CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-U.S. Senate passes symbolic Obamacare repeal, assuring veto

(In Dec three item, corrects Senate Budget Committee chairman’s first name in paragraph eight)

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON Dec 3 Soon after 5 years of failed attempts, U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday passed a symbolic partisan bill to gut President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform law, but the work has already been condemned to death by Obama’s plans to veto it.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to repeal many core Obamacare provisions under unique price range procedural guidelines that enable for passage with a basic majority.

Two moderate Republican senators, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Susan Collins of Maine, joined 44 Democrats and 1 independent in opposing the measure. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, who is searching for the Democratic presidential nomination, did not vote.

Democrats in the Senate have blocked some 61 previous Republican attempts aimed at rolling back the landmark 2010 legislation designed to provide well being care for millions of uninsured Americans.

The bill seeks to phase out a significant expansion of Medicaid healthcare rewards for the poor below the law and eradicate wellness insurance coverage subsidies and taxes on health-related devices and higher-cost plans supplied by employers.

It also seeks to deny funding to women’s healthcare provider Planned Parenthood, which Republicans have been trying to punish for months more than accusations that it illegally sold tissue from aborted fetuses. The group denies the allegations.

The vote provides Republicans their first true opportunity of placing an Obamacare repeal bill onto the president’s desk, which would enable them to make campaign claims that they lastly passed legislation to kill the system.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi mentioned in debate that Obamacare was “unworkable, unaffordable and much more unpopular than ever. For millions of Americans the law nowadays represents nothing at all far more than broken promises, higher fees and fewer options.”

Republicans lack the two-thirds majority necessary to override the promised veto by Obama.

The legislation nonetheless needs a vote in the House of Representatives, as it differs from a Residence version passed in October that concentrated on repealing the law’s mandates for individuals to get overall health insurance coverage and for bigger companies to provide well being plans to workers.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, asked if the chamber would just take up the Senate bill, said: “Why wouldn’t we?”

The vote comes at a time when some plans sold through Obamacare insurance exchanges have been struggling with weak enrollment, larger-than-expected health-related fees and increased premiums. (Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Leslie Adler)