Senate rejects Obamacare repeal in blow for Trump
The repeal failed by a narrow margin of 49 - 51. At least three Republicans voted "no," including John McCain, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski. It was GOP Senator John McCain who cast the decisive vote, killing the repeal.
Skinny repeal fell short because it fell short of our promise to repeal & replace Obamacare w/ meaningful reform https://t.co/tZISIvccOO— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 28, 2017
The bill's death in the Senate is seen as a blow to President Donald Trump. The US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) described the move as it as “a disappointing moment.”
McCain leaving the Capitol asked why he voted NO: "I thought it was the right thing to do."— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 28, 2017
The "no" vote followed long Senate debates on the controversial Health Care Freedom Act.
Trump took to Twitter to show his dissatisfaction with the result, saying those who voted “no” let down Americans.
3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2017
Earlier, Republicans expressed concern that the “skinny" bill wasn't ready to become law without further conferencing with the House. The bill suggested repealing Obamacare's employer mandate until 2025 and cutting funding to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood for one year.
A total of 16 million Americans could have been left uninsured if the lawmakers had passed the plan, according to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates.
The controversial replacement of the healthcare bill has long been debated in the Senate. However, Republicans - who hold the majority - had to delay the vote due to McCain’s illness.
.@SenJohnMcCain-Thank you for coming to D.C. for such a vital vote. Congrats to all Rep. We can now deliver grt healthcare to all Americans!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
So great that John McCain is coming back to vote. Brave - American hero! Thank you John.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
MсCain, who has voiced his opposition to the existing healthcare law, believes the proposed "skinny repeal" failed to meet the goals of replacement, including increasing competition, lowering costs, and improving care.
“We must now return to the correct way of legislating and send the bill back to committee, hold hearings, receive input from both sides of aisle, heed the recommendations of nation’s governors, and produce a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people,” the senator said in a statement.
Some have taken to Twitter to slam the Senate vote, with one person calling McCain a "traitor."
McCain must go !! He is a Traitor ! Other two reps who voted no are a disgrace ! #Liars !— I LOVE TRUMP (@BarbequeMommy) July 28, 2017
Others celebrated the defeat of the “skinny repeal" and lauded the Republicans who made it possible by going against their fellow party members.
#SkinnyRepeal now I can sleep knowing that my mentally disabled uncle will be able to keep his healthcare— Phoenix Williams (@Phoenix_William) July 28, 2017
People in Arizona, Maine, and Alaska need to show up at town halls during the break to thank their brave Senators. #SkinnyRepeal— Carrie D. Eepstate❄️ (@Mayne1Carrie) July 28, 2017
It is unclear what the Trump administration plans to do in order to repeal the previous administration's healthcare law. The US president is a strong critic of Obamacare, and its replacement was one of his key campaign promises.