Trending News Today: Senators Vote to Move Forward with ACA Repeal

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Yesterday, GOP Senators voted to proceed with healthcare reform after much uncertainty surrounded the procedural vote. While budget reconciliation efforts can pass with a majority, it has to follow specific rules, according to Kaiser Health News. For this process, senators are only allowed to debate the bill for 20 hours, while other bills can be debated for weeks. Additionally, Kaiser reports that amendments are more constrained during this process and have to be relevant to the provisions in the bill.

Despite being diagnosed with glioblastoma and undergoing surgery, Sen John McCain (R-AZ) appeared in Congress yesterday and cast a vote to move forward with the healthcare debate; however, McCain said that he would not vote for the current version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), The New York Times reported. McCain said that the lack of legislative wins and the secretive process to draft legislation that repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not done Republicans any favors. The lawmaker then suggested that pursuing a bipartisan bill may be the best way to approach healthcare reform, according to the article.

Senate Republicans are considering proposing a “skinny repeal” plan, which would leave several parts of the ACA unscathed and repeal its provisions, according to Politico. The plan would repeal the individual and employer mandates, in addition to the medical device tax. The skinny repeal would provide a back-up plan in case the BCRA and the repeal-only bill do not pass.