Two more senators’ stance on health bill kills it for now

Dhaka,  Thu,  21 September 2017
Published : 18 Jul 2017, 14:13:02
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Two more senators’ stance on health bill kills it for now

Two more senators’ stance on health bill kills it for now
The latest GOP effort to repeal and replace "Obamacare" was fatally wounded in the Senate Monday night when two more Republican senators announced their opposition to the legislation strongly backed by President Donald Trump, according to AP.

The announcements from Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas left the Republican Party's long-promised efforts to get rid of President Barack Obama's health care legislation reeling. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he will retreat, and try to pass the more straightforward Obamacare repeal bill that Republicans approved while Obama was still in office and certain to veto it. That looks unlikely to succeed now that it could actually become law and unleash wide-ranging effects likely to frighten off senators.

"Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful," McConnell said in a statement that sounded like a death knell to the GOP's promises to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better.

Trump, who had predicted success for McConnell's repeal-and-replace legislation just hours earlier, urged over Twitter: "Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!" But Republican leaders rejected that clean-repeal approach months ago because it could not pass Congress.

Lee and Moran both said they could not support McConnell's legislation in the form unveiled last week. They joined GOP Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky, both of whom announced their opposition right after McConnell released the bill on Thursday.

McConnell's bill "fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address healthcare's rising costs," said Moran.

Lee said, "In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it 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."

That left McConnell at least two votes short in the closely divided Senate from being able to move forward with his bill. Instead he said he would try to open debate on a repeal-and-replace bill passed by the House, and the first allowed amendment would be on the legislation approved by Congress in 2015 repealing much of Obamacare, with a two-year delay for the repeal to take effect.

Obama was in the White House when that bill passed, and he vetoed it. Few Republicans reckoned then with the reality of sending the bill to a president of their party who might actually sign it and invite all the consequences, including casting tens of millions off the rolls of the insured and off of Medicaid. This year's debate has already shown Republicans are highly wary of any such move, and a similar straightforward repeal was rejected early on.

 
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