Juliegrace Brufke on July 17, 2017
The revised version of the Senate Obamacare repeal bill is dead in its current form as two more GOP senators said they plan to vote against the motion to proceed on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) Monday.
Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah joined Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine in coming out against the measure.
Lee, like Paul, said the legislation doesn’t go far enough to repeal the Affordable Care Act and called for major revisions to update the bill. While an amendment put forward by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Lee was enough to get Cruz on board, Lee said the current draft isn’t conservative enough.
“After conferring with trusted experts regarding the latest version of the Consumer Freedom Amendment, I have decided I cannot support the current version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act,” Lee said in a statement. “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle-class families: nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”
Moran cited the lack of transparency in the process, calling for the upper chamber to start fresh on crafting the measure.
“This closed-door process has yielded the BCRA, which fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address health care’s rising costs. For the same reasons I could not support the previous version of this bill, I cannot support this one,” he said. “We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy.”
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said he is now on the fence on whether he would support moving forward on the motion to proceed.
Johnson told reporters Monday he is no longer encouraging members to vote for the measure, railing against leadership for their recent comments on Medicaid.
According to Johnson, McConnell told moderate members they shouldn’t be concerned with cuts to Medicaid expansion because it’s “too far in the future,” which he feels was a “real breach of trust.”
Leadership could only lose two Republican votes to pass the measure, despite only needing a simple majority under the rules of reconciliation.