Senate Rejects ObamaCare Amendment for 'Straight Repeal'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell arrives at the U.S. Capitol

Senate Republican leaders said the bill was simply a way to keep alive the seven-year promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, which was also a top campaign promise from President Donald Trump.

The Senate voted the bill down, 55-45, with seven Republicans and all 47 Democrats rejecting it.

The mid-afternoon vote would be the Republican-led Senate's second stab in less than 24 hours at repealing Democratic President Barack Obama's signature health law from 2010 when Democrats controlled Congress.

Now, the main aim of the Majority Leader Mitch McConnel is to agree the 50 Republicans finalize the bill.

Republican senators have been deliberating on the amendments to reach an ultimate deal on health care reform and dismantle Obamacare.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated late Thursday night that 16 million more Americans would lose coverage by 2026, and premiums would increase between 2018 and 2026 by 20 percent compared with current law.

Senators voted 43-57 to reject a procedural hurdle for the measure that included the GOP repeal and a replace bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, as well as alternative proposals from GOP Sens.

Ryan responded not long after with a discursive and far from definitive statement that blamed the Senate for being unable to pass anything, but said, "if moving forward requires a conference committee, that is something the House is willing to do".

The legislation repeals a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device sales, until December 31, 2020.

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But in 2015, except Susan Collins of ME, all the senators voted to repeal major parts of Obamacare without replacement. It would have allowed bare-bones health insurance plans not permitted under Obamacare and provided $100 billion in extra money for people on Medicaid desired by moderate Republicans.

As the Senate dug in for what promised to be a rare all-night session to debate amendments, a consensus was emerging among Republicans that the skinny bill would be used as a mechanism to keep working on an Obamacare replacement and not an end in itself. She tweeted a week ago she would not support a go-for-broke approach "without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns" about devastating cuts to Medicaid funding for her West Virginia, a state with a greater share of its population covered by the program than any other.

That leaves skinny repeal as one more option.

"That's what I have been for from the very beginning", Paul said. The individual and employer mandates would be repealed, the Medicaid expansion and the health care subsidies would be ended, and numerous law's taxes would be rolled back.

Portman is talking by phone with OH reporters around 11:10 a.m. and we'll provide details in the live Twitter feed below.

For example, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., will offer a motion Wednesday to send health care legislation back to the Finance Committee for consideration.

Here's the problem: the Constitution provides that any bill that has "passed the House of Representatives and the Senate" shall be presented to the president, and if the president signed it, it becomes law.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who joined his friend Graham at the press conference, said the Republican effort to replace Obamacare deserves more time and consideration than it was being given.

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