Senate rule deals setback to Republican
Send a link to a friend
[July 22, 2017]
By Toni Clarke
(Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. Senate
were dealt another blow in their effort to repeal Obamacare on Friday
when the keeper of the Senate's rules said certain provisions in their
healthcare bill, such as defunding Planned Parenthood, could not be
The Senate parliamentarian determined some provisions in the Better Care
Reconciliation Act violate the Byrd Rule that requires backers to be
able to muster 60 votes, according to a memo posted on the Senate
Committee on the Budget website.
Republicans, who control the Senate with a slim 52-seat majority, are
unlikely to be able to round up that many votes for key provisions in
the bill to repeal former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act
known as Obamacare.
Affected would be the provision to defund Planned Parenthood, two
provisions to prevent certain tax credits from being used to purchase
health insurance that covers abortion, and a provision stating that
beginning in 2020 states no longer have to cover essential health
benefits in their Medicaid alternative benefit plans.
Some provisions were not subject to the Byrd Rule, according to the
parliamentarian, including a provision allowing states the option to
impose work requirements on Medicaid enrollees who are not disabled,
elderly or pregnant, and a proposal to repeal cost-sharing subsidies.
[to top of second column]
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell looks down as President Trump
speaks during a meeting with Senate Republicans to discuss
healthcare at the White House. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Other provisions were still under review, including a proposal to
allow insurers to charge older Americans more than younger people, a
provision to allow small businesses to establish "association health
plans" that could be sold across state lines and the option for
states to receive Medicaid "block grant" lump sums instead of per
capita cap payments.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is seeking to use procedural
rules that would allow Republicans to pass a healthcare bill with a
simple majority in the.
(Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; additional reporting by
Amanda Becker; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.