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“Skinny Repeal” of Obamacare Fails in Senate
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Summary: The “skinny repeal” of Obamacare was voted down in the Senate on Thursday evening. 

In the wee hours of the night, Democrats and three Republicans killed the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare. The move devastated Republican leaders such as Senator Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump, but it was met with joy from liberals, who needed Republican support to strike down the repeal.

On Friday, Trump expressed his disappointment on Twitter.

  
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“3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!” Trump said on his private account.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell, who drafted the “skinny repeal,” blamed Democrats for the loss, according to Politico. 

“I imagine many of our colleagues on the other side are celebrating, probably pretty happy about this,” a  McConnell said. “But the American people are hurting and they need relief.”

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Democrats were staunchly opposed to McConnell’s controversial bill, which would have defunded Planned Parenthood and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The closed-door nature of the drafting drew ire from liberals, and the bill was also opposed by two female Republican senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.

Since the Republicans had a majority in the Senate, the vote was unclear, but on Thursday night, Republican Senator John McCain seemingly went rogue and voted “no.”



As McConnell looked on, McCain walked up to vote with his hand up, as if he were about to give a “yes.” Then in dramatic fashion, he said “no” and flipped his thumb down, inciting gasps and scattered applause throughout the chamber as McConnell stared in shock.

“From the beginning, I have believed that Obamacare should be repealed and replaced with a solution that increases competition, lowers costs, and improves care for the American people. The so-called ‘skinny repeal’ amendment the Senate voted on today would not accomplish those goals,” McCain said. “While the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens. The Speaker’s statement that the House would be ‘willing’ to go to conference does not ease my concern that this shell of a bill could be taken up and passed at any time.”

McCain’s vote of “no” brought the total of naysayers to 51, against the 49 Republican yeses.

The three Republicans who defected were praised by some members of their party, including Republican governor John Kasich, who commended McCain, Collins, and Murkowski for their “courage.”

House Leader Paul Ryan, a Republican, said that it was “time to move on” and that he wanted his party to focus on the tax code.

Republican Mo Brooks, however, was more scathing and blamed McConnell for the failure. He said that McConnell should pressure the senate to pass a new version of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act or step down from his leadership role in the Senate.

“If Mitch McConnell cannot get the job done on this, how is he going to get the job done on the rest of President Trump’s agenda over the next three and a half years?” Brooks said BBC.

According to the BBC, if the repeal would have moved forward, 16 million people would have lost their health insurance by the year 2026 and premiums would have risen by 20%.

What do you think of the killing of the “skinny repeal?” Let us know in the comments below.



 

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