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Senate Efforts to Undo PPACA Appear Doomed for Now

Neither replacing nor repealing the act have the votes they need

“Replace” seems to be out of the question at the moment, and things aren’t looking good for “repeal” either.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell set a vote on a straight repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act after efforts to overhaul the law collapsed, Reuters reports. But that new approach began to unravel within hours as two Republicans announced their opposition and others voiced doubts.

McConnell gave up on efforts to overhaul the 2010 act late Monday after it became clear he did not have the votes. Instead, he announced plans to vote in coming days on a two-year transition to simply repeal the healthcare law with no replacement.

"We will now try a different way to bring the American people relief from Obamacare," McConnell said Tuesday as he opened the Senate, where the Republicans hold a razor-thin 52-48 majority. "I think we owe them at least that much."

But Republican Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Susan Collins of Maine quickly announced they would not back repeal, and Rob Portman of Ohio told reporters he had concerns about the approach.

With Democrats united in opposition, Republicans can only afford to lose two votes to pass the measure in the Senate.

"I do not think that it’s going to be constructive to repeal a law that at this point is so interwoven within our healthcare system and then hope that over the next two years we will come up with some kind of replacement," Collins told reporters.

Source: Reuters; July 18, 2017.

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