GOP’s blame-a-thon on over health care
WASHINGTON — The resounding Senate crash of the seven-year Republican drive to scrap President Barack Obama’s health care law incited GOP finger-pointing Friday but left the party with wounded leaders and no evident pathway forward on an issue that won’t go away.
In an astonishing cliffhanger, the GOP-run Senate voted 51-49 to reject Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s last-ditch attempt to sustain the drive to dismantle Obama’s health care overhaul with a starkly trimmed-down bill. The vote, which concluded shortly before 2 a.m. EDT, was a blistering defeat for President Donald Trump and McConnell, R-Ky., who’ve made uprooting the statute a top priority.
“They should have approved health care last night,” Trump said Friday during a speech in Brentwood, N.Y. “But you can’t have everything,” he added, seemingly shrugging off one of his biggest legislative setbacks.
Trump reiterated his threat to “let Obamacare implode,” an outcome he could hasten by steps like halting federal payments to help insurers reduce out-of-pocket costs for lowerearning consumers.
Senate Democrats were joined in opposition by three Republicans — Maine’s Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Arizona’s John McCain. The 80-year-old McCain, just diagnosed with brain cancer, had returned to the Capitol three days earlier to provide a vote that temporarily kept the measure alive, only to deliver the coup de grace Friday.