GOP’s blame-a-thon on over health care

The Maui News - - TODAY’S PEOPLE - The As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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