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Healthcare reform fails along party lines

Posted at 5:13 PM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 19:13:53-04

House Speaker Scott Bedke gave the final pounding of the gavel and now both the Senate and the House are adjourned sine die, ending their work this year.

Those hoping for a solution on the healthcare gap will take up the phrase many Chicago Cubs fans say: "Maybe next year." Republicans in the House voted unanimously to kill the bill that would start the ball rolling.

"Not only would it have taken Democratic support it would have taken more Republican support,” said Rep. Luke Malek, R-Couer D’Alene. “We did not have enough votes to make that bill move across the floor. We would have lost it."

The unified vote disguises true feelings in the republican caucus. Though there are many who opposed the bill, several were hoping for a different outcome.

"For me, it was more important to maintain those relationships [in the party] so they can continue as working relationships,” said Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa. “That way we can come together as a group and solve the problem for the people that need it."

It was only Democrats who supported the waiver measure. The supermajority opposition was a disappointment for them.

"They (Republicans) played politics over policy and decided they were unwilling to demonstrate any level of bipartisan support for policies."

Taking a step back for a wider perspective Republicans looking for change count it a victory the conversation even happened. Even that was  a long shot at the beginning of the session.

"We weren't even in the running when this session started,” said Malek. “Even a month ago this was not a conversation we were having and to think that we almost got something done is extremely exciting."

Between now and next year Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, says he'll form a working group to address the situation.