Disability Advocates Relieved By Failure Of Health Bill

Disability Advocates Relieved By Failure Of Health Bill

Opponents of the Republican drive to repeal "Obamacare" have dealt President Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers a huge blow, rejecting a measure to roll back parts of the Affordable Care Act. It would have retroactively repealed the Obamacare penalty on individuals who do not purchase health insurance, repealed for eight years a penalty on certain employers who do not provide employees with insurance and repealed a medical device tax until 2020.

The Senate voted 55-45 on Wednesday against a simple repeal of Obamacare that would have provided a two-year delay so Congress could work out a replacement plan.

The Republican leadership had been trying to pass the bill by using the budget reconciliation process, which allows legislation to pass with a simple majority if it meets certain requirements, including reducing the budget deficit. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Trump needs to work alongside members of the House and Senate to pass reforms agreeable to both parties.

McCain, along with Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, who opposed the bill from the beginning, ultimately dealt a major blow to not only the GOP's attempts to repeal Obamacare but to President Trump's agenda more broadly. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., speak to reporters at the Capitol as the Republican-controlled Senate unable to fulfill their political promise to repeal and replace "Obamacare" because of opposition and wavering within the GOP ranks, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 27, 2017.

"This is clearly a disappointing moment", McConnell said. "I'm not interested on having a vote on something that they've done", said Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.).

"I hope this is a turning point", Schumer told reporters.


Although Republicans controlled the Senate, three of them crossed party lines to join Democrats, and frustrated Trump's dream with a vote of 49 in favor and 51 against.

"Last night was an wonderful moment, and the credit goes to a lot of people, but at the top of the list are the three who showed fantastic courage to resist the pressure and do what's good for the country", Schumer said.

Senator Dean Heller, R-NV, signed onto an amendment by Senators Graham and Cassidy that would cut some Medicaid funding to states, but replace it with federal grant money. But after a failed vote early Friday in the Senate, it's not clear GOP leaders will be able to resuscitate the efforts.

Freshman Florida Republican Rep. Francis Rooney told CNN that the collapse of the Obamacare repeal effort was "a bit of a civics lesson" and observing the fallout after his first 7 months of a topsy-turvy process, remarked, "it's just a very, very unusual time here". The former Republican presidential nominee and Vietnam war hero flew back from Arizona after being diagnosed with brain cancer in order to vote, and sat talking to Collins, Murkowski, and Republican Senator Jeff Flake, also from Arizona. On Tuesday, senators rejected the broad repeal-and-replace plan Republicans had worked on since May. They appear to have sworn off, at least for now, a GOP-only approach to replacing the landmark health-care law.

But whether there's much appetite among Republicans for merely tweaking the health insurance program remains to be seen. The defeat early Thursday morning of the health care bill, Brooks said, is potentially "a killer" for the rest of the Trump agenda. "They want to pass this bill, skinny repeal, and send it to the President".

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