Senate rejects ObamaCare repeal proposal

Senators vote 55-45 against proposal that would repeal much of ObamaCare.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

United States Capitol
United States Capitol

U.S. Senators on Wednesday rejected a key proposal that would repeal much of ObamaCare, reported The Hill.

Senators voted 55-45 against an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and give lawmakers two years to come up with a replacement.

Republican Senators Lamar Alexander (TN), Shelley Moore Capito (W-VA), Susan Collins (MN), Dean Heller (NV), John McCain (AZ), Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Rob Portman (OH) joined all Democrats in voting no.

A vote on the amendment, which was widely expected to fail, was originally scheduled for late Wednesday morning but was delayed as senators tried to get clarity on a provision tied to abortion.

It was the second ObamaCare plan rejected in two days, after the Senate voted down a separate repeal-and-replace amendment on Tuesday night, noted The Hill.

Three GOP senators had already announced they wouldn’t support repeal-only. Alexander, the chairman of the Senate’s health committee, predicted he didn’t “think there are 40 votes to repeal” without a replacement.

Repealing portions of ObamaCare without enacting a replacement could leave 18 million people without health insurance the following year, according to a report released by Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in January.

After the elimination of ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies, 27 million people would lose insurance, rising to 32 million by 2026, the CBO found.

The proposal comes as senators are searching to find a path forward on how to fulfill their years-long campaign pledge to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) scored a victory on Tuesday when he wrangled 50 GOP senators to agree to start debate on the House-passed healthcare bill, being used as a vehicle for any action, and let Vice President Mike Pence break the 50-50 tie.

The House of Representatives passed an ObamaCare replacement bill in May by the narrowest of margins, 217 to 213 in the 435-member body.

Last month, Senate Republicans delayed their effort to vote on the legislation after a number of members said they opposed the bill.

McConnell said on Wednesday while the proposal failed, it “represented a number of important health care reform ideas developed by our members.”