Divided Senate opens 'Obamacare' debate

US Senate sets crucial healthcare vote as McCain makes dramatic return

US Senate sets crucial healthcare vote as McCain makes dramatic return

Lisa Murkowski's "no" votes on health care had put the state's future with the administration in jeopardy. Then a so-called "vote-a-rama" begins, opening the floodgates for all senators to introduce as many amendments as they want.

They couldn't pass a repeal of "Obamacare", or find the votes for a White House-backed replacement. Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Rob Portman of OH voted no.

The U.S. Senate rejected an amendment Wednesday afternoon proposed by Sen.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and other Republicans have said leadership will likely continue to offer more limited repeal options that narrow the scope of repeal until they get something to pass.

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Of the current Republican senators, only moderate Susan Collins of ME opposed a similar repeal bill passed in 2015 but vetoed by then-President Barack Obama. That proposal would have allowed insurers that sell Obamacare policies to also offer plans that don't adhere to all of the law's rules, including those that protect people with pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately for Mitch McConnell, but fortunately for millions of Americans who stand to lose their health insurance, seven Republicans dissented, and the bill failed by a score of 55-45.

It would also repeal taxes on the wealthy, health insurers, medical device makers and others, as well as defund Planned Parenthood for one year.

"If they can't visit their representatives, we are encouraging people to plan their own rallies to stop the repeal of Obamacare", she said. We all knew repealing Obamacare would be hard, but the simple fact remains: The time is now for Republicans to act on health care, even if they have to do it by taking small steps at a time. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voted Wednesday against repealing the law without a working bill to take its place.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association warned Wednesday that repealing, or eliminating the Obamacare mandate that everyone purchase insurance would have dire consequences. Republicans campaigned and won on the promise to repeal Obamacare.

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The strategy emerged after Republicans barely succeeded earlier this week in opening debate on health legislation in the narrowly divided Senate, winning the procedural vote to do so thanks only to Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie.

The 61,000-member statewide organization also urged senators to eliminate numerous mandatory coverage requirements included in Obamacare, eliminate the individual mandate to purchase health care insurance and eliminate penalties for employers who do not provide health insurance coverage for their employees. "No groups have run ads in those states in support of the ever-evolving Republican legislation to repeal and replace parts or all of Obamacare".

These high stakes are precisely why so many are angry that McCain chose not to make things simple Tuesday by matching his vote to his speech. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office recently found that this bill would push 32 million Americans into the ranks of the uninsured over the next decade, include 17 million Americans just within the next year.

Ultimately, this all means that contrary to what we've been hearing the last couple of weeks, the repeal and replace process is far from dead - but neither is the fight against it.

European Union raises prospect of new sanctions against NKorea
Those talks would be held on August 1, also in Panmunjom - that is, if Pyongyang accepts. Official talks between the sides have not been held since December 2015.

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