In a tense session early this morning, Senators voted 51-49 against the proposed “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act, according to NPR.
It seems to many that Republican-only efforts to repeal the ACA are, at least for now, dead in the water with Senator John McCain returning to the Capitol to cast a vote against his party’s proposed legislation. McCain, who was diagnosed with glioblastoma last week, released a statement explaining his vote as he returns to Arizona to begin cancer treatment:
From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people. The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals. While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has previously lobbied intensely with Republicans not to go against party consensus; Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Paul Ryan both lobbied with McCain one-on-one, but their efforts were not enough to cause him to vote with party loyalty in mind.
According to many Republicans, the plan was to vote to pass the “skinny repeal,” which would bring the ACA’s repeal into bipartisan workshopping simply to get the legislation rolling. Now, with the repeal cast down, Republicans may feel compelled to let the health care debate go for now.