Democrats may have revealed some Republican resistance to aggressive health program legislation Tuesday, with a vote on a proposed amendment that could have shielded Medicare and Medicaid from the effort to de-fund the Affordable Care Act.
The proposed amendment, Senate Amendment 20 to Senate Concurrent Resolution 3, could have blocked the congressional committees involved in ACA de-funding from using a budget resolution to privatize Medicare, increase the Medicare eligibility age, cut Medicaid funding, or put per-enrollee spending caps on Medicaid funding.
Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate.
The proposed amendment needed a three-fifths majority to pass.
The measure failed by a vote of 49 to 47.
All Democrats and independents who voted favored the amendment.
Two Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine and Dean Heller of Nevada — voted with the Democrats.
Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., and three Republicans — Roy Blunt of Missouri, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Thom Tillis of North Carolina — missed the vote.
Senate Budget Resolution 3, the underlying measure being debated, could create a framework that congressional committees could use to attack the Affordable Care Act.