US healthcare repeal plans voted down by defecting Republicans


The Republican party’s controversial plans to repeal Obamacare appeared to clear a major hurdle in the Senate yesterday, 25th July, only to fail upon the tabling of its second vote.

The first vote had been on whether to open fresh discussions on the repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

Demonstrating a bitterly divided Senate, the split vote had been pushed over the line by Senator John McCain, resulting in a 51-50 tally in favour of the “yes” vote.

However after this vote to move forward, the first proposed amendment was put to vote and subsequently defeated. Nine defecting Republicans joined the Democrats in voting “no” to the new plans, in a 57-43 result.

The rejected proposal included erasing the Obama law’s tax penalties on people not buying insurance, and cutting Medicaid by more than $700 billion, authored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz also proposed to let insurers sell cut-rate policies with meagre coverage, including plans which would not cover basic care such as doctor visits and prescription drugs.

20 million to 30 million Americans are expected to lose insurance over a decade, depending on the version of the bill.

Also on the table was an additional $100 billion to help states ease costs for people losing Medicaid, which had been sought by Midwestern moderates.

Titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the bill has been scathingly dubbed Trumpcare 3.0 by Democrats.

Another vote on an amendment that would repeal much of Obamacare is expected on Wednesday 26th July.

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