Graham-Cassidy Repeal and Replace Bill Won’t Be Voted On
This was decided after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met with lawmakers to see where Senators stood on the proposal.
Previously Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and Rand Paul of Kentucky stated opposition to the bill publicly (Democratic Party Senators all opposed the bill as well).
According to CNN:
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a bill sponsor, publicly thanked McConnell. “Thank you, it’s complicated, it’s difficult politics,” Graham told reporters.
McConnell “didn’t try to explain the decision” during the lunch, Sen. Tim Scott said. “It’s obvious — we don’t have the votes right now, you don’t vote until you have them.”
This was the last chance to pass healthcare reform as a budget reconciliation bill, which can pass with only 50 Senator’s votes. The deadline for budget reconciliation is September 30, 2017. Moving forward, any healthcare reform bill will need to be passed through the traditional legislative process (which requires 60 Senator’s votes).
This is good news for anyone hoping for a bipartisan fix by some measures, as without a bipartisan solution, 60 votes are unlikely to to be cast. However, one should also note that there is still a lot the executive office can do to weaken or improve healthcare reform in the meantime. We could see either aide or obstruction from the executive (i.e., Trump, Trump’s HHS, etc.)
Time will tell what the future of healthcare reform in America will be, but for now, it looks as though open enrollment 2018 is inevitable, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land, and there is no “TrumpCare.”