The first attempt to replace Obamacare went down like the proverbial lead balloon.
After pushing through—on a narrow, party-line vote—a motion to proceed to debating various plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday afternoon, Republicans brought their first plan up for a vote late Tuesday night, only to watch it fail 43 to 57 in a procedural vote.
Scathingly dubbed “Trumpcare 3.0” by Democrats, the bill was the Senate’s stab at crafting a replacement of the Affordable Care Act. It would have gutted more than $700 billion from Medicaid and sharply cut the tax credits available for low income people to buy health insurance.
The bill included a controversial provision drafted by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that would allow insurers to offer plans off of Obamacare’s exchanges that don’t cover basic care like doctor’s visits and prescription drugs. The provision was never scored by the non-partisan CBO, and a glowing analysis of it by the Department of Health and Human Services was found to be seriously flawed. The policy was originally drafted to keep the skimpy plans and comprehensive plans in a single risk pool, but Cruz told reporters Tuesday that he was tweaking it to have two separate risk pools to win over Lee’s vote. Lee voted against the bill anyway.
Keep the pressure up. That’s the way to stop the madness now.