After receiving official confirmation that the GOP's healthcare bill has no chance of passing, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell immediately announced a change of plan.
During Trump's campaign, he repeatedly vowed to "repeal and replace Obamacare." Now that replacing the ACA is off the table, his new plan is to simply repeal it altogether with no replacement.
Late Monday night, Trump called on Republicans to immediately repeal the Affordable Care Act and "start from a clean slate."
Shortly thereafter, Mitch McConnell stated that he plans to hold a repeal vote.
These new developments come just hours after two Republican senators confirmed they planned to vote "no" on the Better Care Reconciliation Act, meaning the bill had no chance of passing.
Until today, the only Republican senators who had publicly stated they'd vote "no" on the BCRA were Rand Paul (KY) and Susan Collins (ME). McConnell couldn't afford even one more opposing senator, so the public announcement that Mike Lee (UT) and Jerry Moran (KS) would vote against the healthcare bill meant the Republicans' longtime goal of repealing and replacing Obamacare wouldn't be achieved anytime in the foreseeable future.
Senators Lee and Moran made the simultaneous announcement that they would vote "no" on both the healthcare bill and the motion to proceed. The latter vote had already been delayed due to John McCain's absence from Washington.
“After conferring with trusted experts regarding the latest version of the Consumer Freedom Amendment, I have decided I cannot support the current version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act,” Senator Lee said. “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”
Moran also issued a statement explaining his reasoning for voting no:
"We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy," he said. "Furthermore, if we leave the federal government in control of everyday healthcare decisions, it is more likely that our healthcare system will devolve into a single-payer system, which would require a massive federal spending increase."
McConnell says he will revive a 2015 bill that was vetoed by Obama. It calls for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act with a two-year delay to “provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable health care.”