Senate Votes to Begin Process to Repeal Obamacare
Will we ever be able to get rid of the Obamacare albatross? Once again, the Senate was gridlocked and Vice President Mike Pence had to break the tie in a vote to proceed to debate on beginning the repeal process. The final yea-nay vote was 50-51.
Two GOP members defected to the Democrats, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. No surprise there.
Not a vote to repeal, only a vote to open debate
To paraphrase Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seven years ago Democrats promised that premiums would go down. They went up. (“Skyrocketed” is how he put it). They told us we could keep our doctors and our health plans. We lost both. They said we’d have more choices. We have hardly any now. Most of the Obamacare health exchanges have folded, with insurers bailing from the system in record numbers. As Senator McConnell stated, Obamacare is lurching toward collapse, which will hurt even more Americans.
Senator John McCain, who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, returned to Congress today just to cast his vote. But he had a few things to say first.
BREAKING: Sen. John McCain, battling brain cancer, returns to Senate and casts vote to move ahead on repealing Obamacare.
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 25, 2017
“We’re getting nothing done, my friends. We’re getting nothing done. All we’ve really done is confirm Neil Gorsuch to the bench. Our healthcare system is a mess. We all know it…
We’ve looked for a way to end it and replace it without paying a terrible political price.We haven’t found it yet and I’m not sure we will. All we’ve managed to do is make more popular a policy that wasn’t very popular when we started trying to get rid of it.” Sen McCain
McCain’s stirring call: “Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio, television & the Internet. To hell with them.”
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) July 25, 2017
The gallery erupted in shouts of “Kill the bill!” and “Shame, shame, shame” which forced the presiding officer to ask the Sergeant at Arms to restore order several times during the proceeding.
The vote was “up in the air” until Senators Rand Paul, Dean Heller, Rob Portman and Shelley Moore Capito changed their minds and voted yes to proceed with the debate.
For seven years, Republicans have promised to repeal and replace Obamacare. For seven years, Democrats have blocked the effort. This opens the door, but does not guarantee passage after all is said and done.
Today’s vote was a critical step. As @POTUS said “the Senate must now pass a bill & get it to my desk” so we can end the Obamacare disaster. pic.twitter.com/MnGQ1QEuww
— Vice President Pence (@VP) July 25, 2017
Remember, the architect of the Obamacare plan not only lied to the American people, he called us stupid.
Nancy Pelosi said that Congress had to “pass it to find out what’s in it.” With a Democrat-controlled Congress, they did just that, saddling the US with an untenable program that has threatened to break American taxpayers and caused insurers to flee.
It was a disaster from the beginning.
“I’m very happy to announce that with zero of the Democrats’ votes, the motion to proceed on healthcare has moved past and now we move forward toward truly great health care for the American people. We look forward to that. This was a big step.” President Trump in a press conference on Tuesday.
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