The vote on the "skinny repeal" in the Senate on Friday morning effectively killed the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare — for now, at least. Among the many people who stayed up to watch the vote was Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, who called the skinny repeal's failure an "incredible victory" for women in an Instagram video early Friday morning.
Richards specifically directed her "thank you" message at the women — Republican and Democrat alike — who played a part in killing the bill. "I want to thank Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Patty Murray, and all the women in the Senate who stood up and fought," Richards said in the video. "The thousands of women across the country who made phone calls and who went to town hall meetings and who never gave up. This victory tonight is your victory."
Had the Friday morning vote on the skinny repeal passed, it would have gutted Obamacare's unpopular individual and employer mandates, cut some taxes that help pay for the law, and temporarily slash federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The Congressional Budget Office released its score on the skinny repeal hours before the vote, estimating that it would cause some 16 million people to lose health coverage by 2026.
Collins and Murkowski, the two GOP senators who voted no on the skinny repeal alongside John McCain, were the two lone Republicans who stood against their party's effort to defund Planned Parenthood in the Obamacare repeal effort. They repeatedly opposed repeal measures that strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood, one of the nation's largest, and in some places, sole health care provider.
Days before the skinny repeal vote, Collins and Murkowski stood at odds with the GOP to vote against reviving the health care debate in the Senate. They also opposed a repeal-now, replace-later plan, voting no with five other Republicans.
On Friday morning, McCain — who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and returned to the capital this week for the votes — appeared to be given much of the credit for killing Republican's final attempt to repeal Obamacare. But Richards made sure to thank Collins and Murkowski specifically, tweeting her gratitude at them, "thousands around country, and democratic women Senators." She added, "I am woman hear me roar!"
The skinny repeal's failure marked the end for one of the GOP's most significant legislation efforts (though no one is holding their breaths that they won't try again). For Planned Parenthood, the health care provider most maligned by Republicans in the country, it was also a huge sigh of relief — and an important victory.
"I hope you will take that to heart and celebrate. On behalf of all of us at Planned Parenthood, I want to say 'thank you,'" Richards said in her video. "So get some rest and tomorrow we get up, and we live to fight another day."