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Graham-Cassidy: The latest Republican health care bill is dead

Republican leaders said they don't have enough votes to pass Graham-Cassidy.

The latest attempt at an Affordable Care Act repeal appears dead.

"To be clear, through events that are under our control and not under our control, we don't have the votes," said Sen. Bill Cassidy, one of the current bill's authors, at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. "We've made the decision, since we don't have the votes, we will postpone that vote."

The admission of defeat means this latest Republican-led Obamacare repeal effort is all but over, since a vote won't be held by a looming deadline.

The upcoming deadline

Republican leaders in the Senate had been working furiously to build support for this last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill referred to as Graham-Cassidy.

On the calendar was a Sept. 30 cutoff. Before then, the Senate only needs a simple majority (51 votes) to pass the Graham-Cassidy bill, rather than the 60 votes required normally. 

We explain how and why that happened here.

Republicans have 52 seats in the Senate. So once Oct. 1 hits, they'll need 60 votes – meaning 8 the Democrats or Independents need to be in favor of the bill.

That doesn't seem likely.

There were three GOP senators that had come out publicly against Graham-Cassidy – Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona, and Rand Paul of Kentucky, CNN reported. That meant Republicans had 49 yea votes max. 

And it doesn't even take into account GOP senators that were iffy (such as Ted Cruz and Lisa Murkowski).

So ... is it over?

This failure is the third significant blow to the Obamacare repeal effort this year, as Republican lawmakers look to make good on a campaign promise from President Donald Trump.

That doesn't appear to be in the cards anymore, at least not any time soon.

Though to be fair, we've heard this before. 

"It's time to move on," Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said after a health care failure in July, only to find himself whipping up support for Graham-Cassidy two months later.

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