The U.S. Senate just once again failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
This came in the middle of the night on Friday, and the latest Obamacare repeal proposal failed due to the votes of three Republicans. Those Republicans were:
- Susan Collins (Maine)
- John McCain (Arizona)
- Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Not long after the vote, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to say that these three Republicans, as well as the 48 Democrats in the Senate, let the American people down.
What was up for a vote today was what was informally known as “skinny repeal,” and it was intended mainly to get rid of Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates. It would also have given states flexibility in terms of adhering to some of Obamacare’s regulations like essential health benefits. Plus, it would end the medical device tax.
This was referred to as “skinny” repeal because there was quite a bit it didn’t do, including making any changes to Obamacare’s federal subsidies. It also did nothing to replace Obamacare, so all it would be accomplishing would be rolling back some of the law without getting rid of all of it and without a concrete plan to replace it. This is something that concerned many Republicans.
On Thursday, several Republican senators, including John McCain and Lindsey Graham, made clear in a press conference that they were concerned about passing skinny repeal because they did not want it to become law. Instead, they just wanted to use it as a vehicle to get into a conference committee with the House of Representatives, where a better bill would be decided upon.
John McCain ended up voting against the proposal on Friday, while Lindsey Graham voted for it, feeling that he had enough assurances from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan that the House of Representatives would not pass skinny repeal if the Senate did. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski voted against all three Obamacare repeal measures this week. Dean Heller, who voted against this week’s the previous two Obamacare repeal proposals, voted in favor of skinny repeal today.
In a statement following the vote, John McCain outlined the path forward.
“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,” McCain said. “We must do the hard work our citizens expect of us and deserve.”