Republican efforts to pass legislation to overhaul the Obama health law quickly collapsed on Tuesday, as more than enough GOP Senators signaled that they would not support a plan from Senate leaders to pass a plan to repeal large chunks of Obamacare, but not immediately approve any legislation to replace that health care system.
“We can’t just hope that we will pass a replacement within the next two years,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), one of three Republican women in the Senate who sank the backup plan from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“I will only vote to proceed to repeal legislation if I am confident there is a replacement plan that addresses my concerns,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
“I cannot vote to proceed to repeal the ACA without reform that allows people the choice they want,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
The irony of those three announcements was not lost on Capitol Hill, where Republicans had assembled a health care working group to put together a bill, which did not include one female GOP Senator.
At the White House, President Donald Trump expressed his disappointment with the events unfolding on Capitol Hill, mainly blaming Democrats for the problems inside the GOP.
“We’ve had a lot of victories, but we haven’t had a victory on health care,” the President told reporters at a White House photo op.
“We’re disappointed, I am very disappointed,” Mr. Trump added.
Mr. Trump and Republican Senators vowed to push ahead on health care, but it wasn’t immediately apparent how the GOP would save this legislative effort.
“I was hopeful that we would be moving to a vote this week,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). “But obviously, that’s not going to happen.”