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>> But Republicans believe we have a responsibility to act, and we are.>> The Senate health care bill out for less than 24 hours and already in deep trouble, after a quartet of conservative senators came out against it, sending Republican leaders scrambling to head off any further defections.
>> I want to repeal Obamacare.>> I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where the Senate Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare is facing an uncertain fate after four conservative senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson came out against it, at least in its current form.
That means Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't have enough votes to get it passed and he could be facing more defections from his party in the days to come. McConnell had been hoping for a vote next week. But instead, it looks like he's going to be refereeing a tug of war between the conservative and moderate wings of his party, as he tries to keep the health plan alive.
>> We will proceed with a robust debate.>> McConnell releasing the bill after several weeks of closed-door negotiations, angering lawmakers who feel like they've been left out of the loop. The four conservatives saying the bill leaves far too much of former President Barack Obama's law intact.>> We've got to do it, but we also got to get it right.
>> They're pushing to lower costs further by providing fewer benefits. But the changes they are seeking could alienate moderates, like Susan Collins of Maine, who says she's concerned the Senate bill is too harsh on the poor and cuts Medicaid too much.>> Meaner, can you read it?>> With Democrats dead-set against it, McConnell can only afford to lose 2 of his 52 Republicans to push it through, which means he'll have to win back at least two of the four now standing against it.
That's assuming more senators don't peel off. Dean Heller of Nevada, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Rob Portman of Ohio among those saying they are not sure at this point. McConnell, at least has the support of President Trump, who said on Twitter that he is quote, supportive of the bill and looks forward to making it really special.
Trump previously bashing the House version is mean after pushing for its passage. Nonpartisan scorekeepers found that the House version would cause 23 million Americans to lose their health coverage. Expect a similar result when they analyze the Senate version of the bill next week. Millions of Americans losing their coverage, that leads to more bad headlines.
Senate Republicans are following through on their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, but they could pay a heavy price whether they succeed or fail.