McConnell plans Obamacare repeal without replacement

Posted at 11:30 PM, Jul 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 14:33:19-04

Following two Republican Senators' refusal to vote for the embattled Better Care Reconciliation Act, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Monday night that he was prepared to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement ready.

"In the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama," he said.

McConnell said the bill in question would provide a two-year "transition period" to phase out the Affordable Care Act's provisions -- and presumably for Congress to reach any kind of an agreement about what should come next.

The president tweeted his support for this approach earlier in the evening.

Part of the reason the American Health Care Act, the BCRA's predecessor, struggled to pass the House of representatives was the resistance of the hardline conservative Freedom Caucus.

McConnell's fellow Kentuckian Rep. Thomas Massie and his colleagues said they were resistant to "repeal-and-replace" legislation because they wanted the ACA gone entirely. A total repeal could entice like-minded legislators who felt that the other efforts didn't go far enough.