The long awaited Republican effort to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) appears to have come to an end. Monday, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Sen. Mike Lee announced their opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). They join Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who previously declared their opposition.
The BCRA has undergone a number of revisions and was awaiting yet another Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis when the 3rd and 4th no-votes came in. Since Republicans control 52 of the Senate’s 100 seats, they need 51 votes to move forward under the reconciliation process.
Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell’s decision to pull the BCRA, was accompanied with an announcement that he will hold a vote to only “repeal” the ACA and determine how best to “replace” the legislation during a two-year transition period.
This decision met swift opposition, when three Republican Senators, Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Shelley Moore Capito (WV) said they would vote against the plan, effectively killing the GOP leaders’ backup plan.
As the backup plan floundered, President Donald Trump told reporters his new approach would be to let Obamacare fail on its own. However, recent polls indicate support for Republicans to work with Democrats to reach bipartisan reforms to the nation’s health care system. Tuesday, Democratic leaders urged Republicans to drop their repeal push and work with them on bipartisan health care reforms, such as working to bolster the nation’s insurance markets.
At this important time, we join with our national partners, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and LeadingAge, and others, to send a collective message of encouragement that the Senate will use this opportunity to seek bipartisan solutions to the transformative changes that are a part of creating a health care system that meets the needs of all Americans.