Senate Republicans will head into the July 4 recess without having replaced ObamaCare after deciding on Tuesday to delay the legislation when it became clear it lacked the votes for passage, The Hill reports.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had an emergency meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump and at a press conference told reporters that his members “just needed a little bit more time”.
“We made good progress. Everyone around the table is interested in getting to yes, is interested in getting an outcome. Because we know the status quo is simply unacceptable, unsustainable and no action is just not an option”, McConnell said after an hour-long meeting in the East Room.
Three more Republicans, Senators Rob Portman, Shelley Moore Capito and Jerry Moran said they opposed the current bill after the decision to delay it. Senator Susan Collins, another GOP no vote, said she wasn’t sure the measure could be changed to win her over.
She said she has “so many fundamental problems with the bill that have been confirmed by the Congressional Budget Office report that it’s difficult for me to see how any tinkering is going to satisfy my fundamental and deep concerns about the impact of the bill”.
“I think most people are acceptant that this is a very difficult, complicated undertaking, and willing to, you know, allow time particularly for some of our colleagues who feel they need more time,” said Senator John Thune, the chamber’s No. 3 Republican.
Portman, Capito and Collins are worried about the legislation’s cuts to Medicaid and how it might affect the opioid epidemic, as many people with opioid addiction now get healthcare through Medicaid.
A Congressional Budget Office analysis released Monday struck a blow against the Senate bill’s chances when it found that 22 million more people would be without insurance by 2026 under the Senate bill when compared to current law.