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Senate blocks proposal to repeal 'Obamacare'

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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 25, 2017, as the Senate was to vote on moving head on health care with the goal of erasing much of Barack Obama's law. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Senate has blocked a wide-ranging proposal by Republicans to repeal much of former President Barack Obama's health care law and replace it with a more restrictive plan.

Senators voted 57-43 late Tuesday to reject the plan in the first vote on an amendment to the bill. Those voting "no" included nine defecting Republicans.

The vote underscored problems Republicans will have in winning enough votes to recast Obama's statute.

The rejected proposal included language by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell erasing the Obama law's tax penalties on people not buying insurance and cutting Medicaid.

Language by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz would let insurers sell cut-rate policies with skimpy coverage. And there was an additional $100 billion to help states ease costs for people losing Medicaid sought by Midwestern moderates.