply replacing the law while fixing up Medicaid.
Another idea was thrown in, that would have Senate Republicans consider a shortened version of repeal that they call a “skinny repeal.” This would remove the Obamacare individual and employer mandates and medical device tax. Senator Rand Paul would say regarding things:
“Some of us want clean repeal, some of us want the Senate leadership bill, they’re both going to get a vote early on and I think that’s a fair way to do it. If either one of them fails and another one succeeds, maybe we can find something in between that actually succeeds.”
The second option sounds like the better plan overall. It all depends on how voting goes down of course. At the end of the day, Congress is controlled by Republicans. Whatever they do in majority will pass. With two plans up in the air, it will be interesting to see which is picked.