The Senate has officially rejected the newest repeal and replace plan. Senator John McCain, after receiving his brain cancer diagnosis, returned to D.C. to give his input which inevitably cast the decisive vote against the plan. McCain is just one example of a Republican who wants to repeal and replace Obamacare but still hasn’t agreed on a way to do it. In this case, 49 Republicans voted yes but three (including McCain) voted no along with 48 Democrats, bringing the total to 51-49 against the act.
The process for this repeal was a bit different from previous efforts. It was secretive, which did not work in the bill’s favor. There was no formal drafting or even a public hearing. It was “fast-tracked.”
This “skinny” version of the repeal featured a simplistic approach that would only repeal three parts of the ACA. It would have eliminated the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance, not require employers (with 50 or more employees) to provide health insurance, and remove the tax on medical devices. A similar version of this bill came out two years ago, and the CBO suggested that it would leave 15 million Americans without coverage. That’s about 7 million less than the original American Health Care Act. These numbers still could not do enough to convince Democrats and Republicans alike to cast their votes in favor of a change.
To nobody’s surprise, Trump wasn’t happy. Immediately after the vote around 1:30 AM on July 28, Trump tweeted, “3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!” The House will discuss next steps next Friday.