Published: Fri, July 28, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Republicans who voted against ObamaCare 'straight repeal'

Republicans who voted against ObamaCare 'straight repeal'

Amid a politically explosive day, theSenate rejected a repeal-only health care measure on Wednesday, signaling another defeat in the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

"I'm very happy to announce that, with zero of the Democrats' votes, the motion to proceed on health care has just passed".

Their "no" votes signaled that the so-called "clean repeal" bill did not have the support from key Republican senators.

When Barack Obama vetoed H.R. 3762, a partial repeal bill that would have repealed Obamacare's worst provisions, House Speaker Paul Ryan issued the following statement: "The idea that Obamacare is the law of the land for good is a myth".

Senator Lisa Murkowski, who has opposed various earlier versions of the legislation, sounded unsure about what bill was being considered Tuesday, or whether she would vote to begin debate on it.

That bill is highly unlikely to pass in its current form, but the Senate leadership has stressed the importance of at least voting on it in order for changes to then be introduced. Wednesday's partial repeal amendment, which would have rolled back certain parts of Obamacare without destroying the entire thing, needed just a simple majority to pass. 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. Sullivan has been a reliable "yes" vote for Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Collins and Murkowski, who voted Tuesday against even proceeding to debate, also came out against the repeal-only proposal on Wednesday. Ultimately, they will be tested on whether the GOP can reach a consensus on health care reform - a goal that has eluded senators so far.

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Repealing the mandate would leave 15 million fewer people with health insurance over a decade than under the current law, according to a Congressional Budget Office review past year.

The Byrd rule generally blocks provisions that don't affect the federal budget - and blocks provisions whose changes to spending or taxes are "merely incidental" to a larger policy goal.

The strategy emerged after Republicans barely succeeded earlier this week in opening debate on health legislation in the narrowly divided Senate, winning the procedural vote to do so thanks only to Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie. We're talking about a bill that would take coverage from 32 million people, repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with nothing, and 45 Republican senators voluntarily said, "Yep, that sounds good to me".

It's unclear whether any of these proposals can muster enough support among Republicans to garner the 51 votes required for passage.

Democrats blasted Johnson, pointing out that as recently as Monday, he'd said he "didn't have a clue" what the Senate would be voting on. But the kind of last-gasp hope for Republicans is they might be able to pass a scaled-back version of repeal, known as a skinny bill, that only takes away some of these benefits, but less than what they'd like to take away.

Once those two options are voted on, the Senate will have more debate time - 18 hours divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans.

Johnson said he wants to make sure the final bill addresses the growing cost of Medicaid and provides parity between states that expanded the program under Obamacare and states like Wisconsin that did not.

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