Senate Republicans have conceded defeat both on Tuesday in their seven-year attempt to reverse the Affordable Care Act, acknowledging they lacked the vows of their pledge to “repeal and replace” the legislative takeover of President Barack Obama’s signature.
Hours after Republican leaders dropped a bill to revise the law known as Obamacare, their backup plan – a proposed repeal of major parts of the bill without replacing them – quickly collapsed.
A trio of moderate Republicans nullified the idea, saying it could pick up the millions of Americans without thinking insurance coverage.
“I have not come to Washington to hurt people,” criticized Senator Shelley Moore Capito (RWW.V.), who joined Senators Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) to oppose an immediate repeal .
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Who has spent weeks trying to combine his heartbreaking column to support the original GOP legislation, said he is still planning a “early next week” vote in the GOP. Repeal plan But he seemed to recognize that he looked condemned.
“This has been a very difficult experience for all of us,” McConnell told reporters. “It’s pretty obvious we do not have 50 members who can accept a replacement.”
The collapse of the effort marks a devastating political defeat for Congressional Republicans and Trump’s president, who pledged to return the “First Day” Affordability Assistance Act of his presidency.
This also leaves millions of consumers receiving health insurance through the law in a sort of administrative limbo, wondering how their care will be affected since the program is in the hands of government officials who have openly destroyed their disappearance.
On Tuesday, Trump told reporters in the White House Roosevelt Room that he planned to “let Obamacare fail.” That way, he said, his party would have no political responsibility for the collapse of the system .
“We’re not going to be. I’m not going to have it,” the president said. “I can say that the Republicans will not. We’ll let Obamacare fail, then the Democrats will come” to fix it.
But Trump’s comments seemed to ignore the many Republican lawmakers who care about depriving voters of their federal benefits they now depend on.
The president invited the 52 Republican senators to join him for lunch on Wednesday at the White House to try to remedy the collapse.
Senate leaders have struggled to come up with a plan to review Obamacare as the House of Representatives passed its version of legislation in May, an erroneous bill that some House members have openly asked in the Senate to repair.
With just 52 seats, McConnell could afford to lose the support of the only two members of his bench – and still count on Pence vice president to break the tie.
The measure would have reduced the key federal regulations on insurance and reduced Medicaid drastically over time.
But it was not enough for many conservative Republicans, who wanted to give back more of ACA’s mandate to insurers.
And the bill was too far for many moderates, especially the United Republicans, who accepted the ACA’s offer to expand eligibility for Medicaid.