In a rare weekend session which was more form than substance, the US Senate once again voted against a Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. This was the GOP’s first try at taking the controversial health care legislation since the party took control of the Senate in January.
Votes were strictly along party lines, failing passage by a 49-43 vote with 8 no votes. Republican party candidate for president Senator Ted Cruz, commented on the predictability and wastefulness of this latest attempt to rid the country of the ACA, the law Republicans love to hate.
“We’ll have a vote on repealing Obamacare. The Republicans will all vote yes, the Democrats will all vote no. It will be at a 60-vote threshold, it will fail,” Cruz said then. “It will be an exercise in meaningless political theater.”
For many Republicans this vote was far from meaningless; it was an easy way for them to keep their campaign promises.
“What I’m trying to do in my short time here is look at the commitments I made to the constituents and voters of Alaska and follow through on those commitments,” first-term Sen. Dan Sullivan said last week. “And that was a commitment, and I want to follow through on it.”
The defeat of repeal gave Democrats a reason to sing ACA’s praises.
“The House has voted 55 times. The Supreme Court said its fine. We’re reaching 20 million Americans who now have health care,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Friday. Repeal “would hurt too many people, it would create chaos.”