Healthcare Debate Rages on as Republicans Secure Majority of Votes
Aric Lee Kirsten, Real Time Updates Contributor
Healthcare madness continued on Tuesday, July 25th, as Congress collected enough votes to further discussion on the repeal and replacement plan for Obamacare. Congressional Republicans have campaigned against the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, since its inception in 2010.
Republicans gained the majority of votes after a tie breaker by Vice President Mike Pence. 51-50 was the final tally, with zero supporting votes from Democrats. Two Republicans voted against furthering the debate, Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK).
Previous drafts of a new healthcare bill have been attacked from both the left and right. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dean Heller (R-NV) have openly opposed the bill. Republican Senators Mike Lee (UT) and Ted Cruz (TX) were among the opposition initially, demanding an amendment the two Senators crafted themselves, which would give insurance companies the freedom to create plans noncompliant with Obamacare.
Following a discussion with President Trump, Senator Rand Paul tweeted this morning in support of furthering the healthcare debate:
Although Vice President Pence broke the tie with his vote, a key vote from Arizona Senator John McCain has been the most significant. Last week, the Senator was diagnosed with a brain tumor, discovered after a surgery to remove a blood clot from above his eye. After well wishes from major news outlets and the President, McCain made his return for the Senate vote to an applause from fellow Senators.
Not everybody was excited about McCain’s return, MSNBC host Joy Reid took to Twitter to condemn his vote:
President Trump tweeted in both support of McCain and the 51-50 vote:
With the Senate voting to further discussions on an Obamacare repeal and replacement, a few questions come to mind looking forward: Will Democratic senators work with Republicans to create a healthcare plan that benefits the majority of Americans? And will Republican leaders be able to draft a bill that passes unanimously among Republicans?
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