Senate takes first step toward repeal of Obamacare

Senate takes first step toward repeal of Obamacare

The Senate tradition is called “vote-a-rama” — hours and hours of voting on amendment after amendment to a non-binding budget resolution.

At about 1:30 a.m. Republicans achieved what they had set out to do. By a final vote of 51-48, the Senate approved a measure which calls for eliminating key elements of the Affordable Care Act in a manner not subject to a Democratic filibuster.

Best guess is the Senate is still several weeks away from repealing Obamacare — and Democrats went into Wednesday night with a messaging plan. Use vote-a-rama to get Republicans on the record about what may come next.

“We’re going to figure out what parts of the Affordable Care Act they’re going to preserve and what parts they’re going to throw out,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. “We’re going to use votes tonight to try to divine what this secret replacement plan is.”

To that, Senate Republicans said … whatever. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dismissed the Democrats’ effort as a “totally meaningless exercise.”

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