With Margin of One, Senate Votes to Debate Legislation to Replace Obamacare

Pence breaks ties as after all 48 Senate Democrats, and two Senate Republicans, vote against GOP proposal

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
ERIC THAYER/REUTERS

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday, by a margin of one vote, to begin holding a debate over possible legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with a new health care plan. The vote passed 51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote after all 48 Senate Democrats, and two Senate Republicans - Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - voted against the Republican proposal.

President Donald Trump said in a statement: "Senate must now pass a bill and get it to my desk so we can finally end the Obamacare disaster once and for all."

The vote means that the Senate will now begin a debate over repealing and possibly also replacing the ACA, yet as of Tuesday, Republicans are far of having a healthcare plan that will receive enough support in both houses of Congress.

A plan which was approved by the House of Representatives in May doesn't have the support of 50 Republicans in the Senate, and alternative plans offered by Republican Senators could run into opposition in the House.