With McCain "No" Vote, Trump and McConnell Fail to Kill Obamacare

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Senator McCain cast the knockout vote. Photo. Flickr/Donq Question

The GOP attempt to kill Obamacare failed early Friday when the U.S. Senate voted 51-49 against a scaled down repeal version that would have eliminated: employer mandate to purchase healthcare; individual mandate; and, taxes on medical devices, which currently funds a significant portion of the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans who broke ranks with the party and dealt another humbling defeat to President Donald Trump and his pointman Mitch McConnell were senators John McCain, of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine. Trump's arm-twisting Senator Murkowski also didn't work. On Tuesday after she voted against the procedural measure to advance the bill to the floor Trump tweeted:

"Senator @lisamurkowski of the Great State of Alaska really let the Republicans, and our country, down yesterday. Too bad!"

It's unclear what GOP leaders plan next. An all-GOP plan may now be dead.

The White House itself is embroiled in several tumultuous issues that even by this erratic president's standards will test the Republicans ability to advance any significant program.

Anthony Scaramucci, Trump's new White House communications director sparked a crisis with a Tweet Wednesday that suggested he believed White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was involved in several leaks to the media. He followed it up with a conversation with a reporter published in The New Yorker in which he used repeated explosives to describe Priebus whom he said was "paranoid."

Separately, Trump is facing pushback from Republicans against his attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his possible plan to fire him. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also believed to be considering an exit.

Trump, McConnell and GOP leaders are so desperate and rattled by the president's inability to govern that they were even willing to simply repeal Obamacare without a replacement thereby depriving millions of Americans healthcare coverage.

Never in recent memory has there been a U.S. president who moves from one major crises to another, mostly of his own making, at such a rapid pace as does Trump.

Without addressing healthcare it's difficult to see how the inexperienced president will command the kind of Congressional support he would need to deal with tax reform, the next big item on his agenda, without support from Democrats.

During his campaign for the White House Trump claimed he would provide "affordable healthcare for everybody" without offering a plan. The most recent GOP plan crafted by Senator McConnell and his colleagues has a 17% public approval rating, which is also just less than half of Trump's own poll numbers.

The GOP's proposed healthcare plan was crafted in secret without public debate or comment or involvement of Democratic lawmakers, all of whom voted against a repeal.

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