Police remove protesters in wheelchairs from Senate hearing on Obamacare

Republicans were at least one vote short in their effort to repeal Obama's signature policy and were running out of time to force the bill through this week before a key procedural deadline.

McConnell, for his part, took the Senate floor to once again assail Obamacare on Monday and compliment Graham and co-sponsor Sen. Many reporters, too, were turned away - the better to avoid scrutiny. But the attempt at concealment backfired. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, according to the Associated Press. (Even those who get insurance through their employer may lose protection for preexisting conditions.) However, the bill's authors could not even explain its fundamental provisions, provide credible numbers or wait for a proper scoring. "That's why they keep saying Obamacare is a 'disaster.' You hear that a lot".

"Look, we haven't given up on changing the American healthcare system, we're not going to do that this week", McConnell said.

When it comes to the benefits of the Graham-Cassidy bill, 25% of respondents said it would hurt them; just seven percent think the newly proposed health bill will help them.

Trump's comments came shortly before Republican senators were set to begin a lunch where they are expected to decide whether to proceed with a vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill, despite expectations it would fail.

The health care overhaul, touted by Cassidy and Graham as the Republicans' last viable shot at fulfilling pledges to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, is centered around repackaging billions of dollars in federal funding for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and individual insurance subsidies into flexible block grants for states.

Republicans could only lose two senators for the bill to pass through the budget process of reconciliation, which allows for a majority vote instead of the 60-vote threshold ordinarily needed to end a filibuster.

President Trump said Tuesday he had asked members of Congress from both parties to "discuss our framework for tax cuts and tax reform before it will be released tomorrow". "But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign". "The votes we were lacking were actually more about process than substance".

The ability to use the fiscal year 2017 budget reconciliation option for an Obamacare repeal bill will expire on Saturday. Then "skinny repeal" failed. Democrats repeatedly denounced the rushed, secretive process for developing legislation to radically reshape the healthcare system, while Republicans insisted the bill would improve the system by giving more power and flexibility to the states. Back in the spring, Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.).

Now he's doing it. Standing next to Washington state Democratic Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and a skeptical Sen.

His comments came minutes before Maine Republican Susan Collins declared her firm opposition to the legislation, seemingly providing a deathblow to the effort.

Trump insisted in a tweet: "I would not sign Graham-Cassidy if it did not include coverage of pre-existing conditions".

On Monday afternoon, Republicans reaped the chaos they sowed.

The Medicaid cuts were one of the reasons Collins objected to the bill. "Shame!" As cops strapped demonstrators to chairs and pushed them to elevators, protesters (181 of whom were arrested) screamed: "Kill the bill!"

He said he ran into Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) proclaimed that "nobody has to buy a lemon just because it's the last vehicle on the lot". "This is not easy for him", the chairman said.

  • Jon Douglas