The office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that the Senate intends to take up the Graham-Cassidy health care bill next week.
"It is the leader’s intention to consider Graham/Cassidy on the floor next week,” a spokeswoman for McConnell told Politico.
There is only one reason McConnell would plan a vote on the bill — he must feel confident there are 50 Republican senators ready to vote for it. Or, he’s confident the Senate can get to 50 before time runs out and budget reconciliation expires on Sept. 30.
Senators Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, are both opposed to the bill. That means Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, are the likely two deciding votes to get to 50 (where Vice President Mike Pence's tie-breaking vote will then come in).
Both Trump and Pence are supportive of the legislation.
I hope Republican Senators will vote for Graham-Cassidy and fulfill their promise to Repeal & Replace ObamaCare. Money direct to States!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017
Graham-Cassidy is not a full repeal of Obamacare. It keeps the premium-increasing regulations in place, keeps Obamacare’s taxes in place, and lets the states administer Medicaid expansion and subsidy-funding instead of repealing them.
That being said, the bill will repeal the much-hated individual and employer mandates. As CR’s Daniel Horowitz has explained, with just a few conservative changes this bill could be the vehicle to save free-market health care from the ruins of Obamacare.