Senate Republicans have officially decided to give up on the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill— considered the final attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, The Daily Beast reports. According to a GOP aide, they reportedly decided not to hold a vote on the bill before the end of the month.
Following the announcement on Tuesday, Senators Lindsey Graham (of South Carolina) and Bill Cassidy (of Louisiana) told reporters that they didn't have enough votes to see any success with the controversial bill and that they wouldn't hold a vote without support.
"We made the decision that because we don't have the votes, we will postpone the vote," Cassidy said.
Associated Press' Erica Werner reports (via Twitter) that Senator Pat Roberts also commented on the decision and said they would "try to do this in some form in this session of congress."
Sen Roberts, exiting lunch, says "appears not" on whether there will be a vote.
Joint decision w Graham, Cassidy, McConnell he says
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) September 26, 2017
The brief, yet dramatic life of this bill has seen multiple "is it dead?" moments. From the on-the-fence reactions from Senators Rand Paul (of Kentucky) and Susan Collins (of Maine), as multiple outlets reported, to the condemnation from all 50 Medicaid directors from each state (Ouch.)
The major K.O. to the legislation appeared to come, however, from Arizona Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, who argued against any attempt to pass a highly partisan healthcare bill without all sides of the aisle involved. He claimed, essentially, that making such a huge decision that would affect so many people without that level of cooperation was unethical and undemocratic.
“We should not be content to pass health care legislation on a party-line basis, as Democrats did when they rammed Obamacare through Congress in 2009. If we do so, our success could be as short-lived as theirs when the political winds shift, as they regularly do,"McCain said in his statement late last week. "The issue is too important, and too many lives are at risk, for us to leave the American people guessing from one election to the next whether and how they will acquire health insurance. A bill of this impact requires a bipartisan approach."
MoveOn statement on the richly-deserved death of Graham-Cassidy: pic.twitter.com/wm1UHtaXAv
— MoveOn.org (@MoveOn) September 26, 2017
Following the announcement, pro-Obamacare groups expressed relief at the delay of the vote but also noted that attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were very much still "a threat."
While it's not a surprise to see this iteration of the Graham-Cassidy get pulled, there's still so much up in the air about future healthcare moves in Congress.