WASHINGTON, July 17, 2017 — Two additional Republican senators said they would be voting against the new Senate bill aimed at repealing and replacing Obamacare, causing Congress to fail to reach a deal that would replace the healthcare mess that President Obama put in place.
Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) issued tweets saying they do not support bringing the bill to the floor, a motion that requires 50 votes. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) has been a strong opponent of the bill because it leaves parts of the Affordable Care Act in place.
Senator Mike Lee released an official statement saying:
“After conferring with trusted experts regarding the latest version of the Consumer Freedom Amendment, I have decided I cannot support the current version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act,” “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”
The two senators decisions come after eight senators had dinner with President Donald Trump. Senator Mitch McConnell planned to hold a vote on the bill this week, but postponed it after Senator John McCain underwent surgery over the weekend. The Republican’s healthcare legislation dubbed “The Better Care Reconciliation Act” has faced numerous roadblocks since it was first introduced last month.
The first draft failed to gain support when ten senators spoke out against it, forcing Senator McConnell to rewrite it and attempt to win the support of more Republicans, including those who opposed the measure. The second draft, gained stronger support, with only two senators opposing it and others were open to discussing it. The necessary coalition of 50 began to fall apart on Monday, when McConnell made comments that Medicaid cuts set to go into effect in 2025 would never be realized.
Democrats including Senator Chuck Schumer said Republicans should go back to the drawing board and work with Democrats on a bill to fix the problems with Obamacare.