Health-care reform on life support in U.S. Senate

07/19/2017 09:30 AM

After the Senate health care bill to repeal and replace Obamacare collapsed late Monday night, Republican leaders quickly declared that their fight wasn’t over, vowing there would be a vote to repeal the law without a replacement.

But that approach also quickly crashed and burned before even getting to the Senate floor.

Three Republican senators — Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — said they could not support the repeal-only proposal, which would include a two-year transition period as lawmakers crafted a replacement plan, announced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell, R-Ky., needs at least 50 votes from his 52-member GOP conference to move the bill forward.

“My view of it is whether you’re for it or not, you should at least vote to get on the vehicle that’s going to be used to change the law so we can begin that debate and begin that process,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told reporters on Capitol Hill.

President Donald Trump has suggested simply letting the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, fail in light of the impasse, which quickly drew the ire of Senate Democrats.

“They can join President Trump in trying to sabotage the system and hurt millions of innocent Americans to try and make a political point that has failed already, or they can start today working with Democrats,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Watch more from Spectrum News’ Washington, D.C., bureau reporter Alberto Pimienta here:

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