Since its unveiling in late June, the GOP healthcare bill has faced opposition within the Republican party itself.
June 29, 2017
Senate Republican leaders have chosen to postpone the vote on a new healthcare bill rather than see it struck down. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the vote on legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act would be delayed until after the July 4th recess. Since its unveiling late last week, the GOP healthcare bill, drafted in secretive closed-door sessions, has faced opposition within the Republican party itself. Some senators have cited fears that the bill would cut Medicaid too drastically and leave too many Americans without health insurance, while more conservative Republicans are concerned that it does not do enough to repeal the ACA. Senator McConnell, the bill’s primary author, needs 50 favorable votes in order for it to pass. Vice President Mike Pence would step in to break a 50-50 tie. Currently, all Democratic senators and nine of the 52 Republican senators oppose the bill.
According to a report issued by the Congressional Budget Office on Monday, 22 Million Americans stand to lose their health insurance coverage under the bill over the next ten years, two thirds of which are people who rely on Medicaid. No-cost preventive services such as STD testing and cancer screening as well as coverage of birth control and reproductive care may also be jeopardized if proposed legislation is passed.
Congress will return from recess after July 10th. Republican leaders hope to move quickly after the holiday, however it remains uncertain whether a vote will occur.
Because the future of the ACA is uncertain, the choice to uphold the act’s mandates is shifting to the states. In Connecticut, a bill that would protect access to contraceptives and basic preventive services was tabled after The CT House of Representatives failed to vote on it earlier this month. However, these policy measures still have the opportunity to pass this summer in the Special Session if they are included as part of a larger bill related to the state budget.
For more on this story, see the following sources:
Armour, Stephanie; Peterson, Kristina. "Short on Backers, GOP Delays Vote On Health Bill." Wall Street Journal. Jun 28, 2017.
Kaplan, Thomas; Pear, Robert. "Vote Delayed as G.O.P. Struggles to Marshal Support for Health Care Bill." New York Times (Online). New York Times Company. Jun 27, 2017.
Sullivan, Sean; Snell, Kelsey; Eilperin, Juliet. "Trump, Senate Leaders Attempt to Regroup After Postponing Vote to Overhaul Obamacare." The Washington Post (Online). WP Company LLC dba The Washington Post. Jun 27, 2017.