Senate narrowly defeats 'skinny repeal' of Obamacare, McCain votes 'no'

Sen. John McCain returned to the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday afternoon to cast a critical vote in favor of health care legislation less than a week after undergoing surgery and revealing he has brain cancer.

However, in a surprise vote, McCain joined Alaskan senator Lisa Murkowski and ME senator Susan Collins to vote against the skinny repeal, killing the bill.

But that plan caused consternation among GOP senators after rumors began to surface that the House might just pass the "skinny bill", call it a day and move on to other issues like tax reform after frittering away the first six months of Trump's presidency on unsuccessful efforts over health care. He said it also would have provided more flexibility to states in providing medical care to low-income Americans and repeals the medical device tax for three years while increasing the amount of money that people can contribute to Health Savings Accounts.

Republicans could, of course, return to an effort to repeal Obamacare.

"The House remains committed to finding a solution and working with our Senate colleagues, but the burden remains on the Senate to demonstrate that it is capable of passing something that keeps our promise, as the House has already done", Ryan said. McConnell's careful maneuvering, and the promise that the coolly received "skinny" bill would be reworked in House conference, didn't sway McCain or fellow GOP Sens. It wasn't particularly popular even among the senators voting for it, with some of them only agreeing to do so with the assurance that the House wouldn't pass it as it was.

The US Senate on Friday rejected the Republicans' latest alternate healthcare bill meant to repeal Obamacare, the media reported.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has taken comfort in the defeat in the Senate of a Republican-pushed measure aimed at scaling back, or partially repealing, former President Back Obama's Affordable Care Act.

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Democrats repeatedly have said they are willing to work with Republicans on problems with the Obamacare insurance exchanges, and efforts to bring down skyrocketing insurance premiums and deductibles.

By contrast, if the Senate rejects the "skinny repeal" gambit this week, the bipartisan process that McCain and various governors and members of Congress of both parties are advocating could finally commence.

Cornyn admitted that the Senate can not guarantee that the House will not simply pass the Senate bill, because ultimately "t$3 he request to go to conference, has to come from the House".

In his speech after the vote, McCain urged a bipartisan approach, stating that "one of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict-party line basis without a single Republican vote". By having a conference, the senators hope they can change the "skinny" bill before a final vote. House members and senators would have only two choices: vote yes or vote no.

Earlier on Friday, he tweeted "3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down" after Republican leaders failed to patch up party divisions and win passage for the last-ditch bill.

"It's time to move on", he said. "Now is not the time to leave American health care at risk". There are going to be plenty of input from all affected by the health care law ready to speak to committees in the Senate and the House, as soon as the hearings start.

But the parliamentarian advised that the language would violate the rules of reconciliation, the fast track budget maneuver Republicans are using that only needs 51 votes and is immune to Democratic filibuster.

  • Sonia Alvarado