The Senate GOP's "repeal and replace" plan, otherwise known as the "Better Care Reconciliation Act" (BCRA), was shot down late last night after some people who are reading this were probably already asleep.
And the vote wasn't even close. Nine Republcians crossed over and voted against the BCRA for their own reasons.
The Better Care Reconciliation Act went down, 43-57, with nine Republicans voting no: Susan Collins (Maine), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Mike Lee (Utah), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Rand Paul (Ky.)
But the GOP’s hopes of passing some bill ― any bill ― were alive and well Tuesday night, with a scaled-down version of repeal looking increasingly in good shape after leadership revealed their plan earlier in the day of passing a “skinny repeal” if lawmakers agreed to open debate.
If BCRA is truly dead, then actually attempting to replace Obamacare with something is probably dead as well. What we're increasingly left with is simply repeal with no replacement. Not even a shitty replacement. None at all.
It's not entirely clear what the Senate will vote on next, but it appears they will vote on a full repeal bill that originally passed in 2015. Assuming that fails, we know the last vote they take will be for the so-called "Skinny Repeal" that eliminates Obamacare mandates and the medical device tax.
If they pass Diet Repeal, they can use it to craft something else alongside House Republicans, but the final version of whatever the congressional conference develops will still have to pass through both chambers.
This is far from over.