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Republican push to overhaul or repeal healthcare law collapses in Senate


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- Carrie Healey | AOL.com
WASHINGTON, July 18 (Reuters) - Republican efforts to overhaul or repeal Obamacare collapsed in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, dealing a sharp setback to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party's seven-year quest to kill President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.

The disarray in the Republican-controlled Senate rattled financial markets and cast doubt on the chances for getting Trump's other domestic policy priorities, such as tax reform, through a divided Congress.

Saying he was disappointed, Trump suggested at the White House that he might let the insurance markets created under Obamacare go under and then try to work with Democrats on a rescue.

RELATED: Protests against the Republican health care bill

"We're probably in that position where we'll just let Obamacare fail," Trump told reporters. "We will let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us."

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell had set a vote on a straight repeal of Obamacare after it became clear he did not have the votes to overhaul the healthcare law, but the new approach unraveled within hours.

Republican Senators Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine and LisaMurkowski of Alaska quickly announced they would not back repeal, dooming the fledgling effort. With Democrats united in opposition, Republicans can only afford to lose two votes to pass the measure in the Senate, where they have a slim 52-48 majority.

SEE ALSO: Poll: President Trump has higher favorability rating than Hillary Clinton

"I do not think that it's going to be constructive to repeal a law that at this point is so interwoven within our healthcare system and then hope that over the next two years we will come up with some kind of replacement," Collins told reporters.

McConnell did not immediately say whether he would press ahead with a repeal vote, although it appeared doomed to failure.

As the bill collapsed in the Senate, leaders in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives unveiled a budget plan putting a proposed tax code overhaul on the same partisan procedural path that led to the anti-Obamacare initiative's chaotic downfall late on Monday.

The setback sent the U.S. dollar to a 10-month low against a basket of major currencies as investors worried about the impact on other administration reform efforts.

"The healthcare bill not coming through raises some continued concerns about the ability of Washington to push through favorable fiscal policies," said Lisa Kopp, head of traditional investments at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

(Writing by John Whitesides; Additional reporting by Caroline Humer in New York and Ginger Gibson, Richard Cowan in Washington; Editing by Mary Milliken and Jonathan Oatis)

Protests against the Republican health care bill

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  • New Yorkers and healthcare advocacy groups organized a...
    THE PARK IMPERIAL AT 230 WEST 56TH ST , NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2017/07/10: New Yorkers and healthcare advocacy groups organized a protest on July 10, 2017; outside Rep. John Faso's fundraiser as donors arrive at the Park Imperial at 230 West 56th St. in Midtown Manhattan. Faso voted for the House Trumpcare bill in May, he also coauthored the notorious Collins-Faso amendment to both the House and Senate bills that would shift New York Medicaid funding from counties budgets to the state budget. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • USA-HEALTHCARE/
    A healthcare activist protests to stop the Republican health care bill at Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
  • USA-HEALTHCARE/
    Healthcare activists protest to stop the Republican health care bill at Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
  • USA-HEALTHCARE/
    Healthcare activists get a police warning during a protest to stop the Republican health care bill at Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
  • USA-HEALTHCARE/
    Healthcare activists protest to stop the Republican health care bill at Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
  • Activists Protest Senate Health Care Bill On Capitol Hill
    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 10: A demonstrater from Arizona chants, 'Kill the bill or lose your job' while sitting on the floor outside the offices of Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) during a protest against health care reform legislation in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill July 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. More than 100 people from across the country were arrested during the protest that was organized by Housing Works and Center for Popular Democracy. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
  • The Socialist Feminists of Democratic Socialists of America...
    NEW YORK COUNTY REPUBLICAN OFFICE, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2017/07/05: The Socialist Feminists of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) organized a protest outside of the New York County Republican Office in New York City on July 5, 2017; to tell Republicans that is it despicable and undemocratic that they are trying to ram Trumpcare through the Senate without debate or public hearings. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Health Care Protest
    UNITED STATES - JULY 10: Health care protesters from Arkansas chant outside of the office of Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., in the Hart Senate Office Building on Monday, July 10, 2017. About a dozen people loudly voiced opposition to the GOP health care bill. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
  • New Yorkers and healthcare advocacy groups organized a...
    THE PARK IMPERIAL AT 230 WEST 56TH ST , NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2017/07/10: New Yorkers and healthcare advocacy groups organized a protest on July 10, 2017; outside Rep. John Faso's fundraiser as donors arrive at the Park Imperial at 230 West 56th St. in Midtown Manhattan. Faso voted for the House Trumpcare bill in May, he also coauthored the notorious Collins-Faso amendment to both the House and Senate bills that would shift New York Medicaid funding from counties budgets to the state budget. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Protestors Rally Against Trumpcare In New York City
    NEW YORK, NY - JULY 5: A small group of activists rally against the GOP health care plan outside of the Metropolitan Republican Club, July 5, 2017 in New York City. Republicans in the Senate will resume work on the bill next week when Congress returns to Washington after a holiday recess. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
  • Protestors Rally Against Trumpcare In New York City
    A small group of activists rally against the GOP health care plan outside of the Metropolitan Republican Club, July 5, 2017 in New York City. Republicans in the Senate will resume work on the bill next week when Congress returns to Washington after a holiday recess. (Photo by Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
  • USA-HEALTHCARE/PROTESTS
    Healthcare activists protest to stop the Republican health care bill at Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 10, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
  • USA-HEALTHCARE/
    Healthcare activists are detained after a protest to stop the Republican health care bill at Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
  • USA-HEALTHCARE/PROTESTS
    A staff members asks the media to leave the room as Healthcare activists protest in the office of Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to stop the Republican health care bill at Russell Senate Office building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 10, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
  • USA-OBAMACARE/
    U.S. Capitol police arrest demonstrators in wheelchairs protesting against the AHCA health care bill put forward by President Trump and Congressional Republicans as several dozen protestors are taken into custody after refusing to leave the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
  • USA-OBAMACARE
    Demonstrators hold signs during a protest against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act outside the Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
  • USA-HEALTHCARE/
    Healthcare activists are detained after a protest to stop the Republican health care bill at Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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