No sooner did pro-life Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put forward a new idea to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood then three pro-abortion Republicans killed the plan.
With not enough votes to move to a debate on a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood and repeal portions of Obamacare, McConnell announced a new plan today to repeal Obamacare with a two-year delay on replacing it with a new idea to shore up the nation’s health-care system. That new reconciliation bill would include language to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion company.
But three pro-abortion Republicans have announced they will prevent the Senate from debating the bill. That includes Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska who have been thorns in the side of the pro-life movement for years.
But it also includes Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia — who voted for the exact same legislation previously. Her flip-flop prevents Republicans from getting the 50 votes they need to allow pro-life vice president Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote in favor of the bill. Capito announced her opposition to the bill, the same piece of legislation she voted to pass in 2015 under former President Barack Obama, who vetoed the measure.
Capito explained in a statement she would not support the delay because of the Medicaid rollback. Some states under Obamacare expanded the Medicaid program to low-income people. The GOP healthcare plan would undo expansion in these states, including in West Virginia.
“As I have said before, I did not come to Washington to hurt people,” Capito said. “For months, I have expressed reservations about the direction of the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. I have serious concerns about how we continue to provide affordable care to those who have benefited from West Virginia’s decision to expand Medicaid, especially in light of the growing opioid crisis. All of the Senate healthcare discussion drafts have failed to address these concerns adequately.”On Twitter, she added, “I will only vote to proceed to repeal legislation if I am confident there is a replacement plan that addresses my concerns.”
The reconciliation bill to repeal Obamacare has undergone a couple of different revisions since the House of Representatives passed its version. However, every single version of the legislation has contained the House-approved provision that defunds the nation’s biggest abortion company.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a pro-abortion Republican from Alaska, has already said definitively she won’t support repeal if it includes Planned Parenthood language.
Last month, the abortion chain Planned Parenthood finally released its annual report. The report shows increases in abortion numbers and taxpayer funding in 2015, alongside decreases in contraception, breast exams and overall patient numbers.