The latest attempt by the GOP to repeal ObamaCare appears to be dead in the water, following announcements that two more Republican Senators will not support the proposed bill.
Kansas Senator Jerry Moran and Utah Senator Mike Lee joined expected “no” votes in Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky on Monday night. CNN counted 41 out of 52 GOP senators who could not support a procedural vote to begin discussing the bill or the legislation itself.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could only afford to lose two votes and still be able to pass the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but between the “no” votes and Arizona Senator John McCain’s absence due to surgery, it appears the vote will not take place.
Moran said lawmakers should not put a “stamp of approval on bad policy” and indicated scrapping the bill in favor of a “fresh start,” though both senators appeared to believe that the legislation didn’t go far enough in rolling back medical coverage.
My full statement opposing this version of BCRA: pic.twitter.com/CUq4Kibe0I
— Jerry Moran (@JerryMoran) July 18, 2017
The announcement comes on the same night President Donald Trump invited several GOP senators to the White House for dinner to discuss the bill many have dubbed “Trumpcare,” following his campaign pledges to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Before his inauguration, Trump said he would repeal Obamacare on “Day One,” but so far the administration has been far from successful in keeping this promise.
McConnell and GOP leadership had been hopeful that an amendment proposed by Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz that would have allowed insurers to provide plans that did not meet federal standards as long as they offered one that did, but both Blue Cross Blue Shield and America’s Health Insurance Plans slammed the proposal as “unworkable.”
In response to the announcement by Moran and Lee, Trump tweeted that Republicans should just repeal Obamacare now and start completely over, a move that would result in 26 million Americans losing coverage, according to a prior CBO analysis.
Opponents called the announcements a victory, touting the bill’s failure as evidence it was bad for Americans.
“I am delighted to see that the disastrous Republican health care plan will not succeed,” Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders said in a statement. “The American people want to proceed to health care for all, not see 22 million Americans thrown off of the health care they currently have. This is a great victory for the millions of Americans who stood up and fought back against this dangerous legislation.”