On Tuesday, the Senate passed a motion to proceed on health care by a vote of 51-50 with Vice President Pence casting the tying vote. This was only a procedural vote and not any sort of repeal or replace vote. As a result of this motion passing, the Senate can begin to debate on the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Senate will have 20 hours of legislative time to debate the issues. During this time, which is expected to last days, Amendments can be introduced and voted on.
Late Tuesday night, the first proposal, the revised Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act, failed by a vote of 43-57. The other Amendments that are expected to be voted on include a Repeal-only option, which does not appear to have the votes, and a newer proposal being dubbed the “Skinny” Repeal. The “Skinny” repeal basically eliminates the least popular aspects of the ACA, such as the mandates and the tax on medical-device taxes, while leaving the other aspects, including Medicaid, untouched.
After the 20 hours of debate there will be a “vote-a-rama” where any Senator from both parties can introduce any amendment related to the original bill. It is expected that there will be dozens of amendments and subsequent votes.
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