Affordable Care Act

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

The defeat of the GOP Senate health care bill is a major blow to all Republicans involved.

President Trump, whose approval rating is lower than any recent president this early in his term, is now staring at an agenda imperiled. Despite his boasts, he has achieved little of significance through Congress. That failure is compounded by the fact that his party controls both chambers.

The Senate will postpone its consideration of the GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until Sen. John McCain returns to Washington.

The Republican senator from Arizona is recovering from brain surgery performed Friday to remove a nearly 2-inch blood clot from above his left eye. The surgery was described as a "minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision."

Ryland Barton

As Vice President Mike Pence prepared for an event in Lexington today at a party supply center, a small crowd gathered outside. Kimberley Spencer works at an elementary school cafeteria in Lexington and showed up to protest the event.

Pence was in town to rally support for Republican efforts to scale back the Affordable Care Act, and meet with small businesses he says were harmed by the law. In Spencer’s opinion, Kentucky supporters of President Donald Trump are working against the best interests of poor people in the state.

The next few days will be critical for Senate Republicans' effort to repeal and replace key parts of the Affordable Care Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will release a new version of the bill Thursday, and aims to hold a key vote on it early next week.

If that process fails, McConnell has floated the idea of working with Democrats on a bipartisan measure. "No action is not an alternative," he said in Kentucky during the July 4th recess. "We've got the insurance markets imploding all over the country."

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A new report out from the left-leaning Commonwealth Fund finds more than 32,000 jobs could be lost in Kentucky by 2026 if the U.S. Senate passes its proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Most of those jobs would be in healthcare, but the report found other fields, like real estate, could also be hit.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates nationwide, 22 million fewer people would have insurance under the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act. Insurance costs for some people–like older people and those living in rural areas–would increase.

Senators Take Heat On Health Care During Summer Break

Jul 6, 2017
Nicole Erwin

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went to the western Kentucky city of Paducah this week to talk about improvements to a local flood wall. Instead he heard a flood of complaints from more than 30 protesters upset about the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

“We will not go away, don’t destroy the ACA!” the protesters chanted, and relayed their concerns about the Senate bill’s projected cuts.

NPR

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rejected President Donald Trump’s advice to nix the GOP’s complex health care proposal in favor of a bill that would simply get rid of “Obamacare” once and for all.

McConnell told reporters after an event Friday in his home state of Kentucky that the Republican health care bill remains challenging but “we are going to stick with that path” in response to a question about the president’s tweet. Former President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, and Republicans have been trying to get rid of it ever since.

In late May, several senators went to the floor of the Senate to talk about people in their states who are affected by the opioid crisis. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., talked about Chelsea Carter.

"She told me her drug habit began when she was 12 years old," said Capito.

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The prospects of the Senate’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act are a moving target.

Less than a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell postponed a vote on the bill, the Washington Post is reporting that McConnell wants to send a revised version to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office by the end of this week.

The CBO’s score of the Senate proposal — which the agency said would result in 22 million people losing health insurance over the next decade — pushed some more moderate Republican senators to oppose the bill.

Facing a perilous path for their health care bill, Senate Republican leaders have decided to push off a vote on their health care bill until after Congress returns from next week’s July Fourth recess, GOP aides confirm to NPR’s Susan Davis. The delay comes on a day in which President Trump was working to twist some arms, and when several GOP senators were saying they were against bringing the bill to the floor this week.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the announcement during Senate Republicans’ weekly lunch, which was attended by Vice President Mike Pence. White House chief of staff Reince Preibus and press secretary Sean Spicer were reportedly in the Capitol on Tuesday, as well.

Updated at 8:10 pm ET

Congressional forecasters say a Senate bill that aims to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026.

That's only slightly fewer uninsured than a version passed by the House in May.

J. Tyler Franklin

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has unveiled the newest version of a bill to replace many provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Negotiations over the much-anticipated bill were held in private, with even some Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul criticizing the secretive process “with little time to fully evaluate the proposal.”

Paul issued a statement Thursday saying he wasn’t ready to vote in favor of the new bill because it doesn’t fully repeal Obamacare.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is slamming efforts led by Senate Majority Leader and fellow Kentuckian Mitch McConnell to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

Paul said he won’t know how he will vote until the bill is released to legislators on Thursday, but he anticipates that McConnell won’t have the votes and will have to renegotiate the legislation with members of his own party.

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If Republicans in Congress move forward with their plan to replace Obamacare, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's ideas for the future of the program could also go up in smoke.

About 440,000 people were added to the state’s Medicaid rolls as a result of former Gov. Steve Beshear’s executive order to expand the program in 2013, making more people eligible for benefits under the Affordable Care Act.


Mary Meehan

Eight protesters along a major thoroughfare in Lexington hoisted signs shaped like tombstones with sayings such as “RIP Trumpcare.” They were hoping Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr would catch a glimpse of the demonstration on their way to a press event at Valvoline headquarters down the road. Against the steady hum of streaming cars came a few honks. A middle-aged guy on a Harley gunned his bike through the intersection while laying on the horn.

“I don’t know if they are honking for us or if someone actually got in their way,” said Peter Wedlund, who is wearing a black Grim Reaper cloak.

Even in the very red Ohio Valley region a growing number of people are protesting the American Health Care Act, which would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

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