Friday, July 28, 2017

Senate Rejects #ObamaCare 'Skinny Repeal', 51-49, in Dramatic Light-Night Vote

I actually really liked "skinny repeal." It would have removed ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates, and it would have rescinded the medical device tax. I've said all along that protections for pre-existing conditions should remain. Plus, since I have a 21-year-old kid, I can see how allowing young people to remain on their parents insurance can be helpful (even though I still shake my head sometimes to think that 26-year-old Americans should be dependent on their parents, but wtf?).

In any case, even the skinny repeal got rejected, owing a lot to Sen. John McCain, who's generated some enormous animosity since last night.

In any case, at the New York Times (FWIW), "Senate Rejects Slimmed-Down Obamacare Repeal as McCain Votes No":
WASHINGTON — The Senate in the early hours of Friday morning rejected a new, scaled-down Republican plan to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act, derailing the Republicans’ seven-year campaign to dismantle President Barack Obama’s signature health care law and dealing a huge political setback to President Trump.

Senator John McCain of Arizona, who just this week returned to the Senate after receiving a diagnosis of brain cancer, cast the decisive vote to defeat the proposal, joining two other Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, in opposing it.

The 49-to-51 vote was also a humiliating setback for the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has nurtured his reputation as a master tactician and spent the last three months trying to devise a repeal bill that could win support from members of his caucus.

As the clock ticked toward the final vote, which took place around 1:30 a.m., suspense built on the Senate floor. Mr. McCain was engaged in a lengthy, animated conversation with Vice President Mike Pence, who had come to the Capitol expecting to cast the tiebreaking vote for the bill. A few minutes later, when Mr. McCain ambled over to the Democratic side of the chamber, he was embraced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California. A little later Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, put her arm around Mr. McCain.

The roll had yet to be called, but the body language suggested that the Trump administration had failed in its effort to flip the Arizona senator whom President Trump hailed on Tuesday as an “American hero.’’

Many senators announced their votes in booming voices. Mr. McCain quietly signaled his vote with a thumbs-down gesture. He later offered an explanation on Twitter:
Skinny repeal fell short because it fell short of our promise to repeal & replace Obamacare w/ meaningful reform...
After the tally was final, Mr. Trump tweeted:
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!
The truncated Republican plan that ultimately fell was far less than what Republicans once envisioned. Republican leaders, unable to overcome complaints from both moderate and conservative members of their caucus, said the skeletal plan was just a vehicle to permit negotiations with the House, which passed a much more ambitious repeal bill in early May.

The “skinny repeal” bill, as it became known at the Capitol this week, would still have had broad effects on health care. The bill would have increased the number of people who are uninsured by 15 million next year compared with current law, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Premiums for people buying insurance on their own would have increased roughly 20 percent, the budget office said...

Also, at Politico, via Memeorandum, "How McCain tanked Obamacare repeal." And at the Los Angeles Times, "McCain's surprise vote doomed GOP healthcare bill, but did it open the door for Senate bipartisanship?" (No.)