The Senate rejected a plan to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act in two years, but GOP leaders are growing more confident about the chances of passing a scaled-back repeal of Obamacare later this week.
Nine Senate Republicans joined all of the chamber’s Democrats to reject an updated version of the House-passed Better Care Reconciliation Act.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was diagnosed with brain cancer last week, will return to the Senate for today’s showdown vote to begin debate on a sweeping health care bill.
The Senate parliamentarian said provisions to defund Planned Parenthood for one year and prohibit tax credits from being used to help buy health plans that cover abortion violate the chamber’s arcane budget rules. The guidance further complicates the GOP push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is expected to schedule a hearing in the near future to discuss policies to bolster the nation’s health insurance marketplaces.
In an effort to win over GOP moderates on the health care bill, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma is advocating a plan to use up to $200 billion in Obamacare taxes to lower out-of-pocket costs for low-income people who would be kicked off Medicaid in the health care overhaul.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backed away from a fallback plan to have the Senate take up a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement. McConnell is now urging Republicans to at least let the Senate begin floor debate next week on a measure to overhaul Obamacare, saying the legislation is “wide open for amendment.”
President Donald Trump has invited all 52 Senate Republicans for a lunch meeting at the White House, as GOP leaders’ last-ditch effort to have the chamber vote “early next week” on a straight repeal of the Affordable Care Act appears destined to fail.
Senate Republicans’ health overhaul bill effectively collapsed after GOP Sens. Jerry Moran (Kan.) and Mike Lee (Utah) announced their opposition to the plan.
The Congressional Budget Office won’t release a cost estimate of the Senate health care legislation on Monday as was expected.