The Republican effort to pass Obamacare repeal has been put to a stop as Senator John McCain joined two other hold outs early Friday morning to kill the stripped down version known as the skinny repeal.
“This is clearly a disappointing moment,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after the vote. “It’s time to move on.”
President Donald Trump posted his thoughts on Twitter shortly after the bill was defeated 49-51 – one vote short of passage.
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
The vote dooms the repeal effort to life support if not death. The full repeal bill was killed earlier this week and Republicans had put their hopes on the skinny repeal to get 50 votes.
McCain joined Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in defeating the watered down version of Obamacare that would have eliminated the individual and employer mandate, the medical device tax, and the use of federal funds for any organization that performs abortions.
“We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of the aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people,” McCain said in a statement.
Going through committee will mean that repeal is a non-starter. No Democrat will vote for any bill where the Medicaid expansion or payments to insurance companies are reduced in any way. The result will likely be something that keeps Obamacare alive for the short term without a return to market-driven health care.
The next course of action for Republicans is unknown. Obamacare repeal has looked dead twice before and has risen from the ashes, but Trump and McConnel’s comments don’t bode well for another try anytime soon.