Senate majority leader spoke to impasse over key aspects of Republican bill at an event Thursday, but said no action was not an alternative
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday hinted that the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could fall short as conservatives and moderates in his conference remain at an impasse over key aspects of the bill.
Before leaving Washington for a week-long Fourth of July recess, McConnell delayed a vote on the Republican healthcare bill after it was clear there was not enough support for the plan, which would leave 22 million fewer people without health insurance over the next decade, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.
If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur, McConnell told constituents at a Rotary Club lunch on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
No action is not an alternative, he added. Weve got the insurance markets imploding all over the country, including in this state.
McConnells comments were quickly embraced by his Democratic counterpart, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer.
Its encouraging that Sen McConnell today acknowledged that the issues with the exchanges are fixable, and opened the door to bipartisan solutions to improve our healthcare system, Schumer said in a statement.
As weve said time and time again, Democrats are eager to work with Republicans to stabilize the markets and improve the law. At the top of the list should be ensuring cost-sharing payments are permanent, which will protect healthcare for millions.
McConnell faces a daunting task as he works behind the scenes with senators to craft a bill that bridges the ideological divide within his conference. Moderates, especially those from states that opted to expand Medicaid under the ACA (also known as Obamacare) are wary of scaling back spending on the health insurance program for low-income Americans, and conservatives are irked the plan does not go further to repeal the law.
Im in the position of a guy with a Rubiks cube trying to twist the dial in such a way to get at least 50 members of my conference who can agree to a version of repealing and replacing Obamcare, McConnell told Kentucky voters at a town hall-style event on Thursday, according to NBC. That is a very timely subject that Im grappling with as we speak.