30 July, 2017
Senator John McCain is calling on the Senate to "start fresh" on health care after he cast the decisive vote killing the GOP's "Obamacare" repeal effort.
And if Mitch McConnell can't get the job done on this, how is he going to get the job done on the rest of President Trump's agenda?.
The final vote in the Senate was 49 voting for repeal and 51 against, maintaining Obamacare. It's that the American people want to keep Obamacare.
The House passed legislation repealing and replacing "Obamacare" in May.
The voting down of the bill still leaves uncertainty in the healthcare industry, with insurers not sure how long the Trump administration will continue to make billions in Obamacare payments that help cover out-of-pocket medical expenses for low-income Americans.
Typically, legislation in the Senate requires 60 votes or more to avoid a filibuster. That's why the three senators - John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Ron Johnson - demanded the House guarantee it would not accept the bill as written, but instead send it to a conference committee.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, in a statement earlier on Thursday, expressed his willingness to negotiate with the Senate on drafting a bill that could be signed by Trump, reports Efe news. Her counterpart in the Senate, Chuck Schumer of NY, said after the votes that Democrats who resisted the GOP legislation "are not celebrating".
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Ultimately, the president's decision was the same on the substance to what his administration had been planning all along. Trump had repeatedly condemned the nuclear deal brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama as a risky capitulation to Iran.
The vote in the wee hours of Friday morning was the final result of a secretive and chaotic process.
But don't count on it, given the opposite policy goals of Senate Republicans and Democrats.
Republican Arizona Senator John McCain cast the decisive vote to defeat the proposal, joining two other Republicans, Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, in opposing it, reports The New York Times. Some conservatives argued it did not go far enough to get rid of Obamacare, while others opposed the plan's deep cuts to Medicaid and the fact that it would leave insurance out of reach for millions of people. The parliamentarian said the original bill - which just applied to Planned Parenthood - did not adhere to the Senate's rules for reconciliation, though the "skinny bill" could broaden the impact to additional providers. Senate Democrats said they would be willing -- if Republicans dropped the repeal bid.
"We actually like the term "freedom bill" a lot better because we think it addresses what this bill actually is - it removes a lot of those mandates that allow people to have the type of freedom, have states have the freedom that they want".
A spokesman for former President Barack Obama says that the Affordable Care Act "has always been about something bigger than politics". GOP leaders would then undoubtedly tell Republican senators and House members that if they had the temerity to vote no, they should expect to be pummeled for months (or years) for enshrining Obamacare as a permanent piece of law - and to expect to face well-funded primary challengers.
Very soon we will find out if President Donald Trump, is a leader or a sore loser hell bent on killing the Affordable Care Act by himself without the Congress or the Senate.