If that fails, Republicans will attempt to vote on amendments that will eliminate elements of Obamacare that are more likely to receive 50 votes - a strategy that involves a partial repeal with no replacement.
Senate Republicans have proposed and wrangled over several versions of health care bills this week in a last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act. However, the GOP was not able to reach that lowered threshold, with seven Republican senators voting against it.
Despite multiple failures and potentially devastating assessments by the CBO, President Donald Trump has pushed his Republican allies to put together a bill he can sign.
Nine Republicans crossed party lines and voted against it.
All Senate Democrats, along with Collins and Murkowski, voted against the motion to begin debate.
Analysts believe that the "skinny repeal" proposal, which only would strike the most disliked parts of the ACA but keep the rest intact, has the best chance of passing the Senate. "I believe now we will, over the next week or two, come up with a plan that's going to be really, really wonderful for the American people". Two Republican senators, both women-Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska-joined Democrats in voting against the motion to proceed. The analysis found that the number of uninsured people would increase by 15 million next year compared with current law, and Democrats said they were told that premiums would be roughly 20 percent higher.
The Senate Republican health care push is back.
The President has called Obamacare a "nightmare", and has spent the last week cajoling and seemingly even threatening senators to support his party's healthcare bill.
Conference members would merge the legislation with the more-comprehensive House-passed American Health Care Act, which the Congressional Budget Office found would leave 23 million Americans without health coverage.
Democrats argue that Obamacare brought coverage to millions of uninsured US residents, and analysis of various versions of the Republican proposal would put the number of people left uninsured at north of 20 million.
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