Defeat indicates uphill battle Republicans face rolling back Obama's health care law, replacing it with plan of their own
Just hours after clearing a procedural hurdle, the Senate Republican plan to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul failed to garner enough support in the chamber.
The 43-57 vote on the wide-ranging amendment fell far short of the 60 votes Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needed to approve his plan to repeal and replace "Obamacare".
The late Tuesday evening vote that saw nine Republicans join all Democrats and Independents in opposition, demonstrates just how much of an uphill battle McConnell and Republicans face in rolling back the health care law and replacing it with a plan of their own.
It would have made deep cuts to Medicaid, the government program to provide health care to the poor, allowed insurers to sell plans with limited coverage at lower prices and provided $100 billion to states whose citizens would have lost Medicaid coverage.
Earlier Tuesday, the bill cleared a 50-vote threshold to reach debate by just one vote -- cast by Vice President Mike Pence, who used his tie-breaking Senate power to shepherd the legislation along.
At the time, Senator John McCain, who ultimately voted to advance the bill, chided his leadership for crafting it behind closed doors and cast doubt on its future, saying its failure "seems likely".
“Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio, TV and internet. To hell with them!” said McCain after flying to Washington on the heels of a brain cancer diagnosis and major surgery to cast his vote.