The Senate Just Took a Big Step Toward Repealing Obamacare

Republicans narrowly won a vote to begin debating health care.

Ron Sachs/Zuma

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Senate Republicans on Tuesday narrowly voted to proceed with a debate on their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. In recent days, a number of GOP senators made bold promises not to support moving forward until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) provided more clarity on what exactly would be in the bill, but in the end just two Republicans ultimately opposed the motion to proceed: Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). That left the chamber deadlocked at 50-50, but Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote in McConnell’s favor.

As the vote opened, protesters in the Senate gallery erupted into chants against the legislation.

The vote was to open debate on the bill that the House passed earlier this year; now the Senate will begin to discuss—and vote on—amendments to modify and replace that bill. There are a variety of ideas still on the table—Repeal and replace! Repeal and delay! A skinny bill!—that have all one key thing in common: They’d leave many millions without health insurance, and increase costs for many people buying insurance on the individual market.  It’s still entirely unclear whether any of those replacement bills have enough support to secure a majority when the final vote rolls around, likely sometime on Thursday.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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