Paul Ryan is willing keep Obamacare repeal negotiations with the Senate alive
00:25, Jul 30, 2017
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Repealing the law had been a core part of Republican messaging for nearly a decade. It remains to be seen what kind of bill could actually pass in the Senate, though, as it has become clear that Senate Republicans have fundamental disagreements about the future of health care in the United States.
The bill, released only 3 hours before voting began, would have retroactively repealed Obamacare's individual mandate, alongside an 8-year repeal of penalties on certain businesses which did not provide employees with insurance, a repeal of the medical device tax until 2020 and the defunding of Planned Parenthood for at least 1 year.
McCain had not stated before the vote which way he would go in Friday's vote.
But don't count on it, given the opposite policy goals of Senate Republicans and Democrats. The legislation highlighted major divisions in the Republican caucus.
Staff of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) crafted the new bill, which was under discussion all afternoon and posted publicly late Thursday evening.
The Post points out that a bipartisan approach to reforming our health-care system could end up giving Republicans some deregulatory measures in exchange for GOP help in shoring up the exchanges and a GOP acceptance of the ACA's coverage expansion.
"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 our nation's governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people", McCain said. Get there after waiting for 7 years.
President Donald Trump earlier this week Tweeted distain for Murkowski following her vote against the motion to proceed.
Following rejection of two broader repeal plans earlier in the week, Friday's vote cast doubt on whether divided Senate Republicans can advance any health bill despite seven years of promises to repeal "Obamacare".
Instead, under the strategy that Senate leaders are clearly pursuing, House and Senate leaders would officially appoint a conference committee, but the full conference committee - including its Democratic members - would virtually never meet.
McCain - who flew in from Arizona after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer earlier this week - told reporters, "I thought it was the right vote", while exiting the Capitol. But on Thursday it became a theater of the absurd when three top Republicans said they would vote for a health care bill only if House leaders guaranteed that it would not become law.
"Sen. Daines doesn't support the bill, he just wants to get Democrats on the record", Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor. But "sneaky repeal" is the more honest description, since it is really a means to preserve Republican hopes of more completely destroying the A.C.A., or Obamacare.
Republicans still have a lot, besides health care, on their agenda.
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However, exactly what legislation lawmakers would be debating remained unclear to many of them late Monday. John McCain will return to the Senate as Republicans prepare to vote on Obamacare repeal and replacement.
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