GOP effort to repeal Obamacare without replacement fails; Trump calls losing vote "impressive"

After three Senate Republicans opposed the repeal-only proposal, Trump asked to "let Obamacare fail"

Published July 18, 2017 5:11PM (EDT)

 (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)
(Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

In yet another major legislative failure for the GOP, at least three Senate Republicans have publicly opposed the party's most recent plan to repeal "major parts" of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, dooming the chance that the bill could pass in the Senate. President Donald Trump reacted by suggesting Republicans should "let Obamacare fail," and said that even a losing vote of only 48 yeas is a "pretty impressive vote by any standard," according to multiple news reports.

Sens. Susan Collins, R.-Maine, Shelley Moore Capito, R.-W.Va., and Lisa Murkowski, R.-Alaska, all opposed the measure. As the Republicans only hold 52 senate seats, the nays from those 4 were enough to doom the chance for repeal.

"I did not come to Washington to hurt people," Capito said in a statement, according to the New York Times. "I cannot vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns and the needs of West Virginians."

The president has now set up his party to allow the "failure" of Obamacare to take place. "Let Obamacare fail, it will be a lot easier. And I think we're probably in that position where we'll just let Obamacare fail," Trump said on Tuesday, according to Axios. "We're not going to own it. I'm not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We'll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us."

Trump did express some anger that the Senate couldn't pass a repeal and replace measure. "For 7 years I've been hearing repeal and replace. . . and when we finally get a chance to repeal and replace, we can't," he said, as Axios reported. "We are winning the war on the border, we're decimating ISIS... we've had a lot of victories but we haven't had a victory on health care. I'm very disappointed." Trump added that everyone needs to "come together and fix it."

Trump also took the opportunity to bash the Democrats for having "no ideas," as Axios reported. "They have no thought process. All they want to do is obstruct government and obstruct period." Notably, not a single Republican voted for the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

Trying to spin the loss as a win, the president said that getting more than 48 votes was "pretty tough."

By Charlie May

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Better Care Act Gop Health Care Obamacare Repeal-and-replace President Donald Trump Republican Senate