The American Senate has once again voted on the future of Obamacare: with a majority of 51 to 49, they rejected the partial repeal the Republican party has been pushing for the last seven years. Their “solution” for Obamacare, dubbed the “skinny repeal”, would’ve scaled back some of the more controversial provisions such as the requirement for individuals to have a health insurance or face a fine. However, some naysayers of the repeal such as the BlueCross BlueField Association, an insurer group, expressed that “A system that allows people to purchase coverage only when they need it drives up cost for everyone.” Additionally, the vice president for health policy at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, called it a “Trojan horse” in a tweet and said “GOP leaders then try the same approach they’ve been taking all along: make tweaks to bill and claim unfixable bill has been fixed.”
The fact that we came so close to witnessing the dissolution of Obamacare says a lot about the intra muros tension within the Senate. In fact, it is the three Republicans who voted against their own party (Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and John McCain) that swayed the vote. John McCain, the Vietnam war hero who Trump has previously criticized, has been particularly vocal on the matter, stating:
“Since the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs and improves care for the American people. The so-called “skinny repeal” amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals.”
The fact that McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, cast the decisive vote, came as a surprise since he had not expressed he was going to vote against the passing of the bill beforehand. Trump chastised the members of the GOP that did not vote his way on his Twitter, claiming that they had “let the American people down […].”
Trump’s failure to achieve one of his main campaign promises does not bode well for the POTUS’s future legislative victories. He currently has a weakened position as a leader since he hasn’t passed any major bills in his first six months in office. His response to his third defeat on the matter of Obamacare, “As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!”, is definitely not constructive.