Health Care Freedom Act fails in Senate
Erin Mahn Zumbrun
The Health Care Freedom Act failed 49-51 with Republican Senators John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins voting no early this morning.
After the vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated that he may be willing to work across the aisle to fix portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Last night, other Senators, including Minority Leader Schumer, urged the Senate to follow regular order on this process. Senator Patty Murray motion to send the bill back to the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee failed 48-52.
NRHA applauds the failure of the repeal efforts that would have hurt vulnerable populations in rural Americans, leaving millions of the sickest, most underserved populations in our nation without coverage, and further escalating the rural hospital closure crisis.
But let’s be clear - many provisions in the ACA failed rural America. The lack of plan competition in rural markets, exorbitant premiums, deductibles and co-pays, the co-op collapses, lack of Medicaid expansion, and devastating Medicare cuts to rural providers – all collided to create a health care crisis in rural America.
NRHA urges the Senate to work together to fix rural health care. Health care needs to be affordable and accessible to rural Americans. Congress has long recognized the importance of the rural health care safety net and has steadfastly worked to protect it. The Senate needs to seize the opportunity to fix these problems and fight to protect rural patients’ access to care.
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