GOP seeks full ACA repeal vote in Senate amid health bill defeat

By Ray Downs   |   July 17, 2017 at 9:46 PM
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July 17 (UPI) -- Two Republican senators, Mike Lee of Utah, and Jerry Moran of Kansas, have come out against the latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, dealing a blow to their party's chances of passing a new healthcare bill and forcing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bring a full repeal vote to the Senate.

"After conferring with trusted experts regarding the latest version of the Consumer Freedom Amendment, I have decided I cannot support the current version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act," Lee said in a statement. "In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn't go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations."

"We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy," Moran said in a statement. "We must now start fresh with an open legislative process to develop innovative solutions that provide greater personal choice, protections for pre-existing conditions, increased access and lower overall costs for Kansans."

Lee and Moran bring the total number of Republican senators who have vowed to vote against the bill is now up to four. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., previously declared their opposition to the bill.

With four Republican senators and all Democratic senators voting no, the bill won't have enough votes to pass the Senate.

That has led McConnell to ask the Senate to vote just on a simple repeal of the Affordable Care Act, with no set plan to replace it.

"Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful," McConnell said in a statement issued late Monday night. "So, in the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care."

President Donald Trump appears to be on board with the measure.

"Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!" he tweeted shortly before McConnell announced his plans for a repeal vote.

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