A late Tuesday night tally determined that support for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act fell 43-57 in an effort to overcome the 60 votes needed for a parliamentary objection – an ominous sign for a Republican-led congress seeking to replace it with a better system. Debate will continue with the plan to bring the floor to a final vote later this week.
The vote to begin debate opened auspiciously for Republicans when Senator John McCain appeared on the Senate floor and cast a crucial vote in favor to begin it. His vote, along with Vice President Mike Pence’s tie-breaking vote, meant that senators agreed 51-50 to begin debate on the future of Obamacare.
But after Tuesday night’s failure, the fate of a repeal remains dubious. Senators still have no clear agreement forged. The result of their lawmaking will have a profound effect on the American health care system – roughly one-sixth of the United States economy, according to The New York Times.
“Now we move forward towards truly great health care for the American people,” said President Trump from the White House Rose Garden. “This was a big step.”
All Republicans but two voted in favor of the procedural motion; Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska dissented. According to The Times, more Republicans may be seen as possible holdouts. All Democrats voted against the motion.
Various proposals have been entertained from senators, one of them from Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, who believes that insurers should have the option of selling more than one kind of plan.
“You shouldn’t have to buy what the federal government mandates you must buy,” said Cruz. “You should choose what meets the needs for you and your family.”
To read up on the history of the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, read here.