Over the weekend, news broke that voting on the Senate healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), would be postponed to allow Senator John McCain (R-AZ) to recover from blood clot surgery.
Now, two Republicans — Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) — have defected from the bill, publicly stating that they cannot vote for it.
That’s according to The Hill and statements from the Senators themselves.
Losing those two leaves Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell without the simple majority needed to pass the bill, which will revise roughly 1/6th of the American economy without so much as a public hearing.
Both said they could not support “this version” of the BCRA, implying that a future version could still earn their support.
The objections of the four dissenting Republicans point to larger challenges that face Republicans who seek to undo the Affordable Care Act. Republican Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), for example, says the law does too much to the Affordable Care Act and threatens to strip Medicaid from her constituents; Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) says the law does not do enough.
The Congressional Budget Office, expected to score the bill today, will likely release the score of the Better Care Reconciliation Act Tuesday, July 17. That, too, may prompt (or reinforce) GOP defectors.