How similar is Trumpcare Obamacare

US Senator John McCain prevents Obamacare from being abolished

It is a bitter defeat for US President Donald Trump. The Republican Senator John McCain announced in Washington that he could not "in good conscience" vote for a reform proposal by his party colleagues Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy. At the same time, he called for a solution to be worked with the Democrats.

With his vote, McCain was already instrumental in bringing down a similar draft to abolish the health insurance introduced by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama in July.

Trump's Republicans only have a slim majority of 52 of the 100 seats in the Senate, while the opposition Democrats are opposed to the bill to replace the health system with a more market-oriented model. After Rand Paul from Kentucky, McCain is the second Republican Senator to openly oppose the bill.

He also does not support the current proposals of the Republicans - Senator Rand Paul (archive image)

Two more wobbly candidates

With Susan Collins from Maine and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, the approval of two other Republican senators is highly uncertain.

The party leadership wants to push through the vote in the Congress Chamber by September 30th, because after that, due to the expiry of a deadline, the simple majority of 51 votes would no longer apply, but 60 votes would be required.

Nevertheless, US President Donald Trump was confident that the project could still succeed. "We still have a chance. In the end we will," he told supporters in Alabama. McCain's decision against the dismantling called Trump "totally unexpected, terrible".

Country and Republicans split

The reform project not only divides the country, but also the Republicans: For the arch-conservative wing of the party, the planned cuts in health care do not go far enough - moderates, on the other hand, fear the effects on millions of US citizens who are at risk of losing their insurance coverage. The House of Representatives, where the Republicans have a clear majority, passed its own draft in May with some difficulty.

Through "Obamacare", the proportion of citizens without health insurance had fallen from 16 to under nine percent in recent years. However, even among the Democrats, the system is in need of an overhaul, among other things because of the significantly increasing insurance premiums.

McCain said there would be no proper debate in the Senate until the end of the month. There is also no detailed assessment of the proposal by the experts of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a congressional authority that reviews and estimates the necessary expenditure within a budget year.

se / jj (rtr, afp, ap, dpa)