GOP Healthcare Plan

The Senate voted Tuesday to begin debating a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. It remains uncertain as to what that replacement might look like. No formal legislation has been drafted. But senators moved to take the procedural first step, known as a "motion to proceed." The vote was 51-50, with Vice President Pence casting the tiebreaking vote.

Debate will now begin, most likely on a measure to fully repeal the law, also known as Obamacare.

Update at 4:05 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain, diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer just five days ago, returned to applause on the Senate floor Tuesday, where he cast a crucial vote to move forward on repeal of the Affordable Care Act and urged his colleagues to regain their sense of bipartisan cooperation.

However, the longtime Arizona senator, two-time presidential candidate and perhaps America's most famous former prisoner of war, warned that he "will not vote for this bill as it is today," describing it as "a shell."

The Senate Health Care Vote, Simplified

Jul 24, 2017

The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to advance health care legislation to the Senate floor. That would open up debate on an Obamacare repeal and/or replacement plan.

The importance of the vote was highlighted by Sen. John McCain's decision to return to Washington to take part. He announced last week that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer.

The Republican scramble to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has yielded yet another version of a health care overhaul bill, along with yet another score from the Congressional Budget Office — the second analysis from the nonpartisan agency in two days.

The Republican National Committee is joining a slew of deep-pocketed conservative PACs in taking aim at GOP lawmakers who say they will vote no on repealing Obamacare.

With no significant legislative successes in the months since the elections, Republicans are anxious to show that with control of the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress, they can get on with their agenda — a key component of which has long been rolling back President Obama's signature health care law.

The forecast from the Congressional Budget Office on Senate Republicans' latest health care strategy isn't great — but it's no surprise either.

The CBO estimates that legislation that repeals key pillars of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") would trim $473 billion off the federal deficit, but result in 32 million fewer insured Americans in the next decade. It would also see premiums rise, and likely force private insurers to abandon the individual market.

And nearly every Republican has already voted for it.

rido, 123rf Stock Photo

More than 14 million people got health coverage through Medicaid because of the Affordable Care Act. That was a boon for rural hospitals, who traditionally serve patients who are poor and don't have health insurance. 

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

Hours after a replacement for the Affordable Care Act was all but scuttled by a clutch of Senate Republicans, three lawmakers appear to have doomed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Plan B: Repeal the Affordable Care Act without replacing it.

Updated at 2:54 p.m. ET

After the Senate's attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act collapsed Monday, Republican leaders immediately began talking about repealing the health care law in hopes of coming up with a replacement later.

But by midafternoon Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plan to hold a vote on a repeal-only bill had faltered, too.

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

The defeat of the GOP Senate health care bill is a major blow to all Republicans involved.

President Trump, whose approval rating is lower than any recent president this early in his term, is now staring at an agenda imperiled. Despite his boasts, he has achieved little of significance through Congress. That failure is compounded by the fact that his party controls both chambers.

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