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GOP Health Care Bill Dead After Two More Republicans Bail, so Now What?

07-18-2017
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tells reporters he has secured enough Republican votes to start President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The latest Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare collapsed Monday when two more GOP senators announced they were not supporting the bill.
    
Senators Mike Lee, R-Utah and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., sealed the measure's doom when each said they would vote "no" in an initial, critical vote that had been expected as soon as next week.

"We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy," Moran said.

The bill needed the support of at least 50 of the Senate's 52 Republicans, but with a total of four Republican senators now declaring their no votes, the bill appears to be dead on arrival.

Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said that if the current bill didn't work, Republicans would have to try to a different measure.

"If we're not successful now I assume we'll keep trying, but at some point if Democrats won't participate in the process then we're going to have to come up with a different plan," he explained.

For now, it appears that "different plan" will be an attempt to simply get rid of Obamacare now and work on a replacement that would come later.

"In the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable health care," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement late Monday.

In a late night tweet, President Trump echoed that sentiment, calling on Republicans to "just repeal failing Obamacare now and work on a new healthcare plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!"

But a straight repeal of Obamacare could also have a tough time passing the Senate and would also have to get through the House of Representatives before going to President Trump.

"The problem is even if you can repeal parts of this under reconciliation, which takes 50 votes, you still need to repeal the whole thing and you'll need 60 votes for some of the other non-revenue portions of Obamacare, so look this is a problem for them," CBN Chief Political Correspondent David Brody explained.

Brody added that the GOP should have worded how they plan to repeal Obamacare better.

"What they really should have said is we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare with something slightly better than Obamacare 'cause it's still Obamacare and that's been the crux of the issue all along," said Brody.

The failure to pass the GOP health care measure also affects the president's tax cut plans to strengthen the economy because the White House and Republicans had hoped to use the savings from repealing Obamacare to help get tax cuts for businesses and individuals through Congress.

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