The United States Senate met today to vote on a repeal-only proposal that would have completely repealed the Affordable Care Act. Better known as Obamacare, the proposal was built to destroy the law that would have hurt millions healthcare wise.
The Senate voted on Tuesday to open discussion on a new plan to replace Obamacare, with many feeling this would actually be good. The Senate was still split on the decision, which led to Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding vote. That is what brought us to today.
The voting today needed to be good for Republicans who wanted a full repeal. The idea from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but not replace it with a new healthcare bill for two years. Many hated this move, including many Republicans. So what would happen today?
The Senate Votes No To Repeal-Only
Going into the vote, it was obvious all Democrats would vote against the repeal-only decision. This would have made no sense in the first place. The question was, since Republicans did have majority control…would they force it to happen? Many Republicans were not into the idea of repeal-only to begin with. The bill was expected to fail, and did so.
Senators would vote 55-45 against an amendment that was originally brought in by Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. His plan was of course repeal-only. It was the idea McConnell seemed to be favoring.
The Republican Senators who voted no to the bill include Tenn. Senator Lamar Alexander, W.V. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Maine Senator Susan Collins, Nev. Senator Dead Heller, AZ Senator John McCain, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, and Ohio Senator Rob Portman. They of course joined all Independents and Democrats in the vote.
Before today, only three Republicans had confirmed they would vote against this plan. Lamar Alexander claimed before this that he didn’t “think there are 40 votes to repeal” without a replacement in place.
The bill was delayed from this morning, mostly due to an abortion amendment. It would end up being done this afternoon due to that. This is now the second healthcare vote that the Senate has done where nothing has changed.
The Impact Of The Senate Saying No Today
Before the Senate said no today, there were a lot of questions that were left unanswered. The repeal would have affected 18 million people currently using some form of the Affordable Care Act would be without healthcare next year. This does leave people a few months to figure things out on how to get care. However, it would massively affect them regardless.
According to The Hill, the repeal-only plan would have massively affected medicaid expansion too. That would bring the total people uninsured to 27 million. This could even get to 32 million by 2026. This means that there is an issue in losing it unless there is a replacement.
Another vote is set to go down, this time regarding “skinny-repeal.” Many have no idea what that means, but it’s actually pretty easy to understand at the end of the day.
Skinny-Repeal is really just like a normal repeal, but it would not totally remove the ACA from existence for the time being. Some part of it will be active, but don’t try to make this point to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, who said ahead of the vote:
“Make no mistake about it, skinny repeal is equal to full repeal. It’s a Trojan horse designed to get the House and Senate into conference where the hard-right flank of the Republican caucus, the Freedom Caucus, will demand full repeal or something very close to it.”
It does make sense to do this and disguise it. Obviously, it would sound better to people and thus get the votes needed to pass. It seems like the best of both worlds in theory. However, if Schumer is right then it would be wrong to get it going. A full repeal clearly was not liked by people today, so some sort of promise would need to be written in to avoid problems from the skinny-repeal side of things.