Health care amendment defeated in late-night Senate vote

Posted July 31, 2017

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of ME and John McCain of Arizona - the bill went down in suspenseful defeat.

The skinny repeal "offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens", McCain said.

In an astonishing cliff-hanger, the GOP-run Senate voted 51-49 on Friday to reject Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's last ditch attempt to sustain their drive to dismantle President Barack Obama's health care overhaul with a starkly trimmed-down bill.

In a statement, Kevin Lewis says that Obama "has always said we should build on this law, just as members of both parties worked together to improve Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid".

But after the vote failed he railed that McCain and the two other Republicans who went against party lines had "let the American people down". They are Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of ME and, providing the decisive vote, Sen.

Bill to repeal Obamacare fails in Senate
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) pet bill, "The Better Care Reconciliation Act " was voted down 57-43. If they can pass that, lawmakers can hammer out a final proposal with the House in conference committee.

Some GOP senators anxious the measure would go back to the House, where leaders would put it on the floor, pass it and send it to Trump - who has said he would sign whatever lands on his desk when it comes to Republican-passed health care legislation.

Trump also went after what he called "the very outdated filibuster rule" in the Senate. But there is fear among health policy experts that the elimination of the ACA mandates, requiring most businesses to provide insurance for their employees and requiring individuals not covered through work or government programs to purchase policies, would lead to the collapse of the existing insurance markets - potentially leading to a dismal CBO estimate of coverage effects.

Republicans have faced an internal rift over how to replace Obamacare, with hard-line conservatives seeking a bill that thoroughly scraps it and moderates unwilling to support measures that could strip tens of millions of people of their health insurance. Optional offerings like home and community-based services for people with disabilities would likely be the first to go, they said.

But Trump did not issue any statements or speak further on the issue Friday morning.

"This is clearly a disappointing moment", Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said immediately after the bill failed. At about 1:30 a.m., McConnell said, "It's time to move on".

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The voting down of the bill still leaves uncertainty in the healthcare industry, with insurers not sure how long the Trump administration will continue to make billions of dollars in Obamacare payments that help cover out-of-pocket medical expenses for low-income Americans. "I'm not interested on having a vote on something that they've done", said Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.).

And then, as Democratic Sen.

Trump in an early morning tweet reacted to the Senate vote, writing "3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down". And now if Republicans want to get anything done on health care, they will have little choice but to return to regular order, and turn to Democrats.

"This is the beginning of the end for the disaster known as Obamacare", Trump said at a Rose Garden press conference after the vote.

Seven Republicans joined all Democrats Wednesday in a 45-55 vote defeating the plan. Collins' fellow New York Republicans, for instance, are wary that a provision that would affect Medicaid funding to their state might be dropped in the Senate bill.

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