clear
Friday November 24th, 2017 2:13AM

Republican-led Senate takes first step to repeal 'Obamacare'

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is poised to complete its initial step toward dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law, as Republicans divided over how to replace it face pressure from Donald Trump for quick action.

By a near party-line 51-48 vote early Thursday, the GOP-run Senate approved a budget that eases the way for action on subsequent repeal legislation as soon as next month.

The Republican-controlled House planned to complete the budget on Friday, even amid misgivings by some GOP lawmakers. Aiming to build momentum, the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., distributed an email underscoring support for the measure by the conservative group Heritage Action.

"We must act quickly to bring relief to the American people," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The president-elect oozed confidence at a news conference on Wednesday, promising his incoming administration would soon reveal a plan to both repeal so-called Obamacare and replace it with legislation to "get health care taken care of in this country."

"We're going to do repeal and replace, very complicated stuff," Trump told reporters, adding that both elements would pass virtually at the same time. That promise, however, will be almost impossible to fulfill in the complicated web of Congress, where GOP leaders must navigate complex Senate rules, united Democratic opposition and substantive policy disagreements among Republicans.

Passage of Thursday's measure would permit follow-up legislation to escape the threat of a filibuster by Senate Democrats. Republicans are not close to agreement among themselves on what any Obamacare replacement would look like, however.

Republicans plan to get legislation voiding Obama's law and replacing parts of it to Trump by the end of February, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Wednesday on "The Hugh Hewitt Show," a conservative radio program. Other Republicans have said they expect the process to take longer.

The 2010 law extended health insurance to some 20 million Americans, prevented insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and steered billions of dollars to states for the Medicaid health program for the poor. Republicans fought the effort tooth and nail and voter opposition to Obamacare helped carry the party to impressive wins in 2010, 2014 and last year.

Thursday's Senate procedural vote will set up special budget rules that will allow the repeal vote to take place with a simple majority in the 100-member Senate, instead of the 60 votes required to move most legislation.

That means Republicans, who control 52 seats, can push through repeal legislation without Democratic cooperation. They're also discussing whether there are some elements of a replacement bill that could get through at the same time with a simple majority. But for many elements of a new health care law, Republicans are likely to need 60 votes and Democratic support, and at this point the two parties aren't even talking.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, unhappy that the measure endorsed huge budget deficits, was the sole Republican to vote against it.

Increasing numbers of Republicans have expressed anxiety over obliterating the law without a replacement to show voters.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she wants at least to see "a detailed framework" of a GOP alternative health care plan before voting on repeal. She said Republicans would risk "people falling through the cracks or causing turmoil in insurance markets" if lawmakers voided Obama's statute without a replacement in hand.

Collins was among a handful of Republicans to occasionally break ranks to support some Democratic amendments aimed at supporting such things as rural hospitals and a mandate to cover patients with pre-existing medical conditions. They were all shot down by majority Republicans anyway.

In the House, many members of the conservative Freedom Caucus were insisting on first learning details about what a GOP substitute would look like — or putting some elements of the replacement measure in the repeal bill.

"We need to be voting for a replacement plan at the same time that we vote for repeal," said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., an influential conservative.

Some more moderate House Republicans were unhappy, too, including Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a leader of GOP centrists in the House Tuesday Group. He said he would oppose the budget because there was too little information about the replacement, including whether people receiving expanded Medicaid coverage or health care subsidies under the existing law would be protected.

"We're loading a gun here," MacArthur said. "I want to know where it's pointed before we start the process."

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Business
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Eclipse eve: Millions converge across US to see sun go dark
Millions of eclipse watchers are converging on a narrow corridor stretching from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon blot out the sun Monday
9:55PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Jerry Lewis, comedy icon and telethon host dies, at 91
Jerry Lewis, the rubber-faced comedian and director whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, died Sunday at 91 in Las Vegas
9:16PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Child flown for care after incident on Lake Burton
Preliminary details are emerging about a medical emergency involving a child on Lake Burton Sunday afternoon.
9:12PM ( 58 minutes ago )
Local/State News
Prosecutors: Prof killed boyfriend as part of sexual fantasy
Prosecutors say fatal stabbing of hairstylist in Chicago was part of sexual fantasy hatched online between professor and university employee
9:57PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Henrik Stenson closes with 64 to win at Wyndham
Henrik Stenson won the Wyndham Championship, closing with a 6-under 64 for a one-stroke victory in the final event of the PGA Tour regular season
9:52PM ( 18 minutes ago )
US warship collides with tanker near Singapore; 10 missing
A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer collided with a tanker in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca, and at least 10 sailors are missing
9:33PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Spanish town struggles to reconcile locals as extremist cell
Spanish town where alleged members of extremist cell accused of attacks grew up struggles to reconcile the violence with the boys and brothers it knew
8:04PM ( 2 hours ago )
Rescuers expand search for Army helicopter crew in Hawaii
The Coast Guard has expanded its search for five crew members of a downed Army Black Hawk helicopter that crashed into the ocean off the coast of Hawaii more than four days ago
7:19PM ( 2 hours ago )
Jerry Lewis, comedy icon and telethon host, dies at 91
Jerry Lewis, the rubber-faced comedian and director whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died
6:38PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP National News
Comedian, civil rights activist Dick Gregory dies at 84
Dick Gregory, who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health, has died at 84. Gregory was one of the first black standup comedians to find success with white audiences
4:24PM ( 5 hours ago )
Publicist: Jerry Lewis, comedian, telethon host, dies at 91
Jerry Lewis, multitalented entertainer and filmmaker, dies at 91 in Las Vegas
4:05PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Barcelona fans, players remember attack victims
Fans and players have held a minute's silence in homage to Spain's extremist attack victims prior to a soccer match between FC Barcelona and Betis at Camp Nou stadium
3:46PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Grace Mugabe gets diplomatic immunity, returns to Zimbabwe
Granted diplomatic immunity by South Africa, the wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe returned home from Johannesburg on Sunday despite calls that she be prosecuted for allegedly assaulting a young model at a luxury hotel there
10:50AM ( 11 hours ago )
Syria's Assad rejects security cooperation with the West
Syrian President Bashar Assad has blasted the West rejecting any security cooperation or reopening of embassies in Damascus before these countries cut relations with opposition groups
10:47AM ( 11 hours ago )
French designer in costly dispute over Pitt-Jolie chateau
A French lighting designer has won a $600,000 court ruling in a dispute with Brad Pitt over a grandiose re-design of his and Angelina Jolie's chateau in Provence
9:19AM ( 12 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Trump to address nation Monday on Afghanistan
Trump to reveal plan for war in Afghanistan in national address Monday night
7:53PM ( 2 hours ago )
Kasich urges Trump to end staff chaos and 'settle it down'
Ohio Gov. John Kasich says President Donald Trump needs to stop the staff chaos at the White House and "settle it down"
3:56PM ( 6 hours ago )
US military leaders await Trump decision on Afghan mission
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan signals the U.S. military expects its mission to continue
3:55PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Venezuela congress defies push to take over its powers
Venezuela's congress is meeting in defiance of what opposition leaders consider an autocratic push by allies of President Nicolas Maduro to usurp the legislature's powers
2:06PM ( 1 day ago )
California lawmakers to tackle housing crisis, immigration
California lawmakers return Monday from a monthlong break with a busy agenda that includes tackling the state's housing crisis and deciding whether to make California a statewide sanctuary for people living illegally in the U.S
11:57AM ( 1 day ago )
The past is still present in a changing Virginia
How Virginia chooses to remember its past is a highly combustible issue, as shown by the deadly violence that erupted last weekend over plans to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee.
11:48AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Congress News
FDA OKs Pfizer drug for rare, fast-killing type of leukemia
FDA approves new medicine for use against a rare, rapidly progressing blood cancer after other treatments have failed
5:35PM ( 3 days ago )
Lawsuit: Birth control for sentencing breaks violated rights
A federal lawsuit claims a Tennessee sheriff and judge violated the constitutional rights of inmates by reducing their jail time if they underwent free birth control procedures
5:04PM ( 3 days ago )
July ranks 2nd for heat globally, hottest recorded on land
US government scientists calculate that Earth broiled last month to more record-like heat, calling it part of man-made global warming
2:39PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Health
Kenseth puts on brave face as he's being shown the door
Erik Jones and Matt Kenseth had to race each other hard at Bristol in a battle that had awkward undertones
4:43PM ( 5 hours ago )
Incentives offered for new agents at remote border crossings
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is offering hiring bonuses and job security to people willing to work at some of the nation's most remote border crossings with Canada and Mexico
1:01PM ( 9 hours ago )
America still in turmoil a year after Kaepernick's protest
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest is still causing debate in and around the NFL a year later as the embattled quarterback looks for a chance to play again
12:08PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Business
Eclipse eve: Millions converge across US to see sun go dark
Millions of eclipse watchers are converging on a narrow corridor stretching from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon blot out the sun Monday
9:55PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Jerry Lewis, comedy icon and telethon host dies, at 91
Jerry Lewis, the rubber-faced comedian and director whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, died Sunday at 91 in Las Vegas
9:16PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Child flown for care after incident on Lake Burton
Preliminary details are emerging about a medical emergency involving a child on Lake Burton Sunday afternoon.
9:12PM ( 59 minutes ago )
State representative to introduce legislation creating a commission on historic monuments in Ga.
​State Representative Vernon Jones (D-Lithonia) plans to introduce legislation that would create a state commission on historic monuments during the 2018 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly.
By AccessWDUN staff
9:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
Riverside assistant band director recognized by national group
Michael Rossi, Assistant Band Director at Riverside Military Academy, was recently selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by the National Society of High School Scholars.
By AccessWDUN staff
3:00PM ( 7 hours ago )