There's a sense of consensus among Republican senators: They will be voting on something health care–related next week.
They just don't know what exactly it will be.
"I don't even know what we are proceeding to next week," Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said Thursday. "I don't know whether we are proceeding to the House bill, a new version of the Senate bill, the old version of the Senate bill, the 2015 'repeal and hope we come up with something in two years' bill — I truly don't."
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After two more senators came out against the Better Care Reconciliation Act — the Senate Republicans' revised plan to repeal and replace Obamacare — on Monday, for a total of four "no" votes, Congress's upper chamber has devolved into a state of chaos and confusion. Sen. John McCain is in Arizona, having just received a cancer diagnosis, and without his vote, every form of Obamacare repeal looks more and more uncertain.
As it stands, the BCRA doesn't look like it has the votes to pass, and there isn't much finagling with the numbers that could get enough moderates on board without losing senators on the other side of the ideological spectrum. Leadership has reportedly offered a Medicaid option that would put $200 billion toward getting Americans in expansion states onto private insurance, but even that looks uncertain to sway the party's most moderate faction.
Every Congressional Budget Office score of the Republican plans has projected that tens of millions fewer people would be insured than under the current law. A clean repeal bill is estimated to be the worst in terms of coverage, leaving 32 million fewer people insured.
Nonetheless, Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters that there will be a vote on health care next Tuesday, knowing McCain will likely still be unable to vote. As for telling what the vote will be on, "that's a luxury we don't have," Cornyn said.