Over a dozen Senate Republicans are sponsoring a bill to shore up Obamacare insurance markets and continue funding the program’s subsidies.
GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington released a bill to fix Obamacare Wednesday. The bill, known as The Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act, would continue funding Obamacare subsidies, provide funding for the Affordable Care Act’s navigator and outreach programs and fund basic health plans.
Republicans have spent over seven years campaigning on the platform to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. The party even tried a handful of times to repeal Obamacare in 2017, but no proposal successfully made its way through the Senate.
Two sponsors of the Alexander-Murray bill are Graham and Cassidy, who only last month pushed a bill of their own to repeal major portions of Obamacare and fundamentally change the program’s funding mechanism to a system of block grants. The bill was never put up for a vote on the Senate floor, but Graham told TheDCNF in September he believes the bill will make a resurgence sometime in early 2018.
Alexander has 12 of his Republican colleagues signed on as cosponsors, including: Sens. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John McCain of Arizona, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Richard Burr of North Carolina.
The new bill has enough votes to pass the Senate under regular order, which requires 60 yes votes and allows senators who are opposed to filibuster, Schumer told reporters Thursday. The minority leader thinks all 48 Democrats in the Senate will vote “yes.”
Not all Republicans are as enthusiastic about the bill, but if Schumer’s prediction is correct, it could threaten to stop another GOP repeal attempt going forward.