August 21, 2017

McCain Praised by Unions for Killing Obamacare Repeal

31 July 2017, 03:59 | Christie Tate

David R. Lutman for The Boston Globe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

David R. Lutman for The Boston Globe		Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Late Thursday, a final vote to pass a "skinny repeal" of President Obama's signature health care law failed after three GOP senators voted the measure down.

Trump made a similar appeal for a 51-vote threshold earlier this month after an Obamacare repeal bill failed in the Senate, tweeting that "the Senate must go to a 51 vote majority instead of current 60 votes".

Texas U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, the Republican whip, said in the run-up to the final vote that the GOP health-care bill "is not ideal but it's better than the status quo".

This time though, in a stunning development, three Republicans - Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and, most surprisingly, John McCain of Arizona - sided with 48 Democrats to reject the half-baked GOP health care plan that supporters said could be fleshed out in later meetings with the House of Representatives. Gasps can be heard from the Senate chamber as McCain casts his vote, which decided the fate of the repeal. The vote was on a so-called "skinny repeal" bill that would have rolled back only parts of Obamacare but kept the bulk of the law intact.

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Trump also tweeted: "Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead!" A recent poll conducted by SSRS (Social Science Research Solutions) shows that 77 percent of Americans would like Republicans to work with Democrats on a bipartisan health care bill, while only 12 percent want to see the GOP continue alone. Lindsey Graham of SC and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin in a press conference in which they demanded the House not pass the exact text they would be voting to move forward. "Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!" he wrote in a series of angry tweets over the space of several hours. What will they say to the 22 million to 32 million Americans that will lose health insurance under any one of their replacement plans?

MacArthur has that said getting a new health care bill passed is critical due to collapsing markets under the ACA. Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, the head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, expressed interest on Friday in creating a new bill that could help the Senate get to 51 votes. Normally, Senate approval requires 60 votes to avoid a filibuster, but budget reconciliations can be approved with a simple majority.

"It's possible that the Senate, in particular the majority, the Republican majority with leader McConnell, will decide to leave this issue all together and focus on something else - tax reform, like the House has been working on; infrastructure; something that they would be a little more successful with", she said.

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