Senate Democrats blocked a proposal to repeal President Barack Obama’s healthcare law that Republicans sought to add to a U.S. highway funding bill. with a vote of 49-43, 60 is needed to pass the legislation, as the federal Highway Trust Fund’s authorization is set after July 31, and the Senate’s highway funding measure, H.R. 22, is significantly different from the plan passed by the House.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, proposed the Obamacare repeal amendment as he also agreed to allow a vote on an amendment sought by Democrats to extend the charter of the Export-Import Bank.
The majority leader said Friday he offered the Obamacare repeal because Ex-Im “shouldn’t be the only vote” on a highway bill amendment. The Senate plans to vote on that amendment next.
McConnell said Sunday that Obamacare is “filled with higher costs, fewer choices and broken promises” and “continues to hammer hardworking middle-class families.”
Meanwhile the House has voted about 60 times to repeal or delay all or part of Obamacare. The Senate was under Democratic control until January.
Senate Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said a vote to repeal Obamacare would return to a time when health care was “for the healthy and the wealthy.”
“The moment you repeal the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans lose protections against pre-existing conditions,” Wyden said.
Hello, demonrat, millions more have already lost coverage. There are about 310 million that we know of now without insurance, and they can’t afford Obamacare premiums and deductibles.
Congress adopted a budget in May that would allow Republicans to use a procedure called reconciliation to bypass Democrats and send a repeal of Obamacare to the president’s desk. Obama would veto that, though, and Democrats would provide enough votes to sustain the veto.