U.S. Senate healthcare repeal fails for 3rd time

2017 05 04 10 02 04 942 Capitol Hill2 400

A third effort of U.S. Senate Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed in the early hours of July 28, according to a Politico report.

In a move that shocked many of his colleagues, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) joined Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) -- and 48 Democrats -- to defeat the measure in a 49-51 vote, Politico said.

An earlier attempt to pass an ACA repeal and replace bill on July 17 was unsuccessful when Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) announced they would not support it, joining Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in opposition and leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) short at least two votes needed to pass the legislation.

On July 26, Senate Republicans voted to move forward on debate of yet another version of the legislation -- in fact, McCain returned to Washington from Arizona after having been diagnosed with brain cancer to cast the crucial "yes" for debate. However, this second version also fell short when brought to vote later in the day.

The third attempt, called the Health Care Freedom Act, would have repealed employer and individual insurance mandates, defunded Planned Parenthood, and repealed the medical device tax. Described as a "skinny repeal" bill, it was considered a less dramatic piece of legislation than Senate Republicans have previously supported, Politico said.

Republicans now have no solution to healthcare policy that does not involve working with Democrats, according to the Politico report.

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