The latest Republican effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare” was fatally wounded in the Senate Monday night when two more Republican senators announced their opposition to the legislation strongly backed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The announcements from Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas left the Republican Party’s long-promised efforts to get rid of former president Barack Obama’s health care legislation reeling.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he will retreat, and try to pass the more straightforward Obamacare repeal bill that Republicans approved while Obama was still in office and certain to veto it. That looks unlikely to succeed now that it could actually become law and unleash wide-ranging effects likely to frighten off senators.
“Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” McConnell said in a statement that sounded like a death knell to the Republican promises to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better.
Trump, who had predicted success for McConnell’s repeal-and-replace legislation just hours earlier, urged over Twitter for Republicans to “start from a clean slate.”
Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!
Vice-President Mike Pence echoed Trump’s statement on Twitter, saying “inaction is not an option.”
But Republican leaders rejected that clean-repeal approach months ago because it could not pass Congress.
Lee and Moran both said they could not support McConnell’s legislation in the form unveiled last week. They joined Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky, both of whom announced their opposition right after McConnell released the bill on Thursday.
McConnell’s bill “fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address healthcare’s rising costs,” said Moran.
My full statement opposing this version of BCRA: pic.twitter.com/CUq4Kibe0I
Lee said, “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle…