The Republicans have left no stone unturned in their bid to pull the Affordable Care Act out of its moorings and replace it with their own version of healthcare act, but this has been an uphill task so far. Tuesday was yet another day when the Republicans suffered a setback in this long-standing goal of theirs. After voting for the start of debate on a bill to eliminate many of the provisions of the Obamacare act, the plan fell through as they failed to gather enough support.
Reps fail to get the necessary 60 votes
On Tuesday night, the Republicans needed to get 60 votes in the bag but failed to touch even 50. This makes it more or less impossible for them to push through a final legislation on health care before this week draws to a close. The failure to gather support comes as a big blow and one that is even more difficult to accept after they got an unexpected vote from Senator John McCain, who came to vote despite being diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this month. The voting was close as expected and for a while, it seemed as though it could go either way. It was Vice President Pence who cast the crucial vote later to clear the way for starting a debate on the beleaguered bill.
Lack of consensus poses huge challenge
The biggest challenge faced by the Republicans is that they still have no clear agreement amongst themselves on the bill's key points. This is proving to be a big hurdle in coming up with a bill that will meet approval and be used to replace the Obamacare healthcare act that President Trump vowed to do away with during the campaign.
Two Republicans ended up voting against the procedural motion and this is being viewed as progress because there were expectations that many would be against the motion. Favorable votes were neither expected nor received from the Democrats. Some of the issues raised by Republican dissenters against the previous versions of the health care bill have clearly been addressed in the version that is being pushed now. One such addition is the inclusion of a payout to cover out-of-pocket treatment costs for low-income individuals who cannot get Medicaid after the bill is passed. One of the major criticisms of the bill is that it will make medical treatment unaffordable for poor people.