Obamacare 'skinny repeal' rejected after Pence tried to lobby McCain

Despite last-minute pleas from Vice President Mike Pence on Capitol Hill, Senate Republicans were unable to push through a bill early Friday morning that would have repealed parts of the Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010. 

Pence spent some of the morning lobbying Arizona Senator John McCain to vote in support of the bill. Pence's efforts were futile. Friday's vote went down by a 51-49 margin, with three Republicans, including McCain, joining all 48 Democrats in opposition of the bill. 

McCain had not stated before the vote which way he would go in Friday's vote. 

McCain's vote came with an eruption of cheers from the Democratic side of the chamber, who have been fighting to preserve Obama's legislation. 

McCain returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday just 10 days after finding out that he has an aggressive form of brain cancer. 

The bill would have eliminated the individual mandate, the employer mandate and change other key provisions to the current health care law. The early Friday morning vote came after a series of unsuccessful votes by Republicans this week to repeal Obamacare. 

"This is clearly a disappointing moment," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

President Donald Trump tweeted to show his outrage early Friday morning. 

 

 

The Congressional Budget Office came out with estimates on Thursday evening on the legislation, projecting the number of uninsured Americans would increase by 16 million over the next decade. It also projected that premiums would increase by an average of 20 percent a year for the next decade. 

Although the legislation had support from 49 Republicans, all 48 Democrats voted against the bill. That meant the bill needed 50 out of 52 Republican Senators to allow Pence to cast the tiebreaker. 

Republicans' failure to pass the legislation marked a devastating blow to the GOP's hopes of repealing Obamacare, which has been a party rallying cry since 2010. 

"It's time to turn the page," said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. "We are not celebrating. We are relieved."

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