Back to Square One for Republicans as Trump, McConnell Push for Repeal Now, Replace It Later Strategy
By Robert King, Kimberly Leonard, The Washungton Examiner
Having failed to come together on healthcare, Senate Republicans are back to square one: resurfacing a 2015 bill vetoed by former President Barack Obama that would repeal portions of Obamacare but lay no framework for a replacement plan.
It's unclear whether even this bill could pass, now that Republicans worried about going too far in repealing Obamacare or not far enough know President Trump could sign it into law.
The Congressional Budget Office projections for the earlier clean repeal legislation showed significantly higher numbers of uninsured than under the proposals Republicans have been struggling with in recent months. The now-defunct Senate bill would increase the number of uninsured by 22 million people, but the 2015 bill, the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act, would boost the number of uninsured even more, by 32 million over a decade.
Republicans have to contend with a narrower margin than they had in 2015, when they held 54 seats in the upper chamber and the bill passed 52-47. They now hold 52 seats and cannot afford to lose more than two votes, assuming a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Pence.