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Senate Votes to Open Debate on ACA Repeal-and-Replace Plan

Senate Republicans just voted in favor of a motion to proceed to debate on repeal-and-replace legislation for the Affordable Care Act. Shortly in advance of the vote, which was expected to be very close, wavering moderates Dean Heller (R-Nevada), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) announced they would vote in favor of the motion. Moderate senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) voted against it. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote.

The Senate will now proceed to debate, and vote on, a number of ACA repeal-and-replace options over the next several days. Senate leadership is reportedly hoping to pass a "skinny" repeal bill that will serve as a legislative shell to be fleshed out in conference with the House of Representatives.