LIVE: Senate votes on repealing Obamacare without a replacement

Mitch McConnell, accompanied by Senator John Cornyn and Senator John BarrassoSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, accompanied by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), speaks with reporters following the successful vote to open debate on a health care bill on Capitol Hill.Reuters

Senate Republicans continue their debate on their efforts to reshape the US healthcare system, with the focus shifting to a straight repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

The discussion has so far yielded one defeat after a vote on the latest version of a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare failed. The amended version of what’s called the Better Care Reconciliation Act failed 57-43, as nine Republican senators joined all Democrats in opposing it. It needed 60 votes to advance.

The debate began earlier Tuesday, and the Senate has 20 hours of legislative time to debate, time that’s split equally between Democrats and Republicans, and some of which was used on Tuesday.

Among the other options likely to be floated Wednesday are the Senate’s plan to strictly repeal Obamacare. There’s also the chance of a “skinny repeal” bill, which would repeal certain aspects of the ACA and, if passed, lead to the House and Senate working together to compromise on one final bill.

We’ll be updating this post as the debate continues.

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