'Skinny' ObamaCare Repeal Dies on Senate Floor, 49-51
Just past 1:30 Friday morning, literally in the dead of night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's scheme to repeal ObamaCare died. Once again. It is a devastating blow to the 75-year old senior Senator from Kentucky, two-and-a-half years in to his tenure as the leader of the Senate Republicans.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) traveled to D.C. after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Earlier in the week he cast the decisive vote to allow the Senate to begin the process of repealing ObamaCare. Early Friday, he joined 46 Democrats, two independents, and fellow Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in voting "nay" on the "skinny repeal" bill, officially known as the "Health Care Freedom Act."
Can't make it up. It's called "health care freedom act." It frees people to be sick without insurance pic.twitter.com/EpDP27dvFnâ€” Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) July 28, 2017
It died, 49-51.
49-51: Senate rejects "skinny repeal"â€” Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) July 28, 2017
Skinny repeal fell short because it fell short of our promise to repeal & replace Obamacare w/ meaningful reform https://t.co/tZISIvccOOâ€” John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 28, 2017
President Donald Trump was furious, lashing out on Twitter by telegraphing his anger and issuing a threat at 2:25 in the morning:
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
Here's the moment the bill, which would have defunded Planned parenthood and forced an additional 16 million off their health care, died:
Here's the moment the Skinny Repeal failed. pic.twitter.com/y6kiT2HzC5â€” Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 28, 2017
But unlike the "skinny repeal," Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act will not die.
Since Donald Trump became president, McConnell has been working his plan to repeal ObamaCare. This latest ploy involved a week-long series of votes on various bills, some to fully repeal former President Barack Obama's signature legislation, others to "repeal and replace."
What is likely to happen next is President Trump will continue to attack ObamaCare, and may choose to test the powers of his office by refusing to fund ObamaCare subsidies, threatening the viability of the exchanges. Time will tell.
But supporters of ObamaCare, now fully at least half the country, should know that the intense actions they took, by calling their Senators, worked. For seven years Republicans have promised to repeal ObamaCare. Now, with total control of Congress and the White House, they couldn't even pass the smallest attempt to do so.
Republicans will again try to repeal ObamaCare, and they will succeed only if Americans don't take the threat of tens of millions losing coverage just as seriously as they did this time.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, when the bill died, announced, "We are not celebrating. We are relieved."
Some responses via Twitter:
Activism worked.â€” Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) July 28, 2017
For years, Dems have run against Rs on the mere threat of Medicaid/Medicare cuts. And now they have a vote to hang around their necks.â€” Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) July 28, 2017
Obamacareâ€” Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) July 28, 2017
· Survived by one vote in the Senate in 2010
· Survived by one vote in SCOTUS in 2012
· Survived by one vote in the Senate in 2017
In the end, the president's closing message - that his attorney general is terrible - couldn't put the bill over the topâ€” Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) July 28, 2017