Republican efforts repeal Obamacare despite the failure of their replacement healthcare reform plan likewise collapsed late yesterday, after a trio of moderate GOPers said they wouldn’t support the measure.
Following the Trumpcare flameout yesterday, majority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced a vote on a straight repeal of Obamacare to take effect in two years, planning a vote “early next week.”
But Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) quickly announced they would not back repeal, all but spelling doom for the repeal-without-replacement move given McConnell’s razor-thin margin – with a 52-member majority he must win over at least 50 senators to win – and Democrats’ implacable opposition to cutting away or killing Obamacare.
“To repeal there has to be a replacement. There’s enough chaos already, and this would just contribute to it,” Murkowski told reporters late yesterday.
“I do not think that it’s going to be constructive to repeal a law that at this point is so interwoven within our healthcare system and then hope that over the next two years we will come up with some kind of replacement,” Collins added.
Legislators are not the only ones opposed to the Trumpcare proposals. The latest version is manifestly unpopular even in counties that went for the president during the election. In contrast, Obamacare’s popularity is growing. A Washington Post-ABC News poll this week showed that Americans preferred it over the Republican alternative by a 2-1 margin.
The disarray in the Republican-controlled Senate rattled financial markets, casting doubt on investors’ hopes for industry-friendly tax reform and infrastructure bills.
The U.S. dollar stumbled to a 10-month low against a basket of currencies and U.S. Treasury yields fell after the fresh setback to the healthcare bill raised investors’ doubts about Trump’s ability to enact tax cuts and infrastructure spending. Reaction in the stock market was muted, and analysts said the expectation for business-friendly legislation out of Washington is all but priced out of the stock market.
“The healthcare hurdle pushes everything in Trump’s agenda to 2018,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.
Material from Reuters was used in this report.