Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – In the early morning hours the republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare suffered a stunning defeat.
"This was a high drama night. People coming to the floor not knowing what their votes are going to be, and in the end Senator John McCain really derailed the republicans efforts on health care for right now," said Jason Perry, Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics.
After weeks of trying to come together on a comprehensive bill, senate republican leadership ultimately decided the best way to keep the ball rolling was the so called “Skinny Repeal.”
It would have eliminated the individual mandate that Americans must buy health insurance, and the employer mandate that they must provide it.
Utah Representative Chris Stewart says he's disappointed, even angry at the outcome.
“We promised the American people we would do this, and yet they just couldn't muster the political courage and it's disappointing for a lot of us," said Stewart, (R) Utah.
Stewart says he doesn't know if health care will resurface in the Senate, but he wants it to happen.
He's also defending the partisan nature of the debate.
"We've tried to work with the democrats, but their response has always been no, no, no. They've rejected every overture and every suggestion we've had towards them," Stewart said.
But, perhaps the tide has changed. Perry says the latest developments could signal a new approach.
"I think that the events of last night are going to force people to come together, and try to come up with some kind of compromise," said Perry.
Utah Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee both voted in favor of the “Skinny Repeal.”
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