US Senate Republicans have set up a straight repeal vote on Obamacare following failed efforts to replace the healthcare law.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he would schedule a vote in coming days on a two-year transition to simply repealing the 2010 healthcare law with no replacement.
“We will now try a different way to bring the American people relief from Obamacare,” McConnell said.
The development came after two Republican senators said they would not back the latest Obamacare rollback bill.
President Donald Trump, who had made replacing Obamacare a pillar of his campaign, said after the new defections that Republicans should focus on repealing for now.
“Republicans should just REPEAL failing Obamacare now and work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate,” he tweeted. “Dems will join in.”
This is yet another embarrassing failure for Republicans, who saw President Trump’s election victory as an opportunity to deliver on their decade-long campaign promise to introduce a new healthcare system.
Trump urged an outright repeal, even as other Republicans sought a shift toward bipartisanship with Democrats. The setback sent the US dollar to a 10-month low against a basket of major currencies as investors worried about the impact on other administration reform efforts.
The new Republican president has on many occasions sought to influence lawmakers’ conversations about the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Obamacare was designed to increase health insurance quality and affordability, lower the uninsured rate by expanding insurance coverage and reduce the costs of healthcare.