In a surprise reversal of last week’s vote, the “Republican-controlled” U.S. Senate has revived efforts to repeal select parts of former U.S. president Barack Obama’s failed socialized medicine law.
The vote to begin debate on a partial repeal of Obamacare was 50-50 – with “Republicans” Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joining the chamber’s forty-eight Democrats in voting against the measure.
That meant it was down to U.S. vice president Mike Pence, who cast the deciding vote to open debate on the issue. Pence tweeted that he was “proud to break Senate tie to open debate to rescue Americans from failed Obamacare.”
He also praised U.S. president Donald Trump for his advocacy on the issue.
“Thanks to (Trump), this is beginning of end of Obamacare,” Pence added.
That remains to be seen …
Liberal “Republicans” like Collins and Murkowski are unlikely to support anything resembling an actual repeal of this spectacularly failed law. Meanwhile fiscal conservatives like U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky probably won’t support “repeal in name only.”
Nonetheless, limited government advocates approved of the decision to advance the issue in the Senate – arguing it would at the very least set up a vote on the partial repeal bill that cleared the chamber back in 2015 (but was vetoed by Obama).
“This will force every Senator who voted to repeal in 2015 to recast that vote now that it matters,” said Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government. “There is simply no excuse after seven years of voting, complaining and campaigning for Senate Republicans to not take this opportunity to put their money where their mouths are, and end the failed Obamacare system.”
Amen to that …
Manning added that a vote on the 2015 bill would “demonstrate which Senate Republicans were serious about repeal and who was just playing politics.”
Forty-eight GOP Senators voted for the partial repeal bill back in 2015 – including Murkowski. That legislation would have struck down Obamacare’s hated individual and employer mandates and phased out its exchange subsidies and Medicaid expansion funding over two years. However, it would have preserved Obamacare’s regulations requiring insurers to cover individuals with preexisting conditions.
Trump praised the Senate’s action, calling it “a giant step to end the Obamacare nightmare.”
“As this vote shows, inaction is not an option and now the legislative process can move forward as intended to produce a bill that lowers costs and increases options for all Americans,” Trump added. “The Senate must now pass a bill and get it to my desk so we can finally end the Obamacare disaster once and for all.”
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