McConnell pushes back vote on Senate healthcare bill

Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Support for the bill was unclear after the CBO released its score on Monday.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-K.y.) has pushed back the vote on the Senate’s healthcare bill because it lacks the votes to pass.

As opposition to the bill built on both sides of the aisle, it became clear that it would not pass before the July 4th recess as McConnell had hoped, the New York Times reported.

“We’ll continue to talk about it,” McConnell said on Tuesday afternoon. “It’s a very complicated subject. … We’ve got a lot of discussions going on and we’re still optimistic we’re going to get there.”

While Democrats appear to be steadfast in opposing any Senate version of the bill, which is intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), divisions among Republican senators formed shortly after the bill was released last week.

Some conservatives don’t believe the bill goes far enough in repealing portions of the ACA, while others bristled at the severity of cuts in the bill—particularly those to Medicaid.

On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its report on the bill, dubbed the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, and found that it would leave 22 million fewer Americans with health insurance by 2026 compared to what would happen under Obamacare.

Immediately following publication of the Senate healthcare bill, four conservative senators vowed to not vote for the legislation in its current form. After the report was released, several Republican more senators began to feel uneasy about the bill, likely making McConnell’s decision to pull it back until after the July 4th recess a necessity.

The Senate plans to use rules that would only require them to get 50 votes in order to pass the bill, making any Republican resistance a sticking point toward that goal. Republicans currently control the Senate with a slim 52-48 majority.

The CBO said 23 million fewer Americans would have health insurance under the American Health Care Act, the version of the healthcare overhaul crafted by the House of Representatives, in a report released in May. The Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Senate version, was drafted after the House passed its version of the bill.

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).