With 2 more Republicans announcing that they oppose the Senate healthcare bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) no longer has enough votes to pass the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, which would repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act.
Monday night, Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) announced they opposed the current Senate healthcare bill, ensuring that at this time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) does not have the votes to pass the legislation.
In a statement, Moran reinforced his commitment to repealing the Affordable Care Act and said that the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 fails to do that or address rising healthcare costs.
“We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” Moran said in a statement. “Furthermore, if we leave the federal government in control of everyday healthcare decisions, it is more likely that our healthcare system will devolve into a single-payer system, which would require a massive federal spending increase.”
When the newest version of the Senate health bill was released last week, Lee had released his own statement that he was unsure whether the new version was improved over the initial version.
Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) had already expressed that they would not vote for the bill.
Without enough support from his own party, McConnell could turn to Democrats for votes. On July 6, McConnell said at a Rotary Club lunch in Southern Kentucky that with “insurance markets imploding all over the country” bipartisan cooperation may be needed, reported Associated Press.
Bipartisan work on healthcare reform is something Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is open to.
“Rather than repeating the same failed, partisan process yet again, Republicans should start from scratch and work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long term stability to the markets and improves our health care system,” The New York Times reported Schumer as saying.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available.