Health and Science

Obamacare repeal bill will head to vote in Senate next week, GOP leader says

Key Points
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says a vote on the latest effort to repeal and replace major parts of Obamacare will be voted by the end of next week.
  • Earlier, McConnell met with co-sponsor Lindsay Graham, and after Graham met separately with Alaska's two senators, whose support would be crucial for the bill.
  • Republicans have struggled to get 50 out of their 52 senators to vote for the repeal bills to ensure passage.
Graham-Cassidy bill would use block grants based on state's enrollees

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to bring a last-ditch bill to repeal and replace big parts of Obamacare to a vote in the Senate next week, a spokesman for the Kentucky Republican said Wednesday.

"It is the leader's intention to consider Graham-Cassidy on the floor next week," McConnell's spokesman said.

But it remained unclear Wednesday whether McConnell has lined up enough Republicans in the Senate to pass the bill.

The statement came shortly after McConnell met with the bill's co-sponsor, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., and after Graham met separately with Alaska's two senators, whose support would be crucial for the bill to pass.


The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., sets up a block grant system to allot money to states. Many of them are expected to see less federal funding under the plan than they currently get.

The deadline for passage is Sept. 30, when authorization for a fast-track procedural tool known as reconciliation expires.

President Donald Trump tweeted his support for the bill earlier Wednesday, and criticized Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky for opposing it.



Republicans need 50 senators to vote for the bill to win passage, assuming a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. While the GOP has a majority of 52 seats in the Senate, party leaders have not been able to get more than 49 Republicans to vote for Obamacare repeal bills this year.

In July, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was one of three GOP senators to oppose a final version of a repeal bill, ensuring its defeat.

Murkowski has not said how she would vote on Graham-Cassidy. Neither has Dan Sullivan, a Republican who is the state's other senator.

The focus is also on Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., whose vote against the last GOP attempt to overhaul the health-care system killed the measure. McCain has not given a clear sense of where he stands this time.

Every Democrat and independent in the Senate is opposed to Obamacare repeal.

WATCH: Graham says repeal bill close to having enough votes to pass

Senator says Obamacare repeal bill close to enough votes to pass, but there's reason to be skeptical