The announcement by the senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas, left their leaders at least two votes short of the number needed to begin debate on their bill to dismantle the health law. Two other Republican senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, had already said they would not support a procedural step to begin debate.
.. In announcing his opposition to the bill, Mr. Moran said it “fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act or address health care’s rising costs.”
.. In his own statement, Mr. Lee said of the bill, “In addition to not repealing all of the Obamacare taxes, it doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle-class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”
.. But with conservative and moderate Republicans so far apart in the Senate, the gulf proved impossible to bridge. Conservatives wanted the Affordable Care Act eradicated, but moderates worried intensely about the effects that would have on their most vulnerable citizens.
.. “This second failure of Trumpcare is proof positive that the core of this bill is unworkable,” Mr. Schumer said. “Rather than repeating the same failed, partisan process yet again, Republicans should start from scratch and work with Democrats on a bill that lowers premiums, provides long-term stability to the markets and improves our health care system.”
.. the health insurance lobby, which had been largely silent during the fight, came off the sidelines to blast as “unworkable” a key provision allowing the sale of low-cost, stripped-down health plans, saying it would send premiums soaring and undermine protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
.. Mr. Lee, one of the most conservative members of the Senate, was part of a group of four conservative senators who came out against the initial version of Mr. McConnell’s bill after it was unveiled last month. He then championed the proposal to allow insurers to offer cheap, bare-bones plans, which was pushed by another of those opponents, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.