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GOP Health Care Reform: How It Got To Where It Is, What's Likely To Happen Next

GOP Health Care Reform: How It Got To Where It Is, What's Likely To Happen Next

The drama in Washington surrounding health care reform seems to change on a daily basis, and the most recent maneuver by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has some Republicans scratching their heads.

After Republicans failed to scrape together enough votes to pass the second version of their Senate health care reform bill, McConnell announced on Tuesday night that the Senate will vote next week on simply repealing the Affordable Care Act.

At first glance, McConnell doesn’t appear to have the votes lined up for even a simple repeal, leaving onlookers to speculate about what the Republicans’ plan is heading forward.

In a new note to clients on Wednesday, Height Securities analyst Stephanie Miller provided two possible explanations for the decision. Miller says McConnell either wants to get the (likely unsuccessful) ACA repeal vote on the record and move on to other legislative priorities or he wants to set the stage for another crack at repeal-and-replace down the road after previously declaring the approach dead in the water.

But when it comes to figuring out what direction healthcare reform takes now, Miller said it's anyone's guess.

“At this point, we don’t suspect anyone – including Congressional Leadership and likely McConnell himself – could say with confidence what happens over the next few weeks,” she wrote.

Related Link: What To Know About The Revised Health Care Bill

After noting that no issue is ever truly dead in Washington, Miller said the chances of Obamacare repeal are now slim and getting slimmer. Height is now estimating the chances of ACA repeal by August recess at 10 percent, down from as high as 70 percent earlier this year.

Investors certainly haven’t been rattled by the uncertainty surrounding healthcare reform. The Health Care SPDR (ETF) (NYSE: XLV) is up 1.0 percent in the past five trading sessions and is now up 16.5 percent year-to-date.


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