SPONSORED:

Senate rejects ObamaCare repeal, replacement amendment

The Senate rejected a key proposal repealing and replacing ObamaCare on Tuesday night as senators start a dayslong debate on healthcare. 

Senators voted 43-57 on a procedural hurdle for the measure that included the GOP's repeal and a replace bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), as well as proposals from Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration proceeds with rollback of bird protections despite objections | Trump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians | EU 2019 greenhouse gas emissions down 24 percent Trump's NATO ambassador pledges 'seamless' transition to Biden administration Potential 2024 Republicans flock to Georgia amid Senate runoffs MORE (R-Texas) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases Bipartisan Senate group holding coronavirus relief talks amid stalemate Biden says transition outreach from Trump administration has been 'sincere' MORE (R-Ohio). 
 
GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Overnight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases Bipartisan Senate group holding coronavirus relief talks amid stalemate MORE (Maine), Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics Former GOP senator: Republicans cannot let Trump's 'reckless' post-election claims stand Cornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' MORE (Tenn.), Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spread Potential 2024 Republicans flock to Georgia amid Senate runoffs Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls MORE (Ark.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Trump should attend Biden inauguration 'if' Biden wins Biden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Georgia governor rejects Trump's call to 'overrule' elections officials with emergency powers MORE (S.C.), Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (Nev.), Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGrassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus McConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Loeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection MORE (Utah), Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranIt's time for Congress to act: Save jobs and stabilize the aerospace industry Lobbying world This World Suicide Prevention Day, let's recommit to protecting the lives of our veterans MORE (Kan.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMurkowski: Trump should concede White House race Graham: Trump should attend Biden inauguration 'if' Biden wins OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump administration proceeds with rollback of bird protections despite objections | Trump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians | EU 2019 greenhouse gas emissions down 24 percent MORE (Alaska) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul says Fauci owes parents and students an apology over pandemic measures Grassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus Congress set for chaotic year-end sprint MORE (Ky.) voted against the repeal-and-replace proposal on the procedural hurdle. No Democrats voted for it. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The proposal was the first amendment to get a vote after senators took up the House-passed healthcare bill, known as the American Health Care Act, which is being used as a vehicle for any Senate action, earlier Tuesday
 
But it was widely expected to fall short of the 60 votes it needed because the Congressional Budget Office didn't analyze either the Cruz or Portman proposal that was packaged in with the BCRA.
 
Tuesday night's vote doesn't prevent GOP leadership from offering another repeal-and-replace amendment or another version of BCRA. 
 
It could also help GOP leadership get rank-and-file senators on the record as they try to figure out a path forward.
 
A vote on an amendment that would repeal much of ObamaCare is expected on Wednesday
 
Cruz acknowledged ahead of the late-night vote that the amendment wasn't likely to be approved, but he appeared optimistic that Republicans would be able to get to an agreement before a final vote this week. 
 
"I will say the bill before the Senate ... is not likely to pass tonight but I believe at the end of the process the contours within it are likely to be what we enact, at least the general outlines," Cruz said from the Senate floor ahead of the vote. 
 
Cruz said he expects his amendment to end up in the final version of the healthcare bill. 
 
"I believe we will see the consumer freedom amendment in the legislation that is ultimately enacted," he said. 
 
Murkowski was greeted by protestors outside the Capitol who chanted "stay strong Lisa." 
 
Asked whether she would support a "skinny repeal" bill, she said it's not clear what it would entail. 
 
"I don't know that any of us have defined what that might be."
 
Cruz's provision would allow insurance companies to sell plans that did not meet ObamaCare's requirements, as long as they also offered plans that did.
 
Portman's, meanwhile, would aim to lower insurance costs for individuals in Medicaid expansion states, like Ohio, but could also apply to other low-income Americans. 

The provision would add $100 billion to the bill's state stability fund to help people who might lose the coverage they got under ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion. These funds could help cover out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copays.

Portman said he "worked with the president, vice president and administrative officials" to "improve this bill further to help out low-income Ohioans."