The United State Senate voted in the wee hours of the morning, Thursday, January 12, to pass a budget resolution intended to dismantle much of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare or the ACA.
The vote was 51-48, with all Republican Senators except one voting for it and all Democratic Senators voting against it. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt voted yes on the resolution, while Senator Claire McCaskill voted no.
While this vote is only the first step, it shows where lawmakers are on this issue.
Last night’s vote was the first step in a process known as budget reconciliation, which will allow opponents of the Affordable Care Act to dismantle the law’s protections while avoiding a Democrat-led filibuster.
While many of the Senators pushing for an immediate repeal of the ACA have promised to “repeal and replace” the law, there is no replacement plan in place. None of the plans that have been proposed by individual lawmakers come close to matching the comprehensive protections of the Affordable Care Act.
“Moving to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a plan in place to replace it is a reckless move,” says Jen Bersdale, Executive Director of Missouri Health Care for All. “Last night’s vote is the latest example of elected officials putting politics before the lives of millions of people who stand to lose their health insurance under this scheme.”
Health care supporters across the state have contacted Missouri Senators and Representatives, urging them not to repeal the Affordable Care Act before there is a replacement plan that guarantees those currently covered do not lose their insurance.
We applaud Senator McCaskill for heeding the calls of her constituents and standing strong for their health care. Senator Blunt should have followed her leadership and that of his Republican colleague, Senator Paul, who voted no because there is no replacement plan in place. He is playing a dangerous game with his constituents’ health and should reconsider his position in future votes.
The resolution now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives, which is expected to vote on it by Friday, January 13.
Missouri Health Care for all urges the House of Representatives, including the members of Missouri’s delegation, to act more responsibly than their colleagues in the Senate. Missourians have too much at stake in this debate to have their health care used as a political football.