Health care: Here's what the Senate is voting on

28 July, 2017, 00:07 | Author: Kristopher Anderson
  • Collins, Murkowski, in party break, vote against health bill

Two Republican senators, both women-Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska-joined Democrats in voting against the motion to proceed.

The US Senate has voted to start debating a new Republican healthcare bill in a major step forward for President Donald Trump's attempts to repeal his predecessor's signature law. Rand Paul introduced the amendment - within two years, and come up with a replacement plan in the meantime.

About 20 million Americans gained healthcare coverage under Obamacare, but Republicans viewed it as an overreach of the federal government and said patients had less choice and higher premiums.

The "skinny repeal" bill would repeal both the individual and employer mandates, which requires individuals to have health insurance, and employers to provide health insurance to employees.

The GOP's failure to repeal and replace Obamacare since becoming the majority party has been described as an abject embarrassment for many Republican lawmakers, as well as President Trump.

Seven Republicans joined all Democrats Wednesday in a 45-55 vote defeating the plan, which would have repealed much of Obama's law without replacing it with anything.

While about 20 million people gained health insurance coverage through Obamacare, Republicans say the law has driven up premiums and forced consumers to buy insurance they do not want and can not afford.

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Standing in front of families who he said had been hurt by the law popularly known as Obamacare, Trump said, "So far, Senate Republicans have not done their job in ending the Obamacare nightmare".

The Senate voted Tuesday evening 43-57 against Republicans' first proposal.

The Senate's marathon debate to dismantle Obamacare has entered Day Two, with Republican senators continuing painstaking deliberations to reach an ultimate agreement on health care reform. They were successful, with Mike Pence's vote in favor bringing the vote tally to 51 to 50.

There was hope that Republican Arizona Senator John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, would have a change of heart, understanding the irony of fighting for his life with the help of quality insurance, all while stripping away health care for millions of Americans.

"I know many of us have waited years for this moment to finally arrive".

But even that so-called "skinny" bill is running into trouble.

However, Governor Bill Haslam said that number shouldn't be the main focus of the debate.

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