Conservatives Chide Senate for Failing to Pass Health Care Repeal

Senate Republicans' effort to pass a health care repeal bill came up short Wednesday.

After Democrats allowed a floor vote, Republicans failed to generate the votes needed to pass the repeal bill for the Affordable Care Act.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) led the effort for a Senate floor vote by submitting the repeal as an amendment to the currently pending Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill.

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Democrats were anxious to pass the FAA bill as part of its agenda to create more jobs.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) allowed the revised FAA bill with the repeal inside to be voted upon despite a signed letter from Democrats pledging to block the vote from happening.

"Republicans obviously want to do something on health care," Reid remarked. "We want to get this out of their system very quickly."

The Senate vote came down 51-47 against the repeal. All of the GOP senators voted for the repeal. The sole independent senator Joe Lieberman (Conn.) voted against the repeal.

Despite the failed effort to pass the repeal, Republicans are adamant that the repeal bill is not a symbolic measure.

McConnell noted in a video that he and other GOP senators have fulfilled their campaign promises to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Still, he states, "This fight isn't over. We intend to continue the fight to repeal and replace ObamaCare with sensible reforms that would lower the cost of American health care."

President Barack Obama has expressed willingness to revise the reform bill passed last year.

Democrats in the Senate and House have already begun efforts to make good on the president's statement. Senate Democrats joined with Republicans, 81 to 17, to remove a provision in the health care reform requiring corporations and businesses to file a 1099 tax form when they pay a vendor more than $600 in a year. The House has already approved a similar bill, and Obama has indicated that he will sign the tax-change measure when it reaches his desk.

The provision was intended to reduce tax evasion and generate $19 billion. Businesses, however, called it burdensome. Now both parties have agreed to replace the provision with unspecified spending cuts.

The president also said during last month's State of the Union address that he will consider legislation to crack down on medical malpractice lawsuit abuse. GOP member have long championed that issue as critical to reducing health care cost.

However, the president refuses to budge when it comes to repealing the entire reform bill.

Conservatives lamented the outcome of Wednesday's failed vote. Pro-life advocates are concerned that the law contains loopholes that could be used to put tax dollars into the hands of abortion providers.

"We call on the Senate to put aside partisan differences and overturn this law that funds abortion with taxpayer dollars and puts bureaucrats between patients and their doctors," said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins in a statement Wednesday.

The Family Research Council pointed to a Quinnipiac University poll released last year that found that 67 percent of respondents opposed government funding of abortion as part of health care reform.

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