Mere hours before the Senate prepared to vote on a “skinny repeal” health care bill that would get rid of Obamacare’s individual mandate, among other provisions, Senate Republicans finally released the bill they plan to vote on.
The Health Care Freedom Act would repeal the individual mandate, which requires people to buy insurance or pay a fine; the law’s employer mandate, which requires employers to provide coverage to their employees; and its medical device tax (temporarily). States would also have the ability to waive some Obamacare requirements for health plans.
True to its name, the “skinny repeal” bill is a mere eight pages long.
Releasing a bill hours before a vote — with no time for the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the legislation and its possible effects — is already far from normal. But that’s just the beginning. Many Senate Republicans openly say they don’t want the bill to become law, and would vote to pass it only to reopen negotiations with the House of Representatives about a more sweeping health care bill to be passed later.
So the state of play is this: the Senate is about to vote on, and could pass, a bill it just released tonight and that its members openly hope will not become law. You can read the bill here, or below.