The Senate’s Blind Vote on ‘Skinny Repeal’

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Is the “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act that is nearing a vote in the Senate a means to an end, or the end itself?

That is the crucial question that GOP senators are facing as they consider Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s latest—and likely final—proposal for rolling back Obamacare. According to an email McConnell sent to Republicans, shared with me by a Senate aide, the current plan under discussion—dubbed the “Freedom Bill” by the White House—would repeal the ACA’s individual insurance mandate permanently and its employer mandate for six years, defund Planned Parenthood for a year, and allow states at least some flexibility to opt out of Obamacare’s requirement that insurers cover certain essential health benefits.

Not many Republican senators like