Cooper: Bipartisan health bill not on horizon

by Abel Hampton August 1, 2017, 22:11
Cooper: Bipartisan health bill not on horizon

The Affordable Care Act, approved by Democrats in 2010, is former Democratic President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

Senators passed the existing filibuster rule in 1975 that requires a supermajority to end debate on most types of bills.

Third, the debate now taking place in Congress is not about true health care, it's about politics, pure and simple. "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 aisle, heed the recommendations of nation's governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people".

All Democrats were joined by GOP Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - had already opposed it, making McCain the third GOP no vote and the senator to ultimately sink the measure.

Earlier in the day, he said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) should undo the now filibuster rule, which has been in place since the mid-1970s.

The setback leaves Trump without a major legislative win after more than six months in power, despite Republicans controlling the White House, Senate and House.

In the middle of the night, the US Senate voted on the latest bill meant to rewrite central parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama's landmark healthcare legislation of 2010.

Democrats, and some Republicans, said the bill's failure could present an opportunity for the two parties to work together to fix problematic areas of the Obamacare law without repealing it. "I believe we shouldn't make that same mistake again".

The president adds: "We will no longer allow this to continue".

The strategy of supporting the "skinny repeal" is not one a lot of Republicans want to get behind. The most immediate concern is stabilizing the health insurance market through continued, predictable funding of cost-sharing subsidies.

But all day lawmakers were either unclear what would be in the bill, or suggesting that they would pass whatever it might be, simply to extend the process. We wish they had voted for the bill to allow it to go to a conference and see what could be worked out, but their reasoning for not doing so aligns with our desire for a bipartisan bill.

The Republicans' "skinny" repeal bill, among other things, would have effectively ended the mandate that every American have to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, provided greater flexibility to the states through waivers, defunded Planned Parenthood and given more money to community health centers, and increased the contribution limit to Health Savings Accounts.

It also "is inaccessible to many immigrants", he said in a statement. "The House remains committed to finding a solution and working with our Senate colleagues, but the burden remains on the Senate to demonstrate that it is capable of passing something that keeps our promise". That's why the whole effort almost folded even before the final vote, when McCain, Lindsay Graham of SC and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin refused early Thursday evening to vote for the measure without a promise that the House wouldn't pass it.

McCain also spoke with a group of Democrats huddled on the Senate floor, reportedly telling them that he would vote down the bill.


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