Republicans will take their first actual vote on health care on Tuesday afternoon. If it fails — a likely possibility — the health care debate is essentially dead. But if it passes, there’s still more work to do before they can repeal Obamacare and it’s unclear how they’ll do it.
Senate Republicans are taking their first actual vote on health care Tuesday, if it fails, the health care debate is essentially dead.
- The Senate will take a crucial first vote on their health reform bill this afternoon. If it fails, the current GOP effort to repeal and replace Obamacare dies. If it passes, it does not become law. And while it would be a small victory for Republicans, things get complicated because there is no clear plan after that.
- Republicans need 50 votes to pass the motion to proceed Tuesday, meaning they can only lose two. If the motion to proceed passes, the Senate will move on to vote on the health care bill itself.
- But which bill will they vote on? That’s the question everyone’s asking. There are at least four options being openly discussed, and there’s no clarity from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on what the final bill will be. The plan appears to be to pass the motion to proceed and then throw out a series of Obamacare repeal options as separate amendments and see what happens.
- But to pass a bill, 50 Republicans will need to agree on one of those plans. The two main options are the newest Senate repeal and replacement bill and a another bill that would merely repeal Obamacare and put off replacement until later. Neither of those bills have the support of 50 senators, according to Republicans’ public statements.
- Sen. John McCain is returning to Washington for Tuesday’s vote, less than a week after his office announced that he had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer. With McCain, widely seen as a safe yes vote, present, it will take three Republicans to kill any repeal plan.
- At least three senators have said they would vote against straight repeal (Susan Collins, Shelley Moore Capito, Lisa Murkowski). Two have said they would definitely vote against the repeal and replacement bill (Rand Paul, Susan Collins), while others have publicly remained undecided, leaving the GOP in limbo, even if they manage to pass the motion to proceed on Tuesday.
- The vote is scheduled for 2:15 p.m.