Senate GOPs Pull Obamacare Repeal, Decide Tax Reform Up Next


A last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare appeared on September 18, when Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey backed a new Senate plan called "Graham-Cassidy", authored by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy.

Monday night, the Republicans modified Graham-Cassidy to make it more palatable for Murkowski, Cruz and Lee to vote in favor but that did not satisfy the senators who announced they were still opposed.

The Cassidy-Graham bill would have repealed the mandate that individuals have health insurance and it allowed states to repeal other regulations, including a ban on insurers charging higher premiums to people with medical conditions.

On Monday, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced that she would not support the bill, saying that it was "deeply flawed".

Collins' was regarded as a critical vote for the chances of passage, so much so that Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Health Secretary Tom Price all reached out to her over the last couple of days. John Kennedy, R-La., leaving a luncheon where GOP senators decided against holding a futile roll call.

Sources told The Liberal Advocate News that Republicans chose to abandon the repeal and replace effort during their caucus meeting Tuesday after it became clear they did not have the votes needed to pass it.

Earlier that day, President Donald Trump reportedly signaled during a bipartisan meeting at the White House that he would collaborate with Democratic lawmakers on health care if Senate Republicans were unable to repeal the ACA with Graham-Cassidy.

He added that he believes the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson plan will eventually be what replaces current health care law, once it's completed under a better legislative process. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said he was "relieved that Senate Republicans are abandoning" a vote on an "irresponsible scheme". "We're not going to be able to do it this week", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

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This comes as Sen.

But the 2018 budget is already being eyed to push through a tax reform package, and some Republicans were wary of loading it down with several big lifts.

"Today, Americans breathe a sigh of relief because the health care of millions has been protected and preserved", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

"This is not the promise we made", said Paul.

"If you can get people intrigued with your state and then willing to help, that makes all the difference in the world", Murkowski said. Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate. But that package is created to clear the path for tax reform, not another repeal and replace effort.

The Senate Republicans' latest effort to repeal and replace Obamacare is dead. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) vowed outside of a closed caucus policy luncheon on Capitol Hill.

He called the vote postponement a "disappointment": "To those who will celebrate the fact that we won't have that vote just yet, think of those families of three making 401 percent of federal poverty level, those states, and those patients in those non- expansion states".