Forget politics. Independent analyses of both the House version and the Senate version of their replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – better known as Obamacare – would have been a disaster for America. Anything that took away healthcare from 22 million Americans, many of which are the poorest, sickest, most established, and most young individuals from society is unbiasedly wrong.
After a very quick vote to permit talk on the bill, the last cycle of the GOP-composed Better Care and Reconciliation Act (BCRA) died its final death on the floor of the Senate Tuesday night, by a margin of 57 to 43.. Because of detail, it required 60 votes – a supermajority – to pass, yet all Democrats and nine Republicans voted it down.
The only remaining option was to vote on a clean repeal of the ACA, which would have left 32 million people without healthcare, effectively the worst possible option. This plan has been mooted for a few weeks now, even though few Republican Senators have said that they wouldn’t bolster nullify without a practical replacement.
At the urging of the President, the Senate Republicans went ahead with the vote to repeal Obamacare anyway. This bill needed a simple majority of 51 to pass. Predictably, they lost this vote too, by a margin of 55-to-45. This means that, for the foreseeable future, Obamacare remains the law of the land, and 22 million people get to keep their healthcare.
Obamacare repeal-and-replace had 9 Senate Republicans opposed.
Clean repeal has at least 7 Senate Republicans opposed.
— Dylan Scott (@dylanlscott) July 26, 2017
The open deliberation still wraths on the Senate floor concerning the House rendition of the medicinal services charge, a “skinny” repeal of Obamacare (which involves removing the individual mandate that everyone must get health insurance, and so on). However, it’s safe to say that the Republican agenda to repeal and replace the ACA has just had its life support switched off.
Republican Senator John McCain made an emotional come back to Congress yesterday keeping in mind the end goal to cast his votes on the human services charge. Although he gave a fiery speech denouncing the awful state of the GOP efforts to pass a viable healthcare option, he ended up lending his support to the BCRA anyway.
In any case, he was spot on one part of the open deliberation: If Republicans want a win, they need to work with Democrats. Although controversial at the time, Obamacare has become increasingly popular with the public – by a margin of around 2-to-1 – since the thought of a potential repeal has reared its head. It has ensured that millions of disadvantaged Americans gained health care, and has unquestionably saved thousands of lives as a result.
It’s far from perfect though and could do with some improvement. If both parties worked together on passing a bipartisan healthcare bill that did just that, rather than merely robbing millions of healthcare, then the nation would indubitably be better off.