Clock ticks as "Skinny" Senate GOP health bill remains a mystery

Clock ticks as

Clock ticks as "Skinny" Senate GOP health bill remains a mystery

It remains unclear what measure senators will now debate and vote on. Murkowski responded that she was "comfortable" with her vote.

In a tight 51-50 vote, the Republican-dominated Senate voted to start the process of repealing Obamacare. "I have consistently voted to repeal and replace this disastrous health care law, and I am glad that a repeal bill will finally reach the president's desk". Rand Paul introduced the amendment - within two years, and come up with a replacement plan in the meantime.

"It's what we call a clean repeal, it's not cluttered with insurance company bailouts, it's not cluttered with this and that, new regulations, it is just trying to peel back Obamacare", said Sen.

The contours of the bill, at this point, include a repeal of the individual mandate to purchase insurance, the defunding of Planned Parenthood and community health centers, some waivers of insurance regulations and a partial repeal of the employer mandate to provide insurance.

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The vote comes amid a frantic period of debate and votes this week in the Senate as Republicans push to approve some form of Obamacare repeal.

Mr McConnell, who is still expected to receive no support from Democrats, can now only afford to lose two Republican votes and still be able to pass a bill.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, urged Republicans before the vote to "turn back before it's too late and millions and millions and millions of Americans are hurt so badly in ways from which they will never, never recover". But he argued that opening debate would allow amendments to be brought forward from both Democrats and Republicans. Vice President Mike Pence voted to break a 50-50 tie in the chamber. "Ultimately, we want to get legislation to finally end the failed Obamacare status quo through Congress and to the president's desk for his signature", he said.

The Senate voted on whether to repeal parts of the ACA two years from now.

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At the time, Senator John McCain, who ultimately voted to advance the bill, chided his leadership for crafting it behind closed doors and cast doubt on its future, saying its failure "seems likely".

About 20 million people gained health insurance under former President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Protesters seized a key moment by standing and pleading with lawmakers: 'Don't kill us, kill the bill'.

But even that so-called "skinny" bill is running into trouble.

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