WASHINGTON (AP) - Where the Senate Republican effort to demolish the Obama health care law ends up is anyone's guess. But early indications are the GOP will have a hard time replacing that statute with any sweeping changes.
Senators planned to vote Wednesday on a Republican amendment repealing much of President Barack Obama's law and giving Congress two years to concoct a replacement. Solid Democratic opposition and Republicans unwilling to erase the law without a replacement in hand were expected to defeat that plan.
Late Tuesday, the Senate voted 57-43 to block a wide-ranging proposal by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell replacing Obama's law with a far more restrictive GOP substitute. Those voting no included nine Republicans.
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.
That roll call raised questions about what splintered Republicans can achieve in terms of reshaping Obama's law.