A Senate vote on a slimmed-down bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, failed in the early hours of Friday after a debate that dragged through the night. The final tally was 49 voting for and 51 against, with Sen. John McCain (R. Ariz.), who recently underwent surgery that revealed a brain tumor, among the "no's." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky) had pitched the so-called "skinny repeal bill" in recent days, and GOP leaders said passing it was the only option they had after abandoning hope for a bill that would repeal and replace the health care law simultaneously. McConnell introduced the text of the plan just before 10 p.m. Eastern Time Thursday, following talks with House Republican leaders. Speaking on the Senate floor after the vote, McConnell described the outcome as a "disappointment." Of those who voted against, he said it will be "interesting to see what they had in mind ... the government take over everything, European health care? Maybe that's what they want to happen." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) expressed relief at the vote, saying millions will now retain their healthcare. "We are relieved. Not for ourselves, but for the American people," he said, speaking from the Senate floor.
Copyright © 2017 MarketWatch, Inc.
Continue Reading Below