After announcing that the Senate would vote during the last week in June on a bill to replace Obamacare, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed the vote. Following months of trying to iron out language that will keep both liberal and conservatives happy, there was not enough support to pass the bill. McConnell expects a vote in coming weeks. Democrats are already arguing against the bill and vowing to gum up the process. Margins in the Senate are razor thin, with some Republican senators having declared their opposition.
In March 2010, the United States Congress approved the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare . It was the greatest overhaul of America’s health care system since the creation of Medicare, representing one-sixth of the country’s economy. The bill’s passage was the hallmark of President Obama’s presidency.
In May 2017, the House passed a measure to repeal and replace Obamacare. President Trump’s election raised hopes that the Senate would pass its own version of the bill. Should that happen, the Senate’s version will differ from the House’s version. Lawmakers would then have to negotiate a compromise that can pass both chambers.
Pro-life Republican House members have warned the Senate against stripping pro-life protections in its bill. “While there have been differences of opinion on the best way to fix our nation’s health care system, the pro-life majority in the House of Representatives has reached consensus that any health care legislation must abide by the overarching principle that abortion is not health care, and that therefore, elective abortion, abortion providers, and health plans that include abortion should not be subsidized.”
A joint statement from the Family Research Council and the Susan B. Anthony List maintains, “The health care bill must not indefinitely subsidize abortion and must re-direct abortion giant Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding to community health centers. The Senate discussion draft includes these pro-life priorities, but we remain very concerned that either of these priorities could be removed from the bill for procedural or political reasons. We are working closely with our pro-life allies in the Senate to prevent this from happening.”