WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans announced Tuesday afternoon that the Graham-Cassidy health care proposal, their latest attempt to overturn Obamacare, will not be brought up for a vote this week, ending a series of failed efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act.
“We don’t have the votes,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., at a news conference. “We’ve made the decision, since we don’t have the votes, we will postpone that vote.”
Cassidy and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., had authored a bill with the backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that would have replaced the ACA spending with block grants to states and cut Medicaid spending.
Tuesday’s announcement effectively ends current Republican efforts to pass a health care bill. After Sept. 30, Republicans will need more than a simple majority to pass a similar piece of legislation under current Senate rules.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi celebrated the news at a press conference and called on congressional Republicans to abandon “Trumpcare” and focus instead on bipartisan efforts to improve health care.
News of the bill’s fate broke during a Pelosi press conference where she was joined by fellow Democratic Reps. Raul Ruiz of California and Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware and several patient advocates who shared stories about how the Affordable Care Act has helped their families.
With teary-eyed families behind her, Pelosi declared, “You do not want to stand between one of these moms and the good health care of her child.”
Pelosi warned House Republicans that any new efforts to repeal key provisions of Obamacare would be met with fierce resistance.
“I hope they don’t think they’ll start this up in the House, but if they do, we’ll be ready for them,” Pelosi said, turning to the patient advocates at her side. “Won’t we, moms and dads?”