Senate Republicans' attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) has now officially failed, at least for the foreseeable future.
"How many more changes could possibly be made at this point. We're talking about people on the absolute ends of our spectrum. Every time you move toward one you move away from the other," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a statement.
The final nail in the coffin of the beleaguered legislative effort was the open opposition of Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas. Because their opposition was matched by that of two other Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky, the opposition of Lee and Moran made it effectively impossible for the Republicans to pass the bill.
As one senior Republican told Axios: "How many more changes could possibly be made at this point. We're talking about people on the absolute ends of our spectrum. Every time you move toward one you move away from the other."
This doesn't mean that the repeal-and-replace effort has completely dissipated. Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who serves as the chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, has urged for "full repeal of #Obamacare--let's put the same thing on President Trump's desk that we put on President Obama's desk."
Not surprisingly, President Donald Trump — who desperately needs a legislative win at this point in his presidency — is calling for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act in lieu of a replacement.