Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that if the chamber’s fledgling Republican Obamacare repeal effort falls short, Congress will have to pass a more limited bill to shore up health insurance markets.
McConnell made the remarks at a Rotary Club luncheon in Glasgow, Kentucky, The Associated Press reported.
A bill to strengthen the insurance markets would presumably need Democratic support to get 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. McConnell in the past has warned fractious GOP lawmakers that if the Republican-only repeal effort failed, he would be forced to work with top Democrat Chuck Schumer on a bill.
Thursday’s comments came after McConnell canceled a planned vote before the Fourth of July recess on a repeal bill after it became clear it wouldn’t get support from 50 of the 52 Senate Republicans. McConnell and GOP leaders are redrafting their legislation with hopes of passing it before the August recess.
Several Republicans have come out against the Senate plan, with conservatives arguing that it doesn’t repeal enough of the health law and moderates saying that it would harm people with existing coverage or with pre-existing conditions.