The Senate will not be voting on its last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill would not be put up for a vote, essentially ending Republican efforts to kill former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.
The decision not to vote on the bill came just a day after Sen. Susan Collins (R-M.E.) declared that she would oppose Graham-Cassidy, all but ensuring Republicans would not have the 52 votes needed to pass the bill.
For now, Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act appear to be stalled indefinitely. Starting on September 30, any healthcare bill would no longer be able to pass through the Senate process known as budget reconciliation–requiring only a majority of votes–and will need 60 votes to pass and would almost assuredly face filibusters from Democrats.
Graham-Cassidy would have repealed the Affordable Care Act’s employer and individual mandates and shifted money from the program into block grants for individual states. It would also decrease funding for Medicaid in the future.
The bill also did not receive a full score from the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan group that “scores” bills. Previous Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act would have been predicted to leave at least 22 million Americans without health insurance.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer commented on the news, calling for Congress to continue to make healthcare “better” in the future.
“Today, Americans breathe a sigh of relief because the healthcare of millions has been protected and preserved” he said. “We Democrats believe this is not a day for celebration, but a day to roll up our sleeves and work to make the healthcare system better than it is today.”
Schumer: "Today, Americans breathe a sigh of relief because the health care of millions has been protected." pic.twitter.com/JFNMJVuMrh
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 26, 2017
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump–who has been vocal about his desire to repeal and replace the healthcare law–said he was “disappointed” with the Senate’s decision to not post Graham-Cassidy for a vote.
“At some point there will be a repeal and replace, but we’ll see whether or not that point is now or will it be shortly thereafter,” Trump said, according to the New York Times. “But we are disappointed in certain so-called Republicans.”