Last night (Monday, July 17) Senators Jerry Moran and Mike Lee simultaneously released statements that they would not vote to proceed to debate on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). With Senators Rand Paul and Susan Collins already in the “no” column, this announcement made it clear to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he would not be able to proceed as planned. In a statement released last night he stated, “Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.” He then stated, “In the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period.”
This was the original plan of the GOP in the days and weeks after Trump was elected but it became apparent that there wasn’t sufficient support to repeal without an immediate replacement. It will be interesting to see where the support lies now as it appears that the only alternative is to let the ACA stand.
In order to vote on the “clean repeal” that McConnell is outlining, they will still have to come up with 50 votes on the Motion to Proceed. This morning an aide for Mike Lee said that he would be a “yes” if the plan was to vote for a clean repeal based on the bill that passed and was vetoed in 2015.
We will continue to watch the developments related to healthcare reform and how any changes may impact our clients.
Read these previous posts for our compelte analysis of the healthcare reform efforts this year:
Senate Releases Updated BCRA Draft (July 17)
Senate Releases Draft Health Care Bill (June 23)
AHCA Pulled Prior to Vote, ACA Remains (March 27)
Trump Issues ACA Executive Order (January 23)