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Utah senators vote yes on “Skinny” Obamacare repeal

Picture tweeted by Senator Hatch's office

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Utah’s Congressional delegation is talking about the failure of Republicans’ so-called “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act, which could not pass the Senate Thursday night.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, voted yes on the repeal measure. It failed on a 49 to 50 vote, when three Republicans joined Democrats in opposition.

Early last week, Lee was one of only a handful of Republicans who derailed the Senate GOP healthcare bill by vowing to vote against it, saying he had always wanted a repeal of Obamacare first.

Hatch’s office tweeted that he is disappointed. Hatch says there are things that Republicans and Democrats agree need to be fixed so they can’t give up.

Hatch was also quoted as saying John McCain is still a hero in his eyes, even though McCain cast the deciding no vote.

“It is deeply regrettable that the Senate was unable to come together to legislate, to focus on the art of the doable, and to keep our promise,” Hatch said in a statement. “Our failure today takes us one step closer to what I’ve long warned of: a socialized health care system run by the federal government.”

Lee released the following statement Friday after the Senate rejected the Health Care Freedom Act.

“Last night did not turn out the way I hoped, but the result is hardly surprising,” Lee said. “The process on this bill has been terrible from the beginning and the Senate as an institution failed the American people. All I can promise is that I will keep fighting for more health care options and lower premiums.”

Utah Representative Chris Stewart weighed in on CNN. “We’ve been saying for months that we need to do this,” he said, calling it a “failing system.”

“I don’t know of a single democratic proposal other than spending more money.”




The proposal would have repealed a mandate that most individuals get health insurance and would have suspended a requirement that large companies provide coverage to their employees. It would have also suspended a tax on medical devices and denied funding to Planned Parenthood for a year.