Senate Health Care Debate Continues

Updates and Explanations

Wednesday, July 26, 9:15 am Central

In case you missed it: Hours after voting to open debate on health care legislation, the Senate voted down their comprehensive “repeal and replace” plan, basically a slightly revised version of the BCRA. Kudos to everyone across the country whose calls helped tank that terrible proposal.

Today, the Senate is expected to move from a terrible plan that would have stripped 22 million Americans of their insurance to a catastrophic plan: They will hold a vote on “repeal without replacing,” which would rob 32 million people of their insurance and double insurance premiums. We don’t expect that plan to pass, but we should still call our senators and tell them to vote no.

If that vote fails, they will move on to some other plan. While it’s theoretically possible they will reveal a plan nobody has seen yet, that seems pretty unlikely. The only remaining plan the GOP has publicly discussed is so-called “skinny repeal,” which would repeal only a handful of provisions. This proposal is a Trojan horse that has nothing to do with anything the GOP intends to make law. (It would “only” lead to 15 million people losing insurance, clearly not enough for the leaders of this effort). Its whole purpose would be to pass “something, anything,” to allow the Senate to move to a conference committee with the House, where they can try once again to craft a bill behind closed doors, with no public transparency.

Sausage-making is rarely pretty, and never less so than when millions of people are waiting to find out if they’ll still have health care next year.

There’s still a lot to happen in this process, possibly several more months. We didn’t win yesterday but we haven’t lost either. Keep those calls going!

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