Parts of the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare will require 60 votes to pass — something that is likely impossible — according to the Senate parliamentarian.
Republicans are attempting to pass the bill using the budget reconciliation process that is intended only for certain budget items. Since that process requires only a 51-vote majority in the Senate, the GOP can afford to lose two members of its 52-48 majority, and allow Republican Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie.
But, according to The Hill, the Senate parliamentarian has said some provisions don't meet that standard, including a provision to allow insurers to charge older customers up to five times as much for premiums.
Another provision the parliamentarian said isn't covered under budget reconciliation: "association health plans" which could be established by small businesses and sold across state lines.
With no Democrats supporting Obamacare repeal and Republicans deeply divided on what replacement should look like, GOP leadership has put multiple provisions to lure recalcitrant members into voting "yes."
But even support from all 52 members won't allow passage with zero votes from Democrats, so those provisions flagged by the parliamentarian will have to be taken out, and Senate Republicans will likely have to send a "skinny" bill back to the House of Representatives to begin talks with the lower chamber on hammering out compromise legislation.
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