WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump’s pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare faces a key test on Tuesday, when the Senate votes on whether to proceed and open debate.
The question is, what, exactly, will they be voting on?
Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) announced on Monday evening that he would return for the vote after undergoing surgery and being diagnosed with brain cancer.
That could give Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) some solace as doubts remain that he lacks the votes on his latest proposal, which include a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and another proposal to repeal it with the promise of replacing it later.
But the expectation is that the vote will be close.
President Trump chimed in among a series of tweets on Tuesday morning, and said that “after 7 years of talking, we will soon see whether or not Republicans are willing to step up to the plate!”
The vote is expected to take place around 2:15 p.m. ET/11:15 a.m. PT on Tuesday.
There was a report that in the works was a scaled down bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and employer mandate. Although that is far less ambitious than previous legislation, such a move would still have a substantial impact on the individual marketplace for insurance. Such a move is being referred to as “skinny repeal.”
Trump tweeted that he was ready to sign any of the options that reach his desk.
Democrats, meanwhile, are not expected to vote for any of the options put forward on Tuesday. They have been left out of the process, putting the onus on Republicans to lose no more than two votes from members of their own party.
Some key Democrats were harshly critical of the Republican process, in which negotiations have been conducted behind closed doors and without any committee hearings.
“Make no mistake, a ‘yes’ vote on health care is an endorsement of the most indefensible process on a major bill I’ve seen in 24 years,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter.