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Senate Rejects Obamacare ‘Repeal-Only’ Plan

WASHINGTON — The Senate rejected a proposal to roll back Obamacare without a replacement plan in place, in the latest vote on Republican efforts to come up with major new healthcare legislation.

The vote was 45-55. Seven Republicans joined with Democrats to defeat the plan.

In what lawmakers are calling “vote-a-rama,” the Senate is expected to continue to bring to the floor a series of amendments designed to alter healthcare policy.

A vote is expected on proposals to eliminate the health insurance mandate. Although that is far short of other proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, it still could have a major impact on the individual insurance market.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted to open debate on healthcare legislation, with Vice President Mike Pence on hand to break a tie. Later in the day, a proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare failed, with just 43 Republicans voting in favor.

Earlier on Wednesday, President Donald Trump tweeted an attack on one of the Republicans who has been opposed to the current approach toward healthcare: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). She and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) were the sole Republicans who voted against the motion to proceed.

Trump wrote that Murkowski “really let the Republicans, and our country, down yesterday. Too bad!”

Senate Republicans expressed a desire to keep the process alive, even if that means passing a scaled-back proposal and resolving it in a conference with their House counterparts.

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