In a statement following defeat of the measure on a 49-51 vote, the California Democrat says, "The American people have spoken loud and clear against the higher costs and monstrous cruelty of Trumpcare".
But passing the bill could have been just as bad.
Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of SC and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin say they can't support the so-called "skinny repeal" taking shape in the Senate because it would wreak havoc on health insurance markets. Then, that plan would need to pass both the House and Senate before it could go to President Trump's desk to be signed into law.
"I am not going to vote for the skinny bill if I'm not assured by the House there will be a conference where my idea and other ideas will be taken up so we can actually repeal Obamacare", Sen. Vice President Mike Pence came as the tie-breaker to put something back in play.
"We don't want a skinny deal to be some kind of bony skin", Rep. Mark Walker, Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, told reporters Thursday, saying he prefers hashing out a broader Obamacare repeal and replace package in a formal negotiation with members of both the House and Senate.
"The so-called skinny bill represents an opportunity", Republican Senator Lamar Alexander said in a Capitol hallway. It was the second self-inflicted setback the GOP has suffered this week in trying to roll back Obama's 2010 statute.
If this bill does not pass, Obamacare repeal is dead for now. Then he proceeded to briefly horrify ACA proponents by voting yes on a motion to proceed vote, and yes again on the Republican Better Care Reconciliation Act.More news: Alfred Angelo Bridal Chain Reportedly Closing, Brides Scrambling
One version of the skinny bill would repeal mandates on individuals to buy health insurance and on large businesses to offer health insurance to employees.
That criticism was joined by the BlueCross BlueShield Association.
He also said the "very outdated filibuster rule" must go. The removal of the individual mandate, for example, would accelerate the death spiral that the Obamacare markets are already experiencing. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME) repeatedly stood their ground against the three health bills their colleagues tried to ram through the Senate.
Trump has been pushing lawmakers to deliver on their promises to repeal and replace. What exactly is in the bill remains unclear.
According to Keith Hennessey, a former Senate staffer, this happens when the time given for debate on a bill ends.
As the U.S. Senate edged towards a late-night vote on a pared-down bill to repeal Obamacare, House Speaker Paul Ryan assured Senate Republicans that if they approve a bill that many do not want to become law, the House will help them craft different legislation.
The plan, introduced as an amendment to the House bill by Republican Sen.