Alexa MenciaAlexa MenciaAfter seven years of promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Senate finally moved to debate on the floor Tuesday in a narrow 51-50 vote. Now, it’s crunch time. Senators have 20 hours on the Senate floor to debate and then vote on amendments, some of which can serve as full substitutes to the bill, according to FiveThirtyEight.
“We are pleased to see that the Senate took a crucial first step toward repealing Obamacare,” said NFIB president and CEO Juanita Duggan in a press release. “The skyrocketing cost of healthcare has been the number-one problem for small business owners for more than 30 years.”
NFIB monitored the motion to bring the ACA repeal to the Senate floor as an NFIB Key Vote, and will continue to track when legislators are voting on behalf of small business owners and when they are not.
The first noteworthy vote on Tuesday struck down the Senate Republican’s bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which partially repealed and replaced the ACA, according to NBC News. Then on Wednesday a “repeal-and-delay” solution, which would have repealed ACA provisions and given lawmakers two years to come up with an alternative, also failed to garner enough votes in the Senate, according to CBS News. In 2015, Republicans in both houses passed a similar measure that was ultimately vetoed by former President Barack Obama.
Eventually, many are expecting a “skinny” repeal to be presented, which would scale down the repeal of ACA provisions but serve as a compromise within the Senate, according to the Hill.
Until then, all eyes are on the Senate floor.
“Obamacare inflicted a healthcare system on our members that dramatically increased costs and diminished selection,” said Duggan. “Keeping Obamacare is not an option for small business, and much work remains. NFIB is watching to see which Senators deliver on their campaign promises to small business.”