Bill to repeal Obamacare fails in Senate

Posted July 28, 2017

US Senate Republicans suffered a second stinging setback in as many days Wednesday in their drive to uproot Obamacare, when a plan to repeal the health care law - with no replacement at the ready - failed to advance in the chamber.

Seven GOP senators joined with Democrats to sink the proposal, 45-55.

"I think that reopens an issue that I can't support, that it would make it too hard for people with pre-existing conditions to get coverage", she said at the time.

The proposal would have significantly gut the Affordable Care Act by repealing its unpopular individual and employer mandates, ending Medicaid expansion and rolling back a slew of the law's taxes.

A recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office found that the repeal-only bill would have resulted in 32 million additional people without insurance over a 10-year period.

But the point of the narrow repeal measure would not be to enact it. If they can pass that, lawmakers can hammer out a final proposal with the House in conference committee. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, told CNN. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) pet bill, "The Better Care Reconciliation Act" was voted down 57-43.

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Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky had been a confirmed "no" until now.

And cracks are already showing. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said. "The goal is to replace Obamacare".

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But as its possible repeal looms, insurers, health policy experts and consumer advocates are stressing how important the mandate - or a similar stick to entice people to stay insured - is to the stability of the individual insurance market.

But a more comprehensive measure that would have repealed major parts of the law with a ready replacement also came up short on Tuesday (July 25) night. Republican leaders have been plotting strategy and drafting legislation largely behind closed doors, with a final vote likely by Friday.

Republicans attempted to pass the repeal bill through special budget rules - limiting debate to 20 hours and preventing a filibuster from Democrats.

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Sen. John McCain, in the middle of treatment by some of the country's best health professionals, flew across the country to vote on a process that, if successful, will deny that same health care to millions of Americans. It will be a "full on" and "no holds barred" blitz with dozens if not hundreds of amendments potentially being offered, the aide said. If they don't, they face a penalty fee under Obamacare. "It's not the bill that Sen". McConnell cajoled his caucus into beginning a debate without revealing the text of all the bills that will be considered. "It's not the "repeal and we're starting from a blank slate" because that was defeated". That bill failed miserably, as McCain knew it would.

Senate Republicans are finally voting to repeal Obamacare.

The vote on the repeal-only measure showed the changing political dynamics that Republicans have grappled with this year on health care.

The Senate narrowly approved a motion to begin the health care debate on Tuesday. This process allows senators to end debate without a 60 vote supermajority, but is restricted only to bills that address financial matters. Susan Collins of ME, voted against it at the time.

"I think that takes a lot of courage, and I think we should all be grateful for her boldness", she said.

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