After considerable debate and intense media attention, efforts in the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, failed last week. This represents a huge blow to President Trump’s agenda, a pillar of which was to kill Obamacare. It is also a defeat for Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader who could not marshal enough votes to pass a repeal bill.
Here are some of the votes taken during Senate debate on Obamacare:
U.S. House Bill 1628, Consider legislation to repeal and replace parts of Obamacare: Passed 50 to 50 To proceed with consideration of legislation that would repeal and modify portions of the Affordable Care Act. This motion passed because Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote in favor of it.
U.S. House Bill 1628, Donnelly amendment to send Obamacare repeal to committee: Failed 48 to 52 To end consideration of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and instead allow the bill to be considered in a Senate committee.
U.S. House Bill 1628, Heller amendment to repeal the tax on expensive health insurance: Passed 52 to 48
To repeal the 40% tax on some employer-sponsored health insurance plans that offer benefits exceeding a certain amount. This tax is also known as the “Cadillac tax.”
U.S. House Bill 1628, Amendment to express support for Medicaid expansion: Failed 10 to 90
To express the sense of the Senate that expanding Medicaid is important and that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, should be improved.
U.S. House Bill 1628, Daines amendment to mandate government-run health insurance: Failed 0 to 57
To expand the Medicare program to cover all Americans, or alternatively to create a “single payer” health insurance system. This would be paid for by increasing income taxes, imposing a new payroll tax, and creating a tax on stock and bond transactions. The amendment would prohibit private health insurance that competes with government insurance. Forty-three Senate Democrats voted “present” instead of “yes” or “no” on this amendment.
U.S. House Bill 1628, Paul amendment to repeal most of Obamacare: Failed 45 to 55
To repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act, including the expansion of Medicaid and the mandate on individuals to buy health insurance. This amendment would also end the health insurance exchanges and repeal taxes imposed to fund the ACA. It would take effect in two years.
U.S. House Bill 1628, Partially repeal and replace Obamacare: Passed 43 to 57
To repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act. This amendment would end the Medicaid expansion, increase Medicaid spending by $100 billion, and restructure Medicaid so that states are given a capped amount of federal dollars per recipient. It would also reduce subsidies for health insurance purchases, allow health insurance to be sold without as many government mandates, and end the mandates requiring individuals to purchase health insurance and employers to provide health insurance.
U.S. House Bill 1628, Amendment to repeal parts of Obamacare but leave Medicaid portion: Failed 49 to 51
To repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act, including the mandates that individuals purchase health insurance and employers provide health insurance, as well as the tax on manufacturing medical devices. The amendment would also end Medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood for one year. This amendment would leave in place the ACA's Medicaid expansion, subsidies for the purchase of health insurance, and mandates on what types of health insurance can be sold. This amendment was known as “skinny repeal” of Obamacare.
Are you glad that the Senate failed to uproot the Affordable Care Act? Or do you think that keeping Obamacare in place is the wrong move?