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Republican Obamacare repeal bill fails in US Senate

The latest attempt to repeal the Obama-era healthcare act has failed after Republican leaders decided to vote on the 'skinny bill' after failing to reach consensus on a more comprehensive measure

28 July 2017, 8:27am
President Donald Trump said the three had
President Donald Trump said the three had "let the American people down"
US Senate Republicans failed early on Friday to overturn the healthcare law known as Obamacare.

At least three Republicans - John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski - voted against the bill, which needed a simple majority to pass.

The debate began just before 1:30am local time (6:30 CET) on Friday morning, ending with a 49-to-51 vote, killing the bill.

Republican leaders had decided to vote on a pared-down proposal to repeal portions of Obamacare known as the "skinny bill" after failing to reach consensus on a more comprehensive measure after the US House of Representatives approved their bill in May.

President Donald Trump said the three had "let the American people down".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, described the result as a "disappointing moment".

Despite controlling the Senate, the House and the White House, Republicans have struggled for months with repealing Obamacare, a complex law approved by Democrats in 2010 under former President Barack Obama that provided health insurance to millions of previously uninsured Americans.

The skinny repeal would have scaled back some of the more controversial provisions, but would have resulted in 16 million people losing their health insurance by 2026, with insurance premiums increasing by 20%, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

It is the third failed attempt to repeal Obamacare.