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Heller's Political Future Uncertain After Yes Vote On 'Skinny Repeal'


The most recent effort by GOP leaders to partially repeal the Affordable Care Act failed to pass this week. For that vote, Republican Senator Dean Heller stuck with his party by supporting the ‘skinny repeal.’ Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explores the possible impact of this vote on his political future.

In a dramatic upset, Arizona Senator John McCain and two other Republicans voted no on the skinny repeal.

Reporter Michelle Rindels is with The Nevada Independent. She says Senator Dean Heller won’t have to take heat for sticking with the majority of his party.

“He’s not going to be blamed for killing this Republican effort. McCain is basically taking the fall for this bill failing,” Rindels explains. “So Heller didn’t have to cast that decisive vote that could have really hurt him with the Republicans.”

Heller is up for re-election in 2018. Rindels says because of his vote along party lines, the GOP is unlikely to unleash a challenger during the primary.

“With this vote, he’s not on the wrong side of the repeal bill, among the Republican supporters and Republican donors,” Rindels says. “He’s just not got this primary challenger, and it looks like he could potentially have a relatively easy primary unless something changes.”

Rindels says the general election could be tougher.

Prior to his support of the skinny repeal, Heller did reject a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Anh is a contributing editor for the KUNR news team and has been with the station since 2014. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Public Health and Teachers College, Columbia University.
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