Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, will delay the healthcare bill vote brought by Republicans. The matter will be considered only after the recess ends on July 4. His rationale for the delay, as told to other Republican Senators, is that he wants to make a number of changes to the existing bill. There is also a need to get a new score for the Congressional Budget Office.
This news came after a busy morning in Capitol, where Pence and other GOP leaders met privately with the opponents of the bill. A significant number of senators disagreed against voting for the procedural step so that the plans can be advanced and they can substitute Obamacare plans and bring new ones instead. Incidentally, Mike Lee became yet another member to give his vote against such a motion when it comes to the healthcare bill.
This decision by McConnell does not signify that plans by the GOP to repeal and then replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare are dead. It, however, underlines the challenges to be encountered by the Republican leadership when they try to unite the ideologies between moderates and conservatives in the party. Even though the extra time will permit increased negotiations so that more lawmakers can be brought on board, it also means that Congress members can face pressure from their constituents. The latter can happen when returning to their constituencies during recess. Healthcare future will literally be uncertain if such a thing happens.
President Donald J. Trump, after McConnell reached his decision, said that negotiators are working hard to replace Obamacare as it is colloquially known. He said that Obamcare is being dismantled. He assured everyone that the Trump administration is extremely near to a solution. Trump deplored the negative reports about the new healthcare bill. He said that it will be great when the bill will be completely done.