Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Photo: McConnell)

Members of the Senate might decide today whether to start formal floor debate on an Affordable Care Act change bill, but they might.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a vote on a “motion to proceed” with debate on the bill for today.

The Senate opened for business at noon today, handled routine matters, and then adjourned for weekly party lunches. Members were supposed to come back to the floor around 2:15 p.m.

(Related: Senate to Vote on Health Insurance Bill Debate Next Week)

Senate Republican leaders are waiting for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to fly back from Arizona. McCain has been getting treatment for a blood clot above his left eye. While he was getting treated for the blood clot, he learned he has a brain tumor.

No bill under serious consideration in the Senate would repeal the Affordable Care Act.

All of the versions of the Better Care Reconciliation Act and similar bills that have been under consideration would repeal, temporarily block or postpone most or all of the Affordable Care Act taxes and penalties.

One version would replace the current Affordable Care Act exchange premium  tax credit subsidy, cost-sharing reduction subsidy and insurer stabilization programs with new tax credit and state grant programs.

The other version, the “skinny version,” would simply eliminate Affordable Care Act taxes and penalties, without replacing the act’s subsidy and stabilization programs.

If the Senate approves the motion up for consideration today, it will simply go ahead with debating an Affordable Care Act change bill on the Senate floor. The Senate would still have to vote on any amendments proposed, and on whether to pass the version of the bill that emerged from the debate.

The vote is of interest to all financial professionals, because, for procedural reasons, the Senate wants to decide what it is doing, or not doing, about the Affordable Care Act before it moves on to considering changes to the tax code.

When the Senate resumes floor proceedings, live video of the proceedings will be available here.

— Read GOP Health Bill’s $13,000 Deductibles Would Be Illegal, CBO Says on ThinkAdvisor