The Senate’s bill to repeal and replace Obamacare abruptly collapses

Late Monday evening, Mitch McConnell’s greatest fears were realized when two more senators came out in opposition to the procedural motion to move the Senate’s health bill to debate. Last week, Rand Paul and Susan Collins became the first defectors, much to McConnell’s chagrin, but this week, Senators Mike Lee and Jerry Moran joined their colleagues in a move which cemented the bill’s demise. In order to have opened the bill for consideration, the Senate Majority Leader would have needed fifty votes.

“Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” he said in his official statement before promptly looking to the future. With the Better Care Reconciliation Act shelved, McConnell says that he will bring the bill that the House passed in May up for consideration soon, with the first amendment proposed being that of a full repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay for its application. This alternative has been met with much criticism from senators and media outlets alike.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act without implementing a replacement alongside it would leave millions without insurance, as well as destabilize already unstable insurance markets. McConnell will likely be unable to rally up support for his intentions. The staunchest of Republicans are only willing to move forward if Obamacare is completely repealed and replaced, while moderates are unwilling to jeopardize the positions of their constituents even further by such a risky plan.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer offered his own opinion on the future of health care shortly after McConnell announced that he was pulling the bill:

“This second failure of Trumpcare is proof positive that the core of this bill is unworkable. Rather than repeating the same failed, partisans process yet again, Republicans should start from scratch and work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long-term stability to the marks, and improves our health care system.”

In the end, the Senate Majority Leader is faced with two options in the impending future; he will either have to yield to Schumer’s hopes of a bipartisan health care plan or regroup Republicans for another attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare by themselves.