Senate Heads Toward a Health Care Showdown Vote Tuesday Top News


Senate Heads Toward a Health Care Showdown Vote Tuesday Top News

“For Senate Republicans, this is their chance to keep their promise,” Mr. Trump said, repeating the “repeal-and-replace” mantra on which they campaigned. “There’s been enough talk and no action; now is the time for action.”


The Outcomes of the Many Republican Health Plans Are Not So Different

Comparing how the plans would affect key measures like the number of uninsured and the deficit.

OPEN Graphic

After nearly seven months of planning, debating and legislating, much of it behind closed doors, the Senate this week has apparently reached the moment when votes will have to be cast. The fight on the Senate floor will unfold in stages.

First, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, is expected to move ahead with a procedural vote on Tuesday to take up the health care bill that narrowly passed the House in May. If that vote is approved, the Senate would begin debating a bill to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement, but nobody expects that measure to reach a final vote.

Instead, if Mr. McConnell can muster 50 votes to begin debate on the House bill, he could quickly move to replace it with an entirely new bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement. If that amendment vote fails, as expected, he could move to replace the bill that was passed in the House with a health bill that has been worked out in closed-door negotiations between Republican senators.

None of that would happen if senators vote against the motion to proceed, and at the moment, Mr. McConnell still appears short of the votes. He can afford to lose only two Senate Republicans, or only one if Senator John McCain of Arizona, who announced last week that he has brain cancer, is absent. It remained unclear on Monday whether Mr. McCain would be able to return to the Senate in the near future.

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, appears all but certain to vote no on the procedural vote, regardless of what legislation Mr. McConnell promises to put before the chamber if the initial hurdle can be cleared.

At least two other Republicans, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have indicated they will not vote to proceed if Senate leaders plan to then put forth a bill that would repeal the health law without providing a replacement.

Republican leaders are pressuring their members to go along at least with the procedural step, to bring them closer to delivering on their longtime promise of repealing the Affordable Care Act, which was adopted without any Republican votes.

“It’s hard to believe somebody who has run and won election could go home and face the voters again and say, ‘I’m not even willing to debate it on the floor,’” Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, a member of the Republican leadership, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Another complication is whether the more comprehensive of the different repeal measures that could go before the Senate — Mr. McConnell’s bill that would also provide a replacement for the health law — could wind up getting pared down because of Senate rules.

The repeal bill is being considered under special expedited procedures that apply to certain budget-related legislation. These rules limit debate, preclude a filibuster and allow passage with a simple majority vote. However, the rules stipulate that provisions of the bill can be stricken if they would not change federal spending or revenue or if the budgetary effects are “merely incidental” to some policy objective.

The Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, who serves as a sort of referee, has made a preliminary finding that a number of provisions of the bill appear to violate Senate rules.

These provisions would, for example, cut off federal funds to Planned Parenthood for one year; prohibit the use of federal subsidies to buy insurance that includes coverage for abortions; and require people who have experienced a gap in coverage to wait six months before buying insurance in the individual market.

If a senator objects to any of these provisions, the presiding officer could sustain the objection, following the parliamentarian’s advice. Republicans would then need 60 votes to keep that provision in the bill, and it would be nearly impossible for them to muster those votes on any significant issue.

Continue reading the main story

Senate Heads Toward a Health Care Showdown Vote Tuesday Top News

Source link

Senate Heads Toward a Health Care Showdown Vote Tuesday Top News




Leave a Reply