Republicans push forward on Obamacare repeal despite being unable to agree replacement

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell arrives at the U.S. Capitol

Senate Republicans again failed to approve legislation to repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday. Republican senators at this point appear increasingly content to pass essentially anything, regardless of its policy content and its consequences for the health care system. Two Republican senators, both women-Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska-joined Democrats in voting against the motion to proceed.

Chris Krueger, an analyst at the Washington-based Cowen and Company, compared getting every GOP senator on board with a bill to squeezing a balloon, because it's so hard to align both moderates and conservatives on a plan.

While it's still unclear what that ultimate legislation will be, for now, leadership is considering a "skinny repeal" bill - a drastically scaled down version of an Obamacare repeal bill that Republicans passed in 2015 and was vetoed by former President Barack Obama. Rand Paul introduced the amendment - within two years, and come up with a replacement plan in the meantime.

"I'm very happy to announce that with zero of the Democrats' votes, the motion to proceed on health care has moved past and now we move forward toward truly great health care for the American people".

The proposal the Senate shot down on Wednesday would have gutted the individual and employer mandates, end Medicaid expansion - one of the most contentious parts of the bill - and roll back numerous ACA's taxes.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Senate voted to begin debate on repealing Obamacare.

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Nine Republicans crossed party lines and voted against it.

President Donald Trump congratulated his colleagues on Capitol Hill immediately following the vote.

Sen. John McCain stands poised to deliver for his party and his president on the health care issue that's defined the GOP for the past seven years. The final tally was 51-50, with Vice President Pence breaking the tie.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said even though the proposal failed, it represented a number of important healthcare reform ideas developed by lawmakers. During his presidential campaign, Mr Trump promised to repeal and replace the ACA.

Still, the path toward repealing and replacing the health care law remains uncertain. It's a process known in the Senate as "vote-a-rama".

Estimates by the Congressional Budget Office showed that the new draft of the Republican Bill will leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026, compared to Obamacare.

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