Reprinted from The New York Times by
With their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in tatters, Senate leaders on Tuesday pushed to vote on a different measure that would repeal major parts of President Barack Obama’s health law without a replacement — but that plan appeared also to collapse.
Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, all Republicans, immediately declared they could not vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement — enough to doom the effort before it could get any momentum.
“I did not come to Washington to hurt people,” Capito said in a statement. “I cannot vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns and the needs of West Virginians.”
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio hinted strongly that he too would oppose it.
The collapse of the Senate Republican health bill — and the failing struggle to find yet another alternative — highlighted a harsh reality for Senate Republicans: While Republican senators freely assailed the health law while Obama occupied the White House, they have so far not been able to come up with a workable plan to unwind it that would keep both moderate Republicans and conservatives on board. …