Parliamentarian of the Senate Elizabeth MacDonough ruled Tuesday afternoon that provisions within the Senate bill to largely repeal and replace Obamacare do not comply with budget rules and would need 60 yes votes to pass the chamber.
The Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare is known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Certain provisions of the BCRA, according to the Senate parliamentarian, do not comply with the Senate’s budget reconciliation process.
The provisions in question include the feature that allows insurance providers to charge older Americans more in premiums than younger, healthier consumers and the provision that allows small business to establish “association health plans” that can be sold across state lines.
Parliamentarian says that Senate GOP bill’s age tax, small biz health plan provisions violate budget reconciliation. pic.twitter.com/l70WsxnMlU
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) July 25, 2017
Senators are trying to pass health care reform through the budget “reconciliation” process, which requires that every provision or amendment have a direct impact on the budget.
The one key provision of the bill that does comply with the reconciliation process is the one that allows states to choose a Medicaid block grant over a per-person funding caps.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell managed to garner enough support to pass the motion to proceed on repealing the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, Tuesday afternoon.
The motion passed by the narrowest of margins, with moderate GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voting against the motion. Senate leadership could only afford 2 Republican defections, but were able to gain the support of Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
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