As Senate Republicans rush toward some final vote on a health care bill, they are faced with failing to keep a promise they’ve made for seven years. On Tuesday night they fell well short of the votes to pass legislation to repeal and replace it. An upcoming vote on Wednesday is expected to show that they cannot vote to simply repeal it either.
They are then expected to turn to a new plan: repealing only the most unpopular parts of the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate and perhaps the employer mandate and some taxes on the health care industry, while leaving large swaths of Obamacare in place.
Few bills pronounced dead in the Republican crusade to overhaul the health care law have stayed that way. Still, the only viable path left standing amid the rubble, health care lobbyists and Senate aides believe, would be the much narrower “skinny repeal” bill.