GOP Obamacare repeal bill fails in dramatic late-night vote

GOP Obamacare repeal bill fails in dramatic late-night vote

Republican lawmakers have had several fits and starts this year, including a dramatic vote in the Senate earlier this week - but the failure lays bare a hard-to-swallow political reality for Republicans after months of painful negotiations and soul-searching: There is little will left in the GOP to gut a health care law that the party has been railing against for seven years.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who spent weeks urging his members to hold their fire and give Senate Republicans some space to get a health care deal, didn't hide his frustration at a closed-door meeting in the Capitol basement on Friday.

Schumer's counterpart in the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., responded in a news conference later Friday, calling the vote "victorious ... for the American people". 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.

"It would fundamentally change the way the Senate has worked for a very long time".

Conservative Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., running for a Senate seat, faulted McConnell for not crafting a plan that could pass.

The House of Representatives passed its own broad healthcare overhaul bill in May.

Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas says addressing them in the tax bill would mean higher tax rates for families and local businesses.

Republicans Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Ron Johnson and Bill Cassidy said they will only vote for the bill if house leadership promises them the house will not in turn pass the bill they just voted to pass.

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"We're on a path to a solution", Alexander said on the Senate floor. Get there after waiting for 7 years. "Don't let the American people down!"

"I agree with @SenJohnMcCain that the bill on the table clearly isn't the right approach for Arizona", Ducey wrote on Twitter on Thursday afternoon before the vote. 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. This entails a rolling series of votes that would potentially involve scores of time-consuming amendments that can be offered by any senator. He also said after the early Friday vote: "I regret that our efforts were not enough, this time".

MacArthur said he did not discount the possibility that the chambers could reach a compromise, pointing to the process that produced the House bill.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer blasted the skinny plan, citing estimates from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office that it would result in 16 million Americans losing health insurance over a decade and raise insurance premiums by 20 percent in January.

Democrats argue that Obamacare brought coverage to millions of uninsured US residents, and analysis of various versions of the Republican proposal would put the number of people left uninsured at north of 20 million.

McCain was joined by all Democrats and Republican Sens.

Buoyed by a signal from Ryan, McConnell had introduced a pared-down health care bill late Thursday that he hoped would keep alive Republican ambitions to repeal "Obamacare".

The Republican proposals sought to dramatically alter that dynamic, shifting to a per-capita cap system where states instead would receive a fixed amount for each beneficiary no matter the cost of their care.

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