Americans Need Bipartisan Effort to Strengthen Our Healthcare System
Early on the morning of July 28, 2017, the Senate voted against the new Republican healthcare plan which had become as the “skinny repeal” to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA.)
This vote derailed what Republicans had been trying to do for seven years. Republicans had pledged to repeal what they had coined “Obamacare” – President Obama’s health care law.
The decisive no vote that defeated the proposed legislation was cast by Senator John McCain (R-AZ.)
The two other “no” votes from the Republican caucus came from Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AL.) All Senate Democrats voted against the “skinny repeal.”
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the “skinny repeal” and previous Republican proposals to repeal the ACA would have taken health coverage away from 16 million Americans, including more than over 400,000 New Jerseyans, over the next 10 years.
It would have also raised the costs of health insurance for millions of more Americans. Especially concerning for those who are working to end homelessness, the “skinny repeal” would have pulled back the recent Medicaid expansion that provides health insurance for millions of seniors, people with disabilities, children and low –income adults.
The “skinny repeal” would have raised premiums by 20%.
But Senate Democrats were not quick to celebrate what many see as a final vote on healthcare.
“We are not celebrating,” said the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York. “We are relieved that millions and millions of people who would have been so drastically hurt by the three proposals put forward will at least retain their health care, be able to deal with pre-existing conditions.”
The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) Shannon Buckingham, Vice President for Communications and External Affairs writes in her July 28, 2017 blog post, “Last night’s vote sends a strong message that it’s time for congressional Republicans to abandon backroom, partisan efforts to unravel the ACA. And, the Trump Administration must halt its attempts to undermine the ACA by destabilizing private insurance markets and cutting resources that help people enroll. It’s time instead to focus on bipartisan solutions that strengthen our health care system and continue the task of making health insurance affordable and accessible for all.”