But Republicans say that it has driven up premiums and forced consumers to buy insurance they do not want and can not afford. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska – and all the Democrats voted against it.
It’s now up to lawmakers to begin the hard process of negotiating an alternative to Obamacare.
The first votes on changes to the bill could come as early as Tuesday night, a Republican leadership aide said.
During a joint news conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is visiting the White House Tuesday, Trump opened his remarks by saying that McCain is a “very courageous man” who “made a tough trip to get here and vote”.
Trump says on Twitter Tuesday morning that Obamacare is “torturing” Americans.
Protesters temporarily interrupted with chants of “Kill the bill” and shouts of “Shame”. Senate Republicans did not, for example, repeal the Affordable Care Act, in whole or in part. All 48 Democrats oppose the GOP overhaul plan. John McCain, under treatment for a brain tumor, returned to Washington to cast a yes vote.
In the end, his vote proved pivotal.
The debate is a rare event in the Senate: Consideration of a major piece of legislation with no single piece of legislation being considered. The vote was 51-50, with Vice President Pence casting the tiebreaking vote.
McConnell won over key holdouts, but those senators haven’t said they will back the final measure.
Republicans are attempting to pass the bill using the budget reconciliation process that is intended only for certain budget items.
“The American people have waited long enough”.
The Senate will now move to debate on repealing and replacing Obamacare and any amendments offered through the open amendment process.
The president’s remarks do not seem to reflect public sentiment. “As we move forward in the time ahead, I will closely examine the amendments to see how they will affect Iowans’ insurance availability and affordability in 2018 and beyond”.
He charged that McConnell’s intention was to get the Senate to pass “anything” so that they can get to a conference, where a bill would be refashioned to suit both chambers. Meanwhile, moderate Republicans like Susan Collins of ME oppose the suggested steep cuts to Medicaid.
In the case of a bill that repeals Obamacare and provides no replacement, 32 million more people would be uninsured by 2026 as compared to current law, CBO forecast. They arrested almost 100 people on Tuesday alone.