Republicans who voted against ObamaCare 'straight repeal'

Republicans who voted against ObamaCare 'straight repeal'

Republicans who voted against ObamaCare 'straight repeal'

The vote - which allows the Senate to begin debate on health care reform legislation - was a narrow victory for the U.S. President, who had spent weeks cajoling, strong-arming and warning Republicans to get on board with his effort to overhaul Obamacare. Nine Republicans voted against the initial amendment. There were defections from just two of the 52 GOP senators - Maine's Susan Collins and Alaska's Lisa Murkoswki - the precise number McConnell could afford to lose and still carry the day.

The measure, known as as the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act, failed 45-55, with seven Republican senators voting against it, along with all Democrats and independents in the upper chamber. Rand Paul introduced the amendment - within two years, and come up with a replacement plan in the meantime.

The "skinny" plan would eliminate unpopular parts of Obamacare - the Affordable Care Act - including the individual mandate requiring all Americans to have health insurance coverage as well as a tax on medical devices.

When the Senate voted Tuesday evening on the bill's initial amendment, it underscored how hard it will be for the chamber's divided Republicans to pass a sweeping replacement of Obama's law.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, urged Republicans before the vote to "turn back before it's too late and millions and millions and millions of Americans are hurt so badly in ways from which they will never, never recover".

That drew harsh criticism from President Donald Trump, who made cutting access to healthcare a key election pledge, echoing blanket Republican opposition to the policy from the start.

He told the crowd we're now one step closer to ending what he calls the Obamacare nightmare.

The vote was 51-50 after Vice President Mike Pence cast the tiebreaking vote.

The so-called "skinny repeal" is one of several bills being considered in the Senate on Wednesday. "If we didn't proceed to a bill, the process would have ended - and the mess that is Obamacare would have remained in place", he said.

And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's ultimate goal remains the same - to convince enough of his colleagues - 50, to be exact - to vote "yes" on the passage of a final bill and advance to a conference committee with the House.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated repealing without an immediate replacement would lead to 32 million more Americans uninsured by 2026 and cause average premiums to double.