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US healthcare reform collapses as two more Republicans oppose

Two more Republican senators have said they oppose their party's replacement for President Obama's health system, making it impossible for the bill to pass in its current form

18 July 2017, 8:01am
Republican senators Mike Lee and Jerry Moran announced their opposition to the Bill on Monday
Republican senators Mike Lee and Jerry Moran announced their opposition to the Bill on Monday
Two more US Republican senators announced their opposition on Monday to their party's efforts to revamp Obamacare, derailing the controversial legislation in its current form and potentially dealing a monumental setback to President Donald Trump.

Republicans Mike Lee and Jerry Moran said the new legislation does not go far enough in repealing the health legislation.

"We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy," Moran - who faced considerable opposition at home in Kansas to the measure - said in a statement, adding that the new bill "fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address health care's rising costs."

For Lee, "in addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn't go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations."

Republican leaders are desperate for a major legislative victory this year - and keen to fulfil Trump's campaign pledge to dismantle the 2010 health care reforms of his predecessor Barack Obama, formally called the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans have been divided on the issue, with moderates concerned about the effects on the most vulnerable.

Republicans control 52 of the chamber's 100 seats. Democrats are united against the controversial legislation, while Republicans Susan Collins and Rand Paul declared their opposition last week.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has determined that the various versions of Republican healthcare legislation would result in anywhere from 18 million to 23 million people losing their health insurance.

However, Republicans argue that Obamacare is a government over-reach and costs too much money.