Wow, another incredibly hectic week. Health policy has never been so frenzied…even though we ought to be getting used to it by now.
To sum up the horse-trading, by Monday night enough Senate Republicans had come out against the Better Care Reconciliation Act that it became clear the bill would never pass. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, followed by Donald Trump, quickly reverted to the old “repeal and delay” strategy of voting to repeal the ACA in two years time, giving a prolonged interval to work on replacement. This strategy already failed back in February. Again, enough Senate Republicans came out against “repeal and delay” by Tuesday that this, too, seemed unlikely.
“But it became quickly apparent that GOP leaders, who were caught off guard by defections of their members Monday night, lacked the votes to abolish parts of the 2010 law outright. Three centrist Republican senators — Susan Collins (Maine), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) — all said they would oppose any vote to proceed with an immediate repeal of the law.”
(the repeal and delay strategy, by the way, would result in 32 million Americans losing insurance, according to the CBO report that came out Wednesday).
Despite what looks like a lack of sufficient vote and the continually-damning CBO scores, GOP leadership continues to plan for a vote next week.