What's Next: Health Care 'Vote-a-Rama' and the End Game

Some Republican senators had been concerned that the House would simply pass McConnell's "skinny bill" and send it to Trump. "It's time to move on". More debating. Senate leaders are expected to have 20 hours debate before a final vote.

"Watch!" President Donald Trump tweeted early Friday, soon after the Senate narrowly rejected the latest push to dismantle the Obama-era health care law.

"Whatever can get 50 votes will pass, then we will go to conference and the real negotiations begin", said Sen.

Schumer lavished praise on the three Republican defectors who joined Democrats to tank the GOP bill-Sens.

Lobbyists said Republicans were also planning to include a one-year ban on federal payments to Planned Parenthood, extra money for community health centers and waivers for states to permit insurers to sell policies with far narrower coverage than current law allows. Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ) and Lisa Murkowksi (R-AK)-lauding McCain as a man who "speaks truth to power" and noting of Collins and Murkowski, "women are in so many instances stronger than men" and "brag less about it".

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As the Senate dug in for what promised to be a rare all-night session to debate amendments, a consensus was emerging among Republicans that the skinny bill would be used as a mechanism to keep working on an Obamacare replacement and not an end in itself.

In remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that "we just heard from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that under such a plan ..." "I would say to my dear friend, the majority leader, we are not celebrating". "If we didn't proceed to a bill, the process would have ended - and the mess that is Obamacare would have remained in place", he said. "This effort will continue".

After campaigning for years on repealing Obamacare, Senator John McCain was one of the deciding votes to shoot down an amendment that would have gutted it. He reached across the aisle to fix the country's health care system for veterans with independent Sen.

"If moving forward requires a conference committee, that is something the House is willing to do", Ryan said.

Among the taxes that would have been affected are the "individual mandate", a requirement that individuals buy insurance or face a tax penalty; the "employer mandate", a requirement that businesses with more than 50 employees provide insurance; and the "Cadillac tax", which taxes expensive health insurance plans. It would've also temporarily repealed the medical device tax, CNN reported.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan, in a statement earlier on Thursday, expressed his willingness to negotiate with the Senate on drafting a bill that could be signed by Trump, reports Efe news.

Republicans had a little bill with big impacts. Without establishing mechanisms to regulate insurance markets, the measure would have upended the health care system, prompting the hospital and insurance industries to protest that the law would be unworkable. But shortly afterwards, his words received varied responses from three GOP senators who had insisted on a clear commitment from Mr Ryan.

"Not sufficient", McCain said. The 80-year-old Arizona senator made a dramatic return to the Capitol Tuesday after being diagnosed with brain cancer to cast a decisive procedural vote that for a time had advanced the legislation.

In a statement regarding his "no" vote, McCain criticized the bill for how quickly it was pushed through the Senate.

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