Much Anticipated Healthcare Reform Will Not Face Senate Vote

Michael Cerulli ‘19
EE Contributor

Manan Manchanda ‘19
EE News Editor

Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy

Senate Republicans appear to be short on votes to pass the controversial Graham-Cassidy health care bill. The bill, which would have repealed the Affordable Care Act and offset the cost of healthcare to the state level, will not face a vote on the Senate floor. This comes as John McCain (R-Arizona), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) all stated that they would not vote yes on the long-awaited bill. Senate Republicans appear to be short on votes to pass the controversial Graham-Cassidy health care bill. The bill, which would have repealed the Affordable Care Act and offset the cost of healthcare to the state level, will not face a vote on the Senate floor. This comes as John McCain (R-Arizona), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) all stated that they would not vote yes on the long-awaited bill.

“I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal,” McCain said.

The so-called “repealing and replacing” of the ACA has been a goal of the Republican Party ever since former President Obama first introduced the program in 2010. Several attempts to repeal the bill have been unsuccessful, including the American Health Care Act passed by the House in early 2017.

Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), the Senate majority leader, says, “We haven’t given up on changing the American health care system. We are not going to be able to do that this week… But it still lies ahead of us, and we haven’t given up on that.”

President Trump has been sharply critical of the Republican leadership on the Senate side for not being able to pass any substantial repeal bill. He has repeatedly called out McConnell on Twitter, and even went so far as to meet with minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to discuss bipartisan reform.

President Trump’s tweet addressing Repeal and Replace.

“Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing. You can do it!” the President tweeted.

Proponents of the Graham-Cassidy bill state that the cost of the Affordable Care Act (known as “Obamacare”) is too high. They assert that the nationwide rise in premiums and deductibles is a direct result of the former President’s signature policy.

Opponents of the “repeal, replace” efforts ascertain that any attempt to end Obamacare would result in millions of Americans losing their health care coverage. They cite reports from the Congressional Budget Office that estimate that millions of Americans who had been covered under ACA, could lose their insurance under Graham-Cassidy or the failed AHCA.

The debate over Graham-Cassidy, and the broader Republican effort to repeal Obamacare, is likely to continue as the 2018 mid-term elections approach.

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