Senate rejects Obamacare repeal without replacement

Donald Trump

Senators voted 55-45 not to repeal the healthcare law without an immediate replacement in place. On Capitol Hill, Senate Republicans voted, by the narrowest of margins, to open debate on repealing Obamacare.

Dean Heller (NV), John McCain (AZ), Lamar Alexander (TN), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), and Rob Portman (OH) were the Republicans who voted no. McCain, Alexander, Capito, and Portman had all voted "yes" last night in support of the repeal-and-replacement bill.

The Senate passed a similar repeal-only bill in 2015, and only one current Republican senator, Sen.

Almost 100 people were arrested throughout the day as the Senate opened debate on the Republicans' plans to repeal and maybe replace Obamacare.

Of the current Republican senators, only moderate Susan Collins of ME opposed a similar repeal bill passed in 2015 but vetoed by then-President Barack Obama. 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. That proposal would have allowed insurers that sell Obamacare policies to also offer plans that don't adhere to all of the law's rules, including those that protect people with pre-existing conditions.

With the outcome of the plan hanging in the balance, Johnson spent several minutes speaking face-to-face with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, as the two stood over a desk in the middle of the Senate chamber.

Alexander released a statement after the vote saying that though he agrees that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced, he didn't think "Tennesseans would be comfortable canceling insurance for 22 million Americans, and trusting Congress to find a replacement in two years. It's a shell of a bill right now, we all know that", said the Arizona lawmaker.

Every senator, Republican and Democrat alike, will now have a virtually unlimited opportunity to debate and offer amendments to help put together a health care bill that helps Americans. Barring a late come-to-Jesus moment, where the Republicans come up with a new bill that isn't outright toxic to the people they represent, the latest, greatest hope for the GOP increasingly looks like a move that's being called the "skinny repeal" option, which would remove the ACA's mandates that individuals buy coverage and that employers with more than 50 employees provide coverage.

It was the Senate's consecutive second failure in 24 hours to repeal the 2010 Obamacare that has provided health insurance to about 20 million people.

Republican leaders have been trying to please the conservative and moderate wings of their party, and they have so far failed to win the support of both groups. That vote will likely happen Friday. This vote to consider a bill that kicks more than 20 million people off of their health care is utterly shameful but we can not throw up our hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves.

The third amendment Republicans have yet to vote on would nix only the individual mandate and the medical device tax imposed by Obamacare.

Of course, Senate leaders have said they view the skinny bill mainly as a placeholder.

Michelle Batchelor, deputy director of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda, told the AFRO the Senate's rejection of the "Better Care Reconciliation" bill is fine but any Republican legislation isn't good.


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