Momentum builds for Obamacare repeal

Senate Republicans’ last-gasp Obamacare repeal effort is gaining steam, with key senators who tanked the last effort in July signaling new openness to the latest effort.

While the proposal written by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) remains short of 50 votes, it also has just one hard “no” vote, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and another expected “no” in Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Three “no” votes would kill the bill, but in an encouraging sign for repeal proponents, no one is stepping forward yet to deliver that final nail.

Instead, wavering senators have remained on the sidelines. Conservative Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is warming to the legislation, which would turn federal health care funding into block grant for states and eliminate Obamacare’s coverage mandate, while Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is undecided.

“We’re having a serious discussion. But it’s still preliminary,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas).