The Senate rejected a proposal Wednesday that would have repealed major parts of the Affordable Care Act and provided a two-year delay for lawmakers to develop a substitute, indicating that in the immediate future Republicans can only muster a majority for modest changes to the current law.
In two separate votes over the course of less than 24 hours, lawmakers have rejected different approaches to rewriting the landmark 2010 law known as Obamacare. But many Republicans have expressed an openness to passing a minimalist measure that abolishes two of the ACA’s insurance mandates and a single tax on medical devices, which is being dubbed “skinny repeal.”
GOP leaders have emphasized it is a way for the Senate to start negotiations with the House, and perhaps the one way they can sustain their seven-year drive to dismantle the health care law.
Several lawmakers acknowledged Wednesday that they did not embrace the content of the proposal, but suggested they could possibly back it anyway.
“It’s a vehicle to get us into conference,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina). “That is not a solution to the problem.” …