Three Senate Republicans early Friday helped Senate Democrats block efforts to use the budget reconciliation process to get an Affordable Care Act (ACA) change bill through the Senate.
All Democrats and independents in the Senate voted against Senate Amendment 667, an 8-page “skinny” change bill released by Senate Republican leaders today.
Most Republicans voted for the proposed amendment, but three crossed party lines to vote against it: John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
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The amendment, which would create the Health Care Freedom Act bill, would repeal the ACA individual mandate and the ACA individual mandate, extend the current ACA medical device tax suspension, increase health savings account contribution limits, and provide $2 billion for state health insurance risk programs and other market stabilization efforts.
The bill would leave ACA taxes, the ACA exchange system, ACA benefits mandates and the ACA Medicaid expansion program in place.
Earlier in the evening, McCain and three other Senate Republicans said they could vote for the bill only if they could receive ironclad assurances that House and Senate leaders would form a conventional conference committee to come up with a better version of the bill.
Those four senators, who apparently already had seen a copy of the bill, argued that it was a bad bill that would not actually repeal the Affordable Care Act.