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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Where Senate Threats to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Stand

Jane Sheehan

Senior Government Affairs Manager

[Update 7/20] Leader McConnell is still pushing for a vote next week to repeal the ACA and destroy Medicaid, but now the Senate is back focusing on an altered version of BCRA, which received a CBO score today. They are still working fiercely to get a bill passed, with McConnell aiming to vote on a motion to proceed as soon as Monday. Republican leadership has money to bargain with to win over the votes they need and are proposing to give $200 billion to states that expanded Medicaid to try to win them over.

After it became clear earlier this week that he didn’t have the votes to pass the Republican health care bill, Senate Majority Leader McConnell announced his intention to pursue a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act with no replacement.

Despite growing opposition to his repeal-only approach, Senator McConnell is pledging to go forward with a vote on a bill that passed the House and Senate in late 2015. This bill would have repealed key parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  

While President Obama vetoed that effort, some conservatives see the 2015 bill as the closest they’ll come to a “straight repeal” of the ACA, and McConnell has signaled it might be the last hope for a health overhaul this summer. 

The 2015 bill would have repealed the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, tax credits, taxes and mandates, and defunded Planned Parenthood for one year. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 32 million people would lose their insurance and premium costs would double. Learn more about this bill’s devastating impact.

It is unclear if there would even be 50 votes to begin debate on such a measure, but McConnell is planning to hold a procedural vote -- known as a "motion to proceed" -- to begin this repeal process early next week. 

Still, we must remain vigilant. The Republican health care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), may be shelved for now (or it may not be), but the threat of repeal is not. That’s why it’s important that we continue to raise our voices to tell our senators to reject any attempt to take health care away from millions and cut Medicaid. Visit the Protect Our Care page to learn more.