In addition to a small handful of Republican senators who opposed Trumpcare (the "Better Care Replacement Act" or BCRA) for their own reasons, Senators Mike Lee and Jerry Moran came out against the bill last night because it was not sufficiently cruel.
Lee and Moran wanted the Senate to adopt the original form of Senator Ted Cruz's amendment that would kill people with pre-existing conditions, not the watered down version adopted by leadership that would still kill people with pre-existing conditions.
Opposition from Lee and Moran effectively killed the Senate's "repeal and replace" effort, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has moved on (or moved back) to "repeal and delay."
Instead, he said the Senate would vote on a full repeal of Obamacare, with two years before the repeal goes into effect to allow time to create a new system. The new plan may appear to fulfill a seven-year GOP promise, but it faces extremely difficult odds after many moderate Republican senators have already come out against repeal without an immediate replacement. [...]
McConnell, who had worked to craft the bill that couldn't muster enough support, said he would seek a vote on a full repeal — the same version that passed both the House and the Senate in 2015 — "in the coming days."
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the GOP's "repeal and delay" bill back in 2015 when they originally passed it and the results weren't pretty. The CBO estimated that it would result in over 32 million people losing their coverage and spark a collapse of the individual market while doubling individual premiums and driving up the federal deficit.
If Republicans could not devise a plan to replace Obamacare over the last seven years, I don't see any reason why anyone should expect them to craft a replacement over the next two years. And the problem is it wouldn't even take that long for the healthcare industry and possibly the economy to collapse. This is not something Republicans could pass at the 11th hour on the last day before the deadline. The nightmare would begin long before that as the market reacts to the unparalleled and unprecedented uncertainty.
The good news is we might not have to worry about that. At least three senators including Susan Collins, Rob Portman, and Shelley Capito say they will not vote for "repeal and delay," meaning Mitch McConnell does not have 50 votes for it.
It's not entirely clear where this leaves us and it's always possible the above mentioned senators could change their minds so I'm hesitant to say we should celebrate. We'll know Trumpcare is truly dead when they move on to "tax reform."
Update... looks like Murkowski is also a 'No'
Murkowski via @GarrettHaake: "I said in January that we should not repeal without a replacement" and dragging vote out "creates more chaos"
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) July 18, 2017
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 18, 2017