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{UAH} The Latest: Senate blocks proposal to repeal 'Obamacare'



sWASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the effort by congressional Republicans to pass a health care bill (all times local):

10 p.m.

The Senate has blocked a wide-ranging proposal by Republicans to repeal much of former President Barack Obama's health care law and replace it with a more restrictive plan.

Senators voted 57-43 late Tuesday to reject the plan in the first vote on an amendment to the bill. Those voting "no" included nine defecting Republicans.

The vote underscored problems Republicans will have in winning enough votes to recast Obama's statute.

The rejected proposal included language by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell erasing the Obama law's tax penalties on people not buying insurance and cutting Medicaid.

Language by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz would let insurers sell cut-rate policies with skimpy coverage. And there was an additional $100 billion to help states ease costs for people losing Medicaid sought by Midwestern moderates.


7 p.m.

U.S. Capitol Police say they arrested nearly 100 people during protests over legislation that would roll back much of former President Barack Obama's health care law.

Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said in a statement that officers responded twice to Senate visitor galleries and once to the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building on Tuesday afternoon.

She says 31 demonstrators in the visitor galleries were arrested charged with disrupting Congress after they refused to stop their "unlawful demonstration activities."

In the office building, 64 people were arrested and charged with crowding, obstructing or incommoding under District of Columbia code.

The demonstrations came as the Senate voted Tuesday to move forward with the Republicans' long-promised legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.


5:15 p.m.

Democrats say the Senate parliamentarian has found additional parts of the Republican health care bill that Democrats can block because they violate Senate rules.

One provision would let insurers charge older people premiums at least five times greater than what younger customers pay. Republicans are trying to repeal much of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, which limits that ratio to 3-1.

Another provision would let small businesses combine to form so-called association health plans that could be sold across state lines.

The parliamentarian said last week that other language also broke the rules, including blocking federal money to Planned Parenthood.

Republicans said the ruling was advisory and they'd try adjusting the language.

Provisions breaking rules need 60 votes to pass, more than the GOP has.


3:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is praising the Senate for moving forward on health care repeal.

He says a vote Tuesday to take up the Republican health care bill "was a big step."

Trump is speaking at a joint press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (sahd hah-REER'-ee).

Trump is also thanking Arizona Sen. John McCain, who returned to Washington his brain cancer diagnosis, to cast a vote.

Trump adds that he wants "to congratulate the American people" because better health care is on the way.


3:10 p.m.

The Senate has voted to move ahead on health care legislation aimed at dismantling the Obama health law.

The vote was 51-50 on Tuesday, a victory for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump. Last week, McConnell was forced to postpone the vote, lacking the support of conservatives and moderates.

Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote.

In a dramatic turn, Sen. John McCain returned from Arizona where he is battling brain cancer to cast a crucial vote on proceeding on health care.

The vote sets up days of debate and votes on repealing and replacing Barack Obama's health care law. Whatever the Senate approves still requires a vote in the House.


2:35 p.m.

Protesters temporarily disrupted the Senate proceedings on the health care bill.

Shouting "Kill the bill" and "shame," the demonstrators stood in the visitors' gallery and chanted. They were led out of the chamber by police but could still be heard.

The vote got underway on moving head on health care with the goal of erasing much of Barack Obama's law. The Senate chamber was packed, with lawmakers standing to cast their votes.


2:30 p.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is urging his colleagues to move ahead on health care legislation with the goal of erasing much of the Obama health law.

McConnell told senators seated in the Senate chamber: "We cannot let this moment slip by." He made the remarks ahead of a make-or-break vote to take up the bill. The Kentucky Republican said many GOP senators waited for years for the opportunity to scuttle the 2010 law.

Democratic leader Chuck Schumer urged lawmakers to reject it, saying, "Turn back now before it's too late."

A vote to move ahead would set up days of debate and votes. Republicans have promised for seven years to repeal and replace the law.

As McConnell set up the vote, protests erupted, chanting, "Kill the bill

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