Two more Republicans defect from Trumpcare bill, effectively killing vote

July 17, 2017, 9:38pm

The GOP’s attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare is dead, at least for now.

Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas announced their opposition to the healthcare bill dubbed “Trumpcare” together Monday evening, effectively blocking the legislation in its current form.

Lee and Moran made their opposition to the controversial legislation public on Twitter Monday night, retweeting each other and issuing separate statements addressing their concerns.

“There are serious problems with Obamacare, and my goal remains what it has been for a long time: to repeal and replace it,” Moran said in his statement posted to Twitter. “This closed-door process has yielded the BCRA, which fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address healthcare’s rising costs. For the same reasons I could not support the previous version of this bill, I cannot support this one.”

Lee, who said last week he needed more time to study the legislation to ensure “it does enough to lower health insurance premiums for middle class families,” also criticized the bill for failing to repeal Obamacare.

“After conferring with trusted experts regarding the latest version of the Consumer Freedom Amendment, I have decided I cannot support the current version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act,” Lee said. “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”

Lee and Moran join other Republican senators, including Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, who have formally opposed the bill.

Concerns about a stalled process were already rampant after it was announced that Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona had undergone surgery for a blood clot removal, requiring the 80-year-old senator to take time off to recover.