After the House narrowly passes the legislation to repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Republicans have moved a step closer in their mission to reshape American health care. The votes were close, 217 to 213, where 20 Republicans voted no,
Road to ACA Repeal: What’s happened so far?
To recap, the bill will eliminate penalties for Americans who are without health insurance, will roll back state expansions of Medicaid, and will abolish government-subsidized insurance policies. It will lead to 23 million fewer Americans with insurance by 2026, if it passes into law, the Congressional Budget Office predicted.
However, the bill is facing uncertainty in the Senate. Sen Lindsey Graham on Monday said he does not think the Republicans can put together a bill to repeal and replace ACA before the year ends. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his doubt last May that the Senate can pull through enough votes to repeal Obamacare. The bill needs 50 votes to pass, and as of the moment, the number of yes votes is doubtful.
But according to The Hill, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said on a radio show that the Senate will vote no later than the end July on the American Health Care Act, the bill that will replace ACA. Senator Cornyn believes the bill will not be perfect, but will be better than Obamacare. And with the AHCA, the GOP will have fulfilled its promise to repeal and replace Obamacare with better health care.
What Politicians Think about the Future of ACA Repeal?
Sen. Jeff Flake however, said that the vote might not happen this summer at all. The senator from Arizona agrees that health care costs must be lowered, but believes many will be hurt if the program’s budget will be slashed, as more than 1/4 of Arizona’s population are on Medicaid. He supports the budget cut, as long as the program remains sustainable for its beneficiaries.
Republican senators Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst both say that the efforts to repeal Obamacare will most likely be unsuccessful, and that changes to the current health care law will be the more realistic approach.
If the repeal and replacement of Obamacare does not push through, Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Bill Cassidy are working together on bipartisan legislation with senators on both sides of the aisle to make more substantial and realistic changes to the current health care law.
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