The promise 7 years in the making to both “repeal and replace” Obamacare seems doomed for passage in the foreseeable future. Two more Republican senators said on Monday that they will oppose the current Republican health care bill. After the announcement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly called for a vote simply to repeal Obamacare without a replace option.
Senators Jerry Moran (R-Ks) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) became the 3rd and 4th GOP senators to declare that they would not support their party’s replacement health care plan. They even went so far as to say that they would not back a motion to proceed, which would have allowed debate on the controversial legislation.
The Republicans, who hold 52 seats in the Senate, had already seen two senators oppose the bill and could not afford another. So the opposition of both senators created what seems like a death blow to the bill.
Following the announcement from the senators, President Trump in a tweet urged Republicans to just repeal Obamacare first, and then come up with a solution for replacing it. A White House official said in a statement that, “inaction is not an option. We look forward to Congress continuing to work toward a bill the President can sign to end the Obamacare nightmare and restore quality care at affordable prices.”
McConnell had this to say about calling for a vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement bill: “Regretfully, it’s now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” McConnell said in a statement. “So, in the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care.”
When the Senate Republicans released their bill to replace Obamacare, two GOP senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine immediately opposed it. Mike Lee from Utah took some time but eventually believed that the bill did not go far enough in its repeal of Obamacare. Lee said in a statement, “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, [the bill] doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle-class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations,” he said.
Moran said that the bill “fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address health care’s rising costs. We must now start fresh with an open legislative process to develop innovative solutions that provide greater personal choice, protections for pre-existing conditions, increased access and lower overall costs for Kansans,” he said in a statement.
We look forward to seeing your thoughts on this breaking news about what seems like a collapse of the Republican health care plan.