In the wake of two additional Republican senators voicing their opposition, the heath care bill introduced by Senate Republicans in a bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act faltered Monday evening.
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Utah Sen. Mike Lee joined Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine in declining to support the bill in its current form, preventing it from being brought to the Senate floor and halting the repeal of the ACA as a result.
In the wake of the bill’s collapse, on Tuesday morning Senate leaders encouraged a vote on a different measure to repeal large portions of the ACA without a replacement in place; however, the New York Times reports that Sen. Collins, along with Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, declared their unwillingness to lend support to repeal without replacement, effectively halting efforts to do so before they had truly begun.
Key points of the bill included allowing states to permit plans to end essential health benefits (including mental health and substance use disorder coverage), ending Medicaid expansion over four years starting in 2020, and allocating $2 billion to combatting the opioid epidemic through 2018.
According to The Guardian, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats are willing to work with Republicans to improve the ACA "rather than sabotaging it." Meanwhile, Vice President Pence stated that in the aftermath of the bill's collapse, "inaction is not an option. Congress needs to step up. Congress needs to do their job and Congress needs to do their job now."
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