Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Senate fails to advance ACA repeal-and-replace measures

The Senate voted early Friday morning to reject the latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The Health Care Freedom Act, which would have been an amendment to the American Healthcare Act (H.R. 1628), failed when the Senate voted 51-49, with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), and John McCain (R-AZ) joining Democrats in opposition. The so-called "skinny bill" would have ended the employer mandate, which requires USPS to provide healthcare for CCAs and others, paving the way for the plan to be dropped in future rounds of bargaining.

This marked the third failed attempt at health care repeal this week, with the chamber previously rejecting a Senate alternative bill known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act on Tuesday, which would have repealed and replaced Obamacare, and rejecting the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act on Wednesday, a straight repeal bill.

Debate began earlier this week despite the major concerns of several senators who had been on the fence on how to handle repealing and replacing current law. 

There are currently no other draft bills, and repeal options seem exhausted. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that “it's time to move on,” before outlining a Friday Senate agenda that did not include health care.

It is unclear how or if McConnell and Senate Republicans will proceed, but NALC will closely monitor for activity. NALC members mobilized quickly this week placing thousands of calls into DC and district Senate offices.

"Thanks in part to the efforts of letter carriers and their families, the Senate must now go back to the drawing board," NALC President Fredric Rolando said. "The fight is far from over, so I encourage members to continue educating their senators, urging them to oppose efforts to gut the Affordable Care Act.” Click here to learn more.

Return to Legislative Updates


The free NALC apps for smartphones provide convenient access to tools and information about issues affecting active and retired letter carriers. Information on downloading and using the apps is in our apps section.