Two Republican senators effectively issued a death blow to the current form of the Senate GOP healthcare legislation on Monday night, throwing into doubt the future of Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah announced Monday evening that they both would vote no on a motion to proceed to debate on the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had sought to hold a vote this week, but the plan was delayed due in part to Sen. John McCain undergoing surgery. McCain’s surgery was expected to push the vote back at least a week.
McConnell could only afford to lose two senators and still have the bill move on. Two other lawmakers — Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine — had already expressed their opposition, bringing the total to four.
Business Insider’s Bob Bryan reported earlier Monday that the Better Care Reconciliation Act was on the verge of collapse, noting that no one wants to be the deciding vote to kill a bill, but if one member does publicly become the deciding vote, others may follow.
“It’s time for a new approach when it comes to #RepealandReplace of Obamacare,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has introduced his own healthcare legislation, said Monday night.
Another big issue for undecided lawmakers is the release of the Congressional Budget Office’s score for the updated BCRA. The original score, which estimated that 22 million more Americans would be without health insurance in 2026 under the BCRA than under the current system, was a key point of contention for centrist Republicans who opposed the first iteration of the healthcare bill.
The new score was originally set to be released Monday, but, given the delay for the vote, it was also pushed back. It’s unclear when it will be released, but reports suggest it could be as late as next week.
Bob Bryan contributed to this report.