For years, the Republican Party has worked to take away what’s considered Barack Obama’s biggest accomplishment as president – the Affordable Care Act. Now that they have the White House and a majority in the Senate, the GOP thought passing their own healthcare plan would be a breeze.
With a vote of 51-49, the Senate voted against legislation that looked to tear down “Obamacare.” All 48 Democratic senators voted nay, as well as Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins, who had been against the bill passing for quite some time already.
However, the spotlight shone on Sen. John McCain as he was the swing vote to finalize the decision and take away Vice President Pence’s ability to be the tie breaker.
McCain famously postponed his treatments for brain cancer so that he could vote on the bill, winning him favorable points with many of the same people who once loathed his policies in the past. His office released the following statement to explain his decision, via NPR:
“From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people. The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals. While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens. The Speaker’s statement that the House would be ‘willing’ to go to conference does not ease my concern that this shell of a bill could be taken up and passed at any time.”
It’s unlikely that this will be the last attempt the GOP makes at repealing Obamacare. But it’s still viewed as a major victory for the millions of people who are estimated to lose coverage if their proposed plan passes.
Shout out to the activists and organizers who have been fighting this bill all along. We salute you.
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