The Senate Tuesday approved a procedural motion to proceed to debate on legislation to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by the necessary 51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding tie-breaking vote.  Sens. Susan Collins, (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski, (R-AK) broke rank in voting against the motion.

Following the motion to proceed, a vote failed to approve the latest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) as nine GOP Senators opposed the measure.  Next up, the Senate is expected to hold a vote on the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA), which would repeal the ACA and delay further action for two years.  The vote is anticipated to fail.

If that occurs, the process moves to vote-a-rama, whereby Senators from both parties can offer amendments until they have been exhausted.  The end result would be to arrive at a stripped-down or so-called “skinny” version of the BCRA.  It would likely include a repeal of the individual and employer mandates and the medical device tax, and possibly more add-ons.  Republican leaders are hoping to get something passed and send on to the House that would result in a bicameral conference and finish the work later this year.  A flow chart of the process, compiled by Vox, is outlined here.

We continue to urge Senator Thune and Rounds to “protect patients, and find ways to maintain coverage for as many Americans and South Dakotans as possible by rejecting the legislation to repeal and replace the ACA. You can participate in this effort through our Legislative Action Center.