House leader says willing to do conference committee on healthcare

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"I agree with President Trump that we should repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act at the same time".

He's hoping that by the time the Senate and House meet in conference, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office will have completed a financial impact assessment of his bill so that it would require just 50 votes under the rules of reconciliation, which require legislation to be budget-related.

US President Donald Trump secured an initial win on Tuesday as the Senate chose to begin a debate on the repeal and replacement of "Obamacare".

Nine Republicans came out against Tuesday night's amendment in the first of what is expected to be many versions of the bill headed to the Senate floor this week. During his presidential campaigns previous year, Trump had repeatedly promised to overhaul his predecessor Barack Obama's popular medical insurance aid. The failure crystalizes the new reality for Republicans: more than seven years after the enactment of Obamacare, there is growing recognition within the GOP that a straight repeal of the law is not viable. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would allow insurers to sell less expensive bare-bones plans alongside plans that comply with stricter Obamacare standards. In all, seven Senate Republicans - Collins, Heller, Murkowski, Alexander, Capito, McCain, and Portman - broke ranks and opposed the legislation, which garnered 55 "no" votes.

Now with a majority in Congress and a Republican president in the White House, the party has repeatedly failed to pass a repeal-and-replace bill despite it being their top priority in 2017.

A vote is expected Wednesday on a repeal bill that passed the Senate and the House two years ago but was vetoed by Obama. Rand Paul also has signaled the bill would have his support. These votes lead us to question Gardner's ability to judge what is best for Colorado over what is best for his primary election prospects. States would also have the ability to waive some Obamacare requirements for health plans.

That so-called vote-a-rama later this week could open the floodgates for all senators to introduce as many amendments as they want.

Do Republican Senate leaders have an endgame?

So now they seem to be rallying the troops around what's being referred to as a "skinny repeal". Lawmakers from both parties stood up and applauded him as he entered the chamber less than a fortnight after his brain surgery.

So far, however, Republican leaders have yet to secure enough support to approve even the scaled-down bid to make good on their election campaign promises to repeal and replace the law.

Many analysts speculate that the Senate will try to pass a "skinny repeal" bill that would repeal Obamacare's individual and employer mandate, as well as the Affordable Care Act's medical device tax.

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