Senate Blocks Proposal to Repeal Obamacare, John McCain Calls for Unity
Senators voted 57-43 late Tuesday to reject the plan in the first vote on an amendment to the bill.
The Senate has blocked a wide-ranging proposal by Republicans to repeal much of former President Barack Obama's health care law and replace it with a more restrictive plan.
Senators voted 57-43 late Tuesday to reject the plan in the first vote on an amendment to the bill. Those voting "no" included nine defecting Republicans.
The vote underscored problems Republicans will have in winning enough votes to recast Obama's statute.
The rejected proposal included language by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell erasing the Obama law's tax penalties on people not buying insurance and cutting Medicaid.
Language by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz would let insurers sell cut-rate policies with skimpy coverage. And there was an additional $100 billion to help states ease costs for people losing Medicaid sought by Midwestern moderates.
After casting a crucial vote in the Republican effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act earlier in the day, Arizona Sen. John McCain delivered an impassioned speech pleading for Republicans and Democrats to work together.
The 80-year-old McCain was given a boisterous welcome by senators from both parties as he entered the chamber for the first time since he was diagnosed with brain cancer. His face was pale and his cheek was bruised, and he bore a visible red scar and stitches above his left eye where doctors had removed a blood clot.
McCain bemoaned the lack of legislative action in Congress, and his party's secretive process in working on repealing and replacing Obamacare.
McCain said he would not vote for the current GOP version of the repeal-and-replace bill.