GOP Senators: Repeal-and-Replace Back on the Table

Just two days after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the upper chamber would move to repeal Obamacare without an immediately replacement, Senate Republicans on Wednesday said a vote on repeal-and-replace legislation is being considered again. McConnell previously said the Senate would vote next week on the 2015 repeal-only legislation, but on Wednesday he appeared to change his tune. Speaking at the White House after a Senate GOP meeting with President Trump, McConnell said “we could have a vote on either” a straight repeal or repeal-and-replace, but he would prefer the latter. McConnell’s rank-and-file confirmed that the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which accomplishes both goals, could be back on the table. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), who expressed concerns about the BCRA’s Medicaid cuts, told reporters that reviving the BCRA is “part of the discussion.” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told The Daily Beast that repeal-only legislation means “we’re still in the same place” in terms of health care reform. Johnson said it was his understanding based on the meeting that the president prefers a repeal-and-replace vote. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) said he’s “more optimistic” that a version of the BCRA could come to a vote next week.

—Andrew Desiderio