Senator Susan Collins Defections Brings a New Challenge to Republicans’ Obamacare Repeal Bid
The Obamacare repeal backed by President Donald Trump is set to fail. This is after it faced yet another challenge making it difficult to pass on the floor of the Senate. Republican Senator, Susan Collins recently decamped from the repeal group and joined fellow Republicans, John McCain, and Rand Paul, who are against the repeal bill. Trump and his Republican administration had hoped to pass the bill before the September 30 deadline, which required them to pass the bill with a simple majority.
In a statement after decamping, Senator Susan Collins stated that the repeal bill is a critical decision that can affect the lives of many Americans and thus, it is not an easy decision to make in haste. If passed, the bill would reduce the federal government control in the health sector, cutting the government spending with over one trillion dollars between 2020 and 2036. This would be detrimental to the poor and disabled whose rights are well considered in the Obamacare. The senator said passing the bill would be putting the lives of vulnerable groups in danger.
What the Bill Means
A report released by the Congressional Budget Office indicates that the bill would reduce the budget deficit by over $133 billion. However, this would mean that only a few people would have comprehensive health insurance that can cover high-cost medical situations. This seems to be a clear reason why the three Republican senators have backed out of the repeal.
The Major Challenge
Republicans hold 52 seats in the 100-member Senator. This simply means that it can only afford two defectors to get a draw, which will call for Vice President Pence to vote and break the tie. However, with three defections, things seem to be going south for President Trump who is yet to pass any major legislative bill in over eight months in the Oval House. The Bill sponsors were hopeful to pass the bill before Senator Collins defection.
Tension was high during the Senate hearing on the health bill as disabled demonstrators paraded themselves forcing police to pull some out of their wheelchairs. The protesters were carrying placards written “No cuts to Medicaid! Save our Liberty.” These louder protesters forced Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee to suspend the hearing.
Health doctors, Democrats, insurance groups and patient groups have also opposed the bill. At the US Capitol, dozens of protesters lined shouting “Kill the Bill, don’t kill us!” amid the protests the bill sponsors remained adamant that this is the only chance to preserve health care system in the country.
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