Senate Chaos Returns: Six Hours After Major GOP Victory, "Repeal And Replace" Is Voted Down

If this is what passes for a legislative victory in the Trump administration, the president may be in trouble.

Less than a day after the Senate GOP leadership mustered the minimum number of Republican votes necessary to begin debate on a bill to repeal Obamacare (and even then thanks only to a tiebreaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence), the Republican campaign to kill the legislation remains in chaos.

Just six hours after the successful vote to proceed, the Senate overwhelmingly rejected a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, voting 43-57 against with 9 Republicans joining Democrats in the process. That plan requires 60 votes to pass because of its impact on the budget deficit, and without support from Democrats, that bill has a 0% chance of survival. The failed vote has dashed Republican hopes of replacing Obamacare with another plan.

Although Trump celebrated the motion to proceed at a rally in Youngstown, where he proclaimed that the US is now "one step closer to liberating our citizens from this Obamacare nightmare", the president’s hopeful remarks ignore that Senate Republicans are still in chaos, especially after John McCain's fiesty speech in the Senate on Tuesday. As Reuters and a handful of other media outlets have reported, despite the success of the vote, the Senate GOP doesn't have enough support to pass any of its plans to repeal, or repeal and replace, Obamacare, as many moderates remain wary of cuts to Medicaid in the GOP plan that could curtail coverage for millions of poor Americans, as Reuters explains.

“The outcome was a huge relief for President Donald Trump, who had pushed his fellow Republicans hard in recent days to live up to the party's campaign promises to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Minutes after the vote, Trump called it "a big step."


But the narrow victory on a simple procedural matter raised questions about whether Republicans can muster the votes necessary to pass any of the various approaches to repeal.


Moderates are worried repeal will cost millions of low-income Americans their insurance and conservatives are angry the proposed bills do not go far enough to gut Obamacare, which they consider government overreach.”

Conservatives continue to oppose the GOP Obamacare alternative, despite the leadership’s attempt to woo them by adding an amendment that would allow insurers to offer lower-cost plans.

“Nine Republicans, ranging from moderates such as Susan Collins of Maine to conservatives such as Rand Paul of Kentucky, voted against the bill, which would have made deep cuts to Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor, and reduced Obamacare subsidies to lower-income people to help them defray the cost of health insurance."

Regardless of which Republican plan makes it out of the Senate - and it's likely none of them will, at least not any time soon - the Senate and House would then need to draft a compromise bill, which would require another round of votes in each chamber. As we explained yesterday, the only Republican option that has some hope of passing is the leadership’s “skinny” repeal plan, which hasn’t been brought to vote yet.

If passed, the bill would eliminate only the most controversial elements of Obamacare: the individual and employer mandates, and the medical device tax. We’ll likely know more about the skinny budget soon, as Republicans are expected to hold many more votes in the coming days.


froze25 (not verified) espirit Wed, 07/26/2017 - 08:57 Permalink

Interesting that Congress and the Senate was able to pass a full repeal bill when Obama was in Office numerous times but now that Trump will actually sign it they can't get the votes. I wonder if Paul Rino can speak to this, excuse me Paul Ryan?

In reply to by espirit

MoreFreedom froze25 (not verified) Wed, 07/26/2017 - 10:17 Permalink

It shows that the GOP in Congress is dominated by RINOs that like big government, and government control of markets (both health insurance and health care), and only pay lip service to free markets to get elected.This should be obvious to anyone who's been watching the GOP for the past 20 years.  Look at what the GOP did under GW Bush when they had a majority in the House and Senate - they spent money even faster than when government was divided - making drunken sailors look frugal.  Or when Boehner/Cantor had a vote on a bill to defund Obamacare (knowing Reid would ignore it in the Senate) followed by a vote on an appropriations bill to fund the government along with Obamacare. The RINOs do what they can to look like conservatives so they can get re-elected, then vote otherwise in Congress when it matters.  Now that they have a majority in both the Senate and House, they can't hide or make excuses.Frankly I'm glad the replace bill failed, it was just Obamacare with a new coat of paint.  I want free markets.  

In reply to by froze25 (not verified)

August how_this_stuff_works Wed, 07/26/2017 - 11:27 Permalink

>>>I'd liken it more to extortion or legalized theft.Well, the US "healthcare" system IS extortion, restraint of trade, price-fixing, racketeering and a few other things, all known as crimes.Fortunately for Big Pharma, the insurance industry, and the big hospital chains, their income is massive enough to buy off, or otherwise capture, the legislators and regulators who might have worked in the public's interest rather than their own.  FWIW, the doctors are the small fry in this racket.Boy, no one could have seen this coming!

In reply to by how_this_stuff_works

francis_the_wo… The Wizard Wed, 07/26/2017 - 09:36 Permalink

"The reason for the complexity is because government has involved itself in it. Get out of the way, just like most things which should be market based."These two sentences are exactly the solution.  The 3 downvotes on Wizard's comment (as of the time of my reply) disgust me.  You have to be an idiot or deliberately obtuse to not see that the corporate/gov't intrustion into healthcare is absulutely the problem.AND QUIT CALLING IT INSURANCE!!!!

In reply to by The Wizard

The Wizard mpcascio Wed, 07/26/2017 - 08:46 Permalink

The primary goal of a politician is to get re-elected. They believe in order to do so, the status quo must be preserved. People vote for a good number of these guys to go to DC and decentralize. Because most of those who are selected to get elected can be blackmailed, they become statist/globalists. I can't say the banksters have them by the balls because they don't have any left.There are a few who are pursuing legislation of what most Americans want. More of the people who have been silent are waking up and becoming vociferous.

In reply to by mpcascio

HRClinton AlaricBalth Wed, 07/26/2017 - 09:41 Permalink

Term limits and Election reform.No contributions allowed from corporations or groups. LOL. Yeah, like that's ever gonna happen. Corruption is enshrined legally, now that the SCOUTS has decreed that corporations are people too.There's only one Rx at this point: torches, pitchforks and rope. The odds of that are slim also. 

In reply to by AlaricBalth

Itshappening Wed, 07/26/2017 - 08:03 Permalink

do it by executive then. i missed the part in the constitution that said the government can interfere in medicine.

trump tweeted he had a pen. if they wont do it his way, hell do it by himself.