- Title: Democrats blast U.S. Senate Republicans' plan for straight Obamacare repeal
- Date: 18th July 2017
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JULY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) DEMOCRATIC SENATOR BEN CARDIN WALKING DOWN HALLWAY (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC SENATOR, BEN CARDIN (D-MD), SAYING: "Obviously, we're all going to stay tuned. The health debate is not over. We know there is going to be efforts made to just repeal the affordable care act, without having a replacement. That would be very irresponsible and dangerous the health insurance marketplace and to coverage in the country. We hope that now Mitch McConnell will reach out to Democrats. Let's work together to improve the Affordable Care Act." DEMOCRATIC SENATOR, RICHARD BLUMENTHAL WALKING DOWN HALLWAY WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC SENATOR, RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT), SAYING: "The president has been a profile in abdication of leadership. The president has failed to lead. He has been absent from the field. He has done a disservice to his own party as well as to the American people by remaining in the background. In past presidencies, the White House would have been at the forefront, leading from the front. He has been at the back, virtually silent, invisible and the lack of the leadership in the White House is one of the reasons we have failed to see a better healthcare replacement."
- Embargoed: 1st August 2017 17:03
- Keywords: Senate healthcare bill Mitch McConnell Chuck Schumer Mike Pence Senate reaction
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Lawmaking,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0056Q8WCP3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell set a vote on a straight repeal of Obamacare after efforts to overhaul the law collapsed, but the new approach began to unravel within hours on Tuesday (July 18) as two Republicans announced their opposition and others voiced doubts.
The disarray in the Senate rattled financial markets and cast doubt on the chances for getting President Donald Trump's other domestic policy priorities such as tax reform through a divided Congress.
McConnell gave up on efforts to overhaul the 2010 Affordable Care Act late on Monday after it became clear he did not have the votes. Instead, he announced plans to vote in coming days on a two-year transition to simply repeal the healthcare law with no replacement.
"We will now try a different way to bring the American people relief from Obamacare," McConnell said on Tuesday as he opened the Senate, where the Republicans hold a razor-thin 52-48 majority. "I think we owe them at least that much."
But Republican Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Susan Collins of Maine quickly announced they would not back repeal, and Rob Portman of Ohio told reporters he had concerns about the approach.
With Democrats united in opposition, Republicans can only afford to lose two votes to pass the measure in the Senate.
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