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Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Health Care Showdown: What's Next for Obamacare


Well, guys, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t get the votes for a straight repeal of the Affordable Care Act again. So it looks like you’re stuck with us for at least a little while longer!

Wait...What Happened?
If you’ve been following along with us and/or have not been living under a rock this summer, you may remember that the Senate has been working to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most recently, Senate Republicans have been focusing on repealing the ACA without a complete replacement act in place, known as a “skinny repeal.” Yesterday, however, the repeal-only measure for Obamacare was rejected.

A Timeline of This Week’s Events
Tuesday, July 25-
  • -The Senate voted 51-50 to begin debating the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The tie-breaking vote to proceed with a repeal debate was cast by Vice President Pence.
  • -Some senators brought the House repeal bill to the floor to debate it further. For now, that is the bill senators are trying to reshape.
  • -Other senators, including majority leader Senator Mitch McConnell (KY-R), brought to the floor the most complete version of their plan to repeal and replace the ACA.
  • -Because this measure had not been assessed by the Congressional Budget Office, it needed 60 votes to pass, but only received 43.

Wednesday, July 26-
  • -After some debate, the Senate rejected the “clean repeal” bill presented by Senate Republicans to repeal major parts of the ACA without replacement, voting 45-55.
  • -Debating will continue for no more than 20 hours (due to special budget rules) as Senate Republicans try to push through a repeal bill a majority can agree on.
  • -Democrat minority leader, Chuck Schumer (NY-D), announced after the 20-hour debate moves to a vote-a-rama, Democrats will not offer any amendments unless McConnell has revealed the final bill he wants the Senate to consider.

Thursday, July 27-
  • -The 20 hour limit on the bill’s debate is expected to be exhausted.
  • Following that, the Senate will move into a vote-a-rama, which is a marathon series of votes on amendments presented. It’s expected the vote-a-rama will begin late in the day today (Thursday) and could last throughout the night.

So What’s Next?
We’ll keep a close eye on the Senate debate and be sure to keep you up-to-date on any major health care changes! According to the “New York Times,” it seems increasingly likely that Senate Republicans will try to pass a “slimmed-down bill that would repeal only a small number of the existing health law’s provisions” in an effort to keep the option of repeal alive. If successful, it’s likely they’ll try to negotiate a broader compromise bill with the House of Representatives.

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