Senate Votes Against 'skinny' Bill To Repeal Obamacare


The sudden failure of Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act early Friday morning marked a significant defeat in the GOP's quest to dismantle a signature part of President Barack Obama's legacy and make health care more hard to obtain for tens of millions of Americans.

It was the third defeat for the GOP this week, with two earlier proposals to repeal ObamaCare failing, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said it's now "time to move on". And maybe there's a bit of "screw you" to his GOP colleagues, latent liberal sentiments, a middle finger to Donald Trump - who said something about liking people who don't get captured - and a desire for one last dramatic John McCain moment.

"We'll see how the American people feel about their ideas", McConnell said.

McCain called for bipartisanship, citing Obamacare, which he said was "rammed through Congress by Democrats without a single Republican vote". The bill, dubbed the Health Care Freedom Act, would have repealed ObamaCare's individual and employer mandates, defunded Planned Parenthood for a year, and allowed states to request waivers from benefits mandated by ObamaCare.

The nonpartisan US Congressional Budget Office late on Thursday said that the bill would have resulted in an additional 15 million Americans without health insurance next year.

Beus also expressed thanks to Republican Senator John McCain who came to Washington soon after his brain surgery because he wanted to make sure that any bill that passed was fair and met his expectations.

Mr Trump had made replacing Obamacare a key pledge in his successful campaign for the White House.

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While a copy of the "skinny" bill has not been made available to lawmakers, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) did confirm that the bill now includes a repeal of the employer mandates from Obamacare.

House leaders had no hesitation about blaming the Senate for the collapse of one of the Republicans' paramount priorities. "Watch!" Trump wrote in Twitter in his response to the failed bill. But it would seek to alter the much-criticized mandates that Republicans have targeted for years. "What have we to lose by trying to work together to find those solutions?"

Senators voted 49-51 for the bill.

"They are desperate to enact a bill before the summertime (August recess) starts, and that is why we're all terrified here", Schatz said in a speech on the Senate floor Thursday night.

Though united in wanting to revamp some of the health care law's regulations, Republicans remain divided over proposed cuts to Medicaid and federal subsidies.

Republicans will again try to repeal ObamaCare, and they will succeed only if Americans don't take the threat of tens of millions losing coverage just as seriously as they did this time.

"It's time to turn the page", said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. That's what happens when the House and the Senate pass two different versions of a piece of legislation, and so the Senate would essentially be voting for something they don't really like just so they can set in motion the process of working with the House on a bill that's actually good.