In an historic defeat for President Trump and the Republican Party, the Senate voted 49-51 early this morning on a bill that would have repealed key parts of the Affordable Care Act. Three Republicans broke ranks to join Democrats and independents opposing the legislation: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and John McCain of Arizona. This is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, conceding defeat around 2 a.m.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “I also want to thank the president and the vice president, who couldn’t have been more involved and more helpful. So, yes, this is a disappointment. A disappointment indeed. Our friends over in the House, we thank them, as well. I regret that our efforts were simply not enough this time.”
The so-called skinny repeal of Obamacare would have eliminated the individual mandate and employer mandate, that requires certain businesses provide health insurance to employees. The Congressional Budget Office said the legislation would add another 16 million people to the ranks of the uninsured, while increasing the average health insurance premium by more than $1,200 next year. As the bill went down to defeat, protesters outside the Capitol cheered wildly, chanting, “Yes, we did!” The Senate adjourned with no further votes planned this week. We’ll have more on the Senate healthcare debate after headlines.