Three Senators Save Millions

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

JULY 28, 2017

There can really only be one topic for any health care-related blog today: the defeat early this morning of the the so-called Skinny Repeal . We can thank two women, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and one man, John McCain. Senator McCain's vote was the big news as both women have been steadfast and outspoken for some time. One can't help but wonder how much his recent diagnosis of a glioblastoma affected his decision It would be pretty hard to strip millions of Americans of healthcare while receiving the very best medical care possible. The other perspective is that he at this point has absolutely nothing to lose and can completely live up to his values. (and shouldn't they all be doing that all the time?)

Everyone knows about this by now, but here is the perspective from Medscape and my own gratitude. I left messages in all three Senators' office this morning to say "thank you."

Senate Votes Down 'Skinny' Repeal of ACA

The Senate early this morning narrowly defeated a "skinny" repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that called for just a few changes to the embattled law, but one of those was big — the elimination of the individual mandate to obtain health insurance coverage. 
It was the third time this week that Senate Republicans failed to undo the signature legislation of the Obama administration. Three Republicans — Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) — joined 46 Democrats and two independents in voting 51 to 49 to reject the measure. 
The bill, called the Health Care Freedom Act (HCFA), is technically an amended version of a more ambitious House bill that repeals and replaces the ACA. If it had passed, the HCFA would have gone back to the House. 
Yesterday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said House Republicans were "willing" to turn the bill over to a House-Senate conference committee to forge a compromise measure instead of voting on it as-is. Skinny repeal was advertised all along as a starter kit, not a final piece of legislation, and a handful of Senate Republicans, including McCain, had vowed that they would not support the HCFA unless they received assurances that a conference committee would take it up. 

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Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
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