Early this morning EDT, the Senate voted on the “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This time, three Republicans, Senator Collins of Maine, Senator Murkowski of Alaska, and Senator McCain of Arizona, joined the rank of Democrats and voted No, creating a 51-49 vote that killed the efforts to repeal the ACA.
This is a huge victory in continued access to health care for millions of Americans young and old. Efforts to gut Medicaid, undermine the longevity of Medicare and leave millions of people without insurance are temporarily halted. And while new efforts towards these ends may arise again, for now we are grateful and relieved.
In a statement after the vote, Senator McCain said that Congress “must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of the aisle, heed the recommendations of the nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people.” This is a more responsible, bipartisan and effective way to move forward.
We thank all the dedicated perseverance and effective efforts of health care advocates, families, professionals, elders, and people across the country who spoke out and took a stand to protect our health care and the right to access affordable health care. This victory was possible because of you, and all of our collective efforts.
We will continue to be vigilant in protecting the ACA, Medicare and Medicaid, and working towards continued and improved access to affordable, quality health care for all people.