dglobalnews.com Senate Republicans Help Kill GOP's Obamacare Repeal Bill
Published: Fri, July 28, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Senate Republicans Help Kill GOP's Obamacare Repeal Bill

Senate Republicans Help Kill GOP's Obamacare Repeal Bill

Senators planned to vote Wednesday on a Republican amendment repealing much of President Barack Obama's law and giving Congress two years to concoct a replacement. Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Dean Heller of Nevada both voted to advance the health care bill Tuesday, and the next few days could give their opponents endless fodder for attack ads against them.

They knew it wouldn't pass, but these GOP senators wanted to be on record voting in support of this unsafe, regressive, and unpopular legislation anyway.

The Republican party yesterday took a major step towards their long-promised goal of repealing Obamacare - but it's far from clear if they can agree on what should replace it. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, John McCain, R-Ariz., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

The vote was among a number of amendments that are being debated and voted on in the Senate this week as Republicans try to find consensus on a repeal plan.

The bill-technically introduced as an amendment to the House repeal/replacement legislation that passed earlier this year-was championed by Sen.

The bill is modeled on 2015 legislation that was passed by both chambers before being vetoed by then-President Obama.

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With other plans looking destined to fail, Republicans are considering a "skinny repeal" of Obamacare in hopes of just keeping the repeal process alive. That proposal would have allowed insurers that sell Obamacare policies to also offer plans that don't adhere to all of the law's rules, including those that protect people with pre-existing conditions.

AMY GOODMAN: Many commenting online, on social media, here was John McCain coming back, very moving as he hugged Democrat and Republican colleagues, but then, ultimately, voting to open the debate - not that he said he would necessarily support what was going to be presented next, but coming back from his own surgery, what most people in America could not have afforded if they didn't have healthcare.

The Senate is moving ahead with its efforts to overhaul the United States healthcare system, in what is shaping up to be a more moderate, "skinnier" attempt at repealing certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated repealing without an immediate replacement would lead to 32 million more Americans uninsured by 2026 and cause average premiums to double. That was why the emergence of the "skinny repeal" option Tuesday is noteworthy - a scaled back version of repeal that would knock out the Obamacare mandates and some of the taxes.

This measure, which is expected as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's last-ditch effort, would enact no new measure and limit repeal only to Obamacare's individual mandate, possibly along with the employer mandate and some taxes which Republican legislators oppose. The Senate began its session Wednesday morning with about 17 hours left in the debate. A small group of negotiators will hammer out a bill that will be their best attempt to bridge the divide between what House and Senate Republicans want to see.

But adding money could be hard because an unofficial projection of the bill's costs, from the Congressional Budget Office, suggested it would violate the rules of the budget reconciliation process, which is what would allow Republicans to pass the measure with just 50 votes rather than the usual 60.

Once the repeal-only bill is on the floor, it could be amended "in various ways", Barrasso said, including changing it to a repeal-and-replace bill. Seven Republicans, however, bucked leadership and refused to support the proposal without a ready replacement. The final tally was 51-50, with Vice President Pence breaking the tie.

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