Republicans Open Senate Health Care Debate, Falter On First Attempt

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — After a key health care vote, Senate Republicans have officially begun the debate process on a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. President Donald Trump has been pushing Republicans, but it took a tie-breaking vote from the vice president and the return of Arizona Sen. John McCain to get it done.

Some local seniors aren’t happy about a debate to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, worried the medical coverage they rely on would be on the chopping block.

At his sixth rally since taking office, President Trump congratulated Senate Republicans on starting the process to overhaul health care.

“We’re now one step closer to liberating our citizens from this Obamacare nightmare,” said President Trump.

Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote, allowing the Senate to begin debate. Battling brain cancer, Sen. McCain traveled back to Washington to vote ‘yes,’ and to pressure his colleagues to work together.

“We’ve been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the aisle,” McCain (R-Arizona).

As key Republicans moved forward, protesters pushed back on the steps of the Capitol and here in the Central Valley. More than 100 people- mostly seniors- gathered in front of Rep. Tom McClintock’s Roseville office, urging him to not vote for cuts to programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Demonstrator Diana Madoshi said, “These programs are American institutions, and they should not be stopped.”

Some Republicans on Capitol Hill agree, asking for provisions to the proposal.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) said, “I think we need to protect traditional Medicaid and Medicaid expansion, continuing the enrollment of that, I think puts that at risk.

A broad plan to repeal much of Obamacare and replace it already failed to get the required 60 votes Tuesday night.

The Senate will return Wednesday morning to continue debates and consideration of amendments to the health care bill, which depending on the final version, could cause 20 to 30 million people over the next decade to lose their insurance.

More from Angela Greenwood
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