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Health Care Freedom

Senate Republicans initially approached the AHCA with an unprecedented level of secrecy; a group of 13 Republican Senators drafted the Senate’s substitute version in private, raising bipartisan concerns about a lack of transparency[16][17][18] and about the all-male composition of the committee.[19][20][21] On June 22, 2017, Republicans released the first discussion draft for an amendment to the bill, which would rename it to the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.[22] On July 25, 2017, although no amendment proposal had yet garnered majority support, Senate Republicans voted to advance the bill to the floor and begin formal consideration of amendments.

On July 28, 2017, the bill was returned to the calendar[23] after the Senate rejected several amendments, including S.Amdt. 667, the “Skinny Repeal” package offered by Sen. Mitch McConnell, which failed on a 49–51 vote. Sens. John McCainSusan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski were the only Republicans to vote against the measure.[24]

On September 13, 2017, Senators GrahamCassidyHeller, and Johnson released a draft amendment to the bill[25] that “repeals the structure and architecture of Obamacare and replaces it with a block grant given annually to states”.[26]However, it was not voted upon due to lack of support. On October 12, 2017, due to this failure of Congress to pass a repeal, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order to Promote Healthcare Choice and Competition.[27] A separate decision on the same day as this order resulted in no longer paying a key ACA healthcare subsidy, which the Congressional Budget Office warned would increase health insurance premiums on the ACA exchanges by as much as 20% and add nearly $200 billion to the budget deficit over a decade.[28] Critics further described the executive order as another part of an ongoing strategy to sabotage the Affordable Care Act.[29][30]