Senator Mitch McConnell announced on Tuesday that the planned Senate vote on one of President Donald Trump’s signature policy promises would be postponed amid unyielding dissent within Republican Party ranks.
President Trump has been trying to repeal and replace one of former President Barack Obama’s defining accomplishments, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The American Health Care Act (ACHA) has been impeded by fierce criticism ever since it was first introduced in March this year.
At the time, House Speaker Paul Ryan was trying to push a former version of the health care legislation through the House and on to the Senate. Unfortunately, on the eve of the vote, Ryan had to call for a postponement as Republicans had not managed to whip up enough votes.
When this occurred, Paul Ryan held a press briefing informing Americans that, for the time being, Obamacare would still be the “law of the land.”
“I don’t know what else to say other than Obamacare is the law of the land. It’ll remain law of the land until it’s replaced. We’re going to be living with Obamacre for the foreseeable future.”
On Tuesday, in what seemed like a repeat of the developments earlier this year in the House of Representatives, Republican politicians were once again jostling to garner the required amount of votes needed to pass the new health care bill in the Senate.
It seems no amount of persuasion and negotiations would ensure the health care bill succeeded in the Senate. At least, not for now. Senator Mitch McConnell told reporters on Tuesday that Republicans would likely be bringing the health care bill back to the Senate floor after the recess that commences on July 4.
According to The New York Times, the decision to delay the vote once more delivers an embarrassing blow to President Trump’s already troubled health care agenda. Paul Ryan, who took responsibility for March’s failure to pass Republican health care legislation, offered words of support for his colleagues in the Senate.
“I would not bet against Mitch McConnell. He is very, very good at getting things done through the Senate, even with this razor-thin majority. I have every expectation that the Senate — I don’t know what day — but I have every expectation the Senate will move this bill.”
In March this year, Democrats celebrated Trump’s setback as a victory for Obamacare. Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, and Senator Chuck Schumer expressed relief during a press conference in the wake of Ryan’s announcement that the House vote did not have enough support.
Pelosi said “today’s a great day for our country. It’s pretty exciting for us.” While Schumer believes that President Trump’s attempts to blame Democrats for the failure of his health care agenda was just “another one of his big tall tales. ”
“He couldn’t get enough Republican votes. He never tried to reach out to Democrats in any way. So the blame falls with President Trump and the Republicans.”
Republicans have expressed various concerns for their reluctance to pass the American Health Care Act in its current form. Among those concerns are the Affordable Care Act’s stipulation that prevents insurance companies from charging higher premiums for people who are already sick. Republicans allegedly want that requirement to be waived.
An increase in funding for tax-free health savings accounts and protections for people with preexisting conditions were some further concerns, especially from senators who had expanded Medicaid in their own states.
Republicans are allegedly also demanding additional funding for mental health benefits and patients who have become addicted to opioids.
Adding doubt to the current mood on Capitol Hill was a report that was released on Monday by the Congressional Budget Office. The report determined that the American Health Care Act would likely result in 22 million Americans losing health care insurance within the first ten years.
It was also revealed that under the proposed new legislation health care costs would balloon, particularly for poor and working-class families and people who were coming up for retirement.
[Featured Image by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]