For the third consecutive time in the past 6-months Republicans in the US Senate have failed in their bid to come up with a healthcare law to meet their objective of replacing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise called Obamacare.
The latest attempt failed on Tuesday, when it became clear to US Senate Majority Leader Bill McConnell that the Republicans would not have the minimum 50 votes to pass the so-called Graham-Cassidy Bill even with the casting vote of Vice-President Mike Pence.
The proposed bill sought to replace the Affordable Care Act with a system of block grants to each state, and significant reduction of Medicaid to low-income Americans.
Senator Susan Collins said no
On Monday evening after the Congressional Budget Office had given its score of the bill stating that it would result in “millions of Americans” losing healthcare insurance, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, joined Senators John McCain and Ron Paul in saying she would not approve the bill. With only 47 potential ‘yes’ votes it would have been impossible for the bill to be passed.
Last week McConnell indicated he would bring the bill to vote this week, likely on Wednesday. Every effort was being made to pass the bill before September 30 which, according to the senate rules, would allow Republicans to pass the measure with the minimum 50 votes. After that date, the bill will require 60 votes to pass. However, after a Republican luncheon on Tuesday during which senators discussed the dilemma with passing the bill it was decided not to bring it to the floor of the senate.
“We’ve made the decision that since we don’t have the votes we will postpone that vote,” Senator Bill Cassidy, one of the bill authors said.
Although most Caribbean-Americans in South Florida are anxious to see Obamacare retained, they nonetheless are also anxious to see a bipartisan effort taken in Congress to “fix flaws in the healthcare program.
Megan Little, a Registered Nurse in Cutler Ridge, South Miami-Dade County says she fears that the controversy over Obamacare “could chase more insurance companies from participating in the program which would drive up the premiums under the program even higher.”
Calvin Batton, said “It is obvious that only a bi-partisan approach will fix whatever is wrong with Obamacare. Why don’t the Republicans realize this and work with the Democrats to fix the thing.”