On Monday evening, two more Republican Senators announced that they do not support the proposed GOP health care plan, all but assuring the bill's failure in its current state. In an admission of defeat, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that instead of creating a new plan, the Senate will vote to repeal Obamacare without replacing it. But when exactly will this vote happen?
According to McConnell's statement, the repeal vote could take place "in the coming days."
McConnell is referring to a 2015 effort led by GOP lawmakers to repeal then-President Obama's signature achievement. While the bill did pass the Senate in a 52-47 vote along partisan lines, it was ultimately vetoed by President Obama. According to Politico, the 2015 vote was more of a symbolic statement than an actual policy proposal given the certainty of an Obama veto.
Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
While the proposal to repeal Obamacare without an established replacement has the endorsement of President Trump, who argues that a "clean slate" is necessary for success, Republican senators may not be so quick to jump on board. The plan could thrust insurance markets into uncertainty while causing millions of Americans to lose insurance coverage.
In spite of this, McConnell's announcement displays just how adamant some Republican leaders are to repeal a key aspect of Obama's legacy — and just how desperate they are for a win. The Republican health care bill was drafted largely in secret to avoid public scrutiny before the Senate vote, and McConnell even announced plans to delay the Senate's recess by two weeks to ensure the bill's success.
Still, GOP efforts to appeal to both moderates and hard-line conservatives proved unsuccessful. After two Republican Senators announced on Monday that they would not support the bill, the count of GOP defectors was bumped up to four. The bill could only afford to lose three Republican votes.
I was right about one thing - McConnell wasn't going to let his legacy be destroyed by failing on Obamacare.— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) July 18, 2017
While the future of American health care in uncertain given Monday's developments, McConnell's statement proves that Republicans aren't giving up on their seven-year promise to repeal Obamacare without a fight.