Republicans see a narrow path to health care repeal

Republicans see a narrow path to health care repeal

The Senate on Wednesday knocked down a proposal to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act without an immediate replacement amid a chaotic string of health-care votes this week.

Trump has warned Senate Republicans of political consequences if GOP lawmakers fail to repeal a law that they have campaigned against for seven years. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, would have paved the way for the partial repeal and replacement of Obamacare, but it failed to meet the 60-vote threshold needed. Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rob Portman of OH voted no.

While the U.S. Senate voted in favor (51-50) of a motion to consider the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Sen.

Almost 100 people were arrested throughout the day as the Senate opened debate on the Republicans' plans to repeal and maybe replace Obamacare.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Senate voted to begin debate on repealing Obamacare. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would have allowed insurers to sell coverage on state exchanges that does not comply with ACA regulations as long as they also sell plans that do comply. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) pet bill, "The Better Care Reconciliation Act" was voted down 57-43.

With two legislative approaches having been rejected by Republicans - the comprehensive measure and then the repeal-only measure - Democrats were left wondering what exactly Republican leaders were cooking up and how they could reasonably expect senators to vote on that legislation in just a day or two.

"I'm for repeal and replace, and we're going to continue to work on replacement", Portman said after Wednesday's vote.

While it's still unclear what that ultimate legislation will be, for now, leadership is considering a "skinny repeal" bill - a drastically scaled down version of an Obamacare repeal bill that Republicans passed in 2015 and was vetoed by former President Barack Obama. The CBO estimated on Wednesday, at the request of Democrats, that a skinny repeal could result in 16 million more uninsured.

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"I will not vote for this bill as it is today".

Heller also voted against that amendment, saying it would jeopardize "too many Nevadans' health care coverage".

"Repealing mandates and taxes, without new spending and bailouts".

The 61,000-member statewide organization also urged senators to eliminate numerous mandatory coverage requirements included in Obamacare, eliminate the individual mandate to purchase health care insurance and eliminate penalties for employers who do not provide health insurance coverage for their employees.

However, sentiment in the general public is clearly against repeal: opinion polls show growing support for the ACA, and opposition to its repeal or replacement.

When Vice President Mike Pence cast his tie-breaking "yes" vote, there was no spontaneous applause or cheers from Republicans on the Senate floor. That vote will likely happen Friday.

But in a sign of the general confusion, some said the tactic was aimed chiefly at moving the process forward into the purview of a committee of Senate-House bargainers, while others expressed the hope that the House would swallow a "skinny bill" whole, freeing Congress to move on to other issues.

Their definition of skinny, however, is evolving and could change many times before they pass a bill - if they pass a bill.

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