28 July, 2017
The victory enables Senate Republicans to discuss in the next few days, on the Senate floor, proposals to replace Obamacare, formally named the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or amendments to the ACA. Nine senators from his party defected, a bad sign for Mr McConnell, who is still hoping to pass healthcare legislation by the end of the week. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Susan Collins (Maine), Dean Heller (Nev.), John McCain (Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Rob Portman (Ohio) with a final vote of 55-45, according to CNN. Later that evening, the Senate voted on an Obamacare replacement plan, but this vote failed 43 to 57, demonstrating that while nearly all Senate Republicans support the idea of replacing Obamacare, it will be hard to find an agreement on how to go about doing so.
The "skinny" plan would eliminate the Obamacare requirement that most Americans carry health insurance as well as the requirement that employers with at least 50 full-time employees offer coverage to their workers and rescind the tax on medical devices.
The vote comes amid a frantic period of debate and votes this week in the Senate as Republicans push to approve some form of Obamacare repeal.
Senate Republicans are lowering their expectations on repealing and replacing "Obamacare".
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US President Donald Trump has been blasting Obamacare since before he made a decision to run for president in 2015.
Even as it remained unclear on Monday whether McConnell had enough votes in the Senate to open debate, he said the vote would take place regardless. "I believe now we will, over the next week or two, come up with a plan that's going to be really, really wonderful for the American people". The analysis found that the number of uninsured people would increase by 15 million next year compared with current law, and Democrats said they were told that premiums would be roughly 20 percent higher.
Legislation changing key Obamacare provisions passed the House of Representatives in May, but a series of similar measures have failed in the Senate amid opposition from a handful of Republicans who considered the proposals either inadequately free-market-oriented or or too damaging to Obamacare.
If the so-called "skinny repeal" were passed, negotiations with the House would begin.