March 21 2018

US Senate Votes on Obamacare Repeal

March 21 2018, 10:16 | Irvin Gilbert

US Senate Votes on Obamacare Repeal

US Senate Votes on Obamacare Repeal

He said his support for debate comes with the condition that senators come up with a better health care bill than he has seen to date.

"I committed to the voters of SC seven years ago, three years ago and again last year that I would work to repeal and replace Obamacare with a health care system that focuses on patients and doctors, not bureaucrats in Washington", he said.

The vote sets up days of debate and votes on repealing and replacing Obamacare, which was created to increase health insurance quality and affordability, lower the uninsured rate by expanding insurance coverage and reduce the costs of healthcare. Two Republican senators, both women-Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska-joined Democrats in voting against the motion to proceed.

Hours of debate followed, as well a few amendment votes that starkly revealed Republicans' divisions. Republicans will still need to muster votes necessary to pass any of the repeal approaches that will be up for consideration in the coming days.

Senate Republicans trying to end the Affordable Care Act suffered their second procedural defeat in less than 24 hours Wednesday, underscoring how hard it will be for the GOP to produce a bill despite their triumph in getting debate started on Tuesday.

While the Senate's vote Tuesday does not necessarily mean a health care bill will pass, "no" votes by three Republican senators would have effectively killed the plan.

On Tuesday, senators voted 50-50 to begin debate on a health care bill. "We passed it without one Democrat vote", said President Donald Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hopes the chamber can finish work on a bill by the end of the week.

Nine Republican defectors voted against the amendment: Sen. The legislation resembled a bill the Senate passed in 2015 but one that former President Barack Obama ultimately vetoed. Paul and other conservatives have led the push for a complete repeal of Obamacare.

McCain previously had criticized the Republican's secretive process for the healthcare bill and encouraged senators to start over with a bipartisan process. Ted Cruz would let insurers sell cut-rate policies with skimpy coverage.

A vote-a-rama will begin on dozens of amendments offered by senators of both parties.

The Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act would have increased the number of Americans without health coverage by 32 million over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, including 17 million people who would have become uninsured next year alone.

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