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McConnell Declares Health Care Bill Dead, Calls for Full Obamacare Repeal as Trump Says to Work With Dems

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) / Getty Images
• July 18, 2017 6:09 am

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) has called for a full repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay rather than an immediate repeal and replace plan, following major defections from Republican senators on the proposed replacement bill.

Republican Sens. Mike Lee (Utah) and Jerry Moran (Kan.) came out against the Senate GOP bill on Monday night, bringing it below the 50-vote threshold needed for passage. Later, President Donald Trump tweeted that Republicans should repeal Obamacare and work with Democrats to craft a new plan.

McConnell then released his statement withdrawing support from the Senate bill.

"Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful," McConnell said in a statement Monday.

"In the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period," the statement read.

Trump had already tweeted that Republicans should repeal Obamacare and work from "a clean slate" with Democrats.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/887134287350439936

Thirty-one minutes after Trump's tweet, McConnell made his announcement.

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R., S.C.) also spoke out about the failure of the Senate bill, saying that "it's time for a new approach" to repealing and replacing Obamacare.

"Graham-Cassidy is the conservative approach to solving the problems Obamacare created," Graham said on Twitter, linking to his own replacement plan shaped with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R., La.).