John McCain to return to Senate Tuesday for health care vote

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 27, 2017

Nor did it guarantee success on Tuesday's vote for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is managing a balky GOP caucus with nearly no room for error in the closely divided Senate. John McCain claimed the role of an aging lion to try to save the Senate, composing a moving political aria for the chamber and the country that he loves.

Republicans have promised for seven years to repeal and replace the law.

For the Republicans, the vote to open debate was seen as "make-or-break".

Moderates are anxious 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.

Whatever the Senate approves still requires a vote in the House of Representatives. The vote was 43 in favor and 57 against. "I will not vote for this bill as it is today, it's a shell of a bill right now". "Let's trust each other, let's return to regular order".

Mr Trump has been pressuring Senate Republicans to vote and took to Twitter to say Obamacare was "torturing" Americans and he had a "pen in hand" to sign a bill. Democrats were united in opposition to the motion to proceed.

"He's tough as a boot", said Republican Sen.

A loss could have been a death blow for Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, as well as casting doubt on Mr Trump's prospects to achieve any of his other top legislative agenda items, including tax reform. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated the Senate's replacement bill could lead to as many as 22 million fewer Americans being insured.

America's Essential Hospitals, a group representing safety-net hospitals, said in a statement it strongly opposed all the Republican plans and feared the big cuts in Medicaid - the insurance program for the poor and disabled in the bills - "would jeopardise the health and financial security of millions of working people and families".

Shares in health insurer Centene Corp turned sharply lower after the Senate vote.

Democrats, who have been working hard to postpone a vote on health care, were equally as vocal.

"All we've really done this year is confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court", he said in his remarks before saying he refuses to vote in favor of the bill in its current state.

"I don't think that's going to work in the end, and it probably shouldn't", he said.

"I don't have any expectation at this point", Sen. Rand Paul said. "If either one of them fails and another one succeeds, maybe we can find something in between that actually succeeds". "They haven't been overburdened by greatness lately", he said, offering a lesson of civics and civility as his fellow senators unusually packed the chamber and watched from their desks with rapt attention. "Everybody understands this is just a first step", he said. Five years before that, he was treated for melanoma on his face.

"We have a good chance to beat this", Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters after the vote.

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