The Senate Republican establishment finally revealed their secretly-written and long-awaited healthcare bill. It was exactly as awful as conservatives and libertarians had expected. The bill no longer deserves to be considered Obamacare-lite as the differences between it and the original legislation are too few and far between to be significant. The House version passed by an incredibly slim margin, but it looks like the Republican establishment won’t be able to pull it off in the Senate. Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson announced hours after the bill was released that they wont’ be voting for it.
Sens. Paul, Cruz, Johnson, and Lee Issue Joint Statement on Senate Health Bill
WASHINGTON – Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ron Johnson (R-WI), and Mike Lee (R-UT) issued the following statement Thursday responding to the release of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017:
“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor. There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.”
Without those four Republican Senator’s votes there’s simply no way to get the bill passed. Republicans only have 52 seats in the Senate which means they’ll only have 48 votes once Paul, Lee, Cruz, and Johnson’s are subtracted. Mitch McConnell certainly won’t be able to count on any Democrat votes to get this bill through. Voting to repeal President Obama’s signature legislation would be a political death sentence for any Democratic senator; even one in a red state where the people might want it repealed.
After acknowledging that reality, it looks like the current version of the Senate GOP establishment’s healthcare bill is as good as dead.