WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Senate early Friday failed to approve a Republican bill that would have repealed parts of Obamacare.
Republican Senators joined Democrats in a 51-49 vote rejecting the legislation.
"I think it's time for the Republicans to put partisanship aside and stop these efforts to repeal. The president needs to stop the sabotage and basically work with us to come together and find ways to lower costs, to bring stability to the marketplace and also expand access," Congressman Frank Pallone said.
"We call upon the speaker to establish a process. We can go right to the committees and have a discussion on how we keep America healthy. We call upon the president to release the funds, the cost savings reductions that are essential to having the law be effective," Pelosi said.
The funds offset costs for insurers in exchange for them offering more affordable healthcare coverage to low-income Americans.
Congressman James Clyburn said it was now up to the president to enforce the existing healthcare law, since Republicans were unable to repeal it.
Congressman John Yarmuth said lawmakers need to focus on working with the US states where Obamacare appears to be failing.
"We need to engage these states," Yarmuth said. "In those [states] where it hasn't been as successful, these are where the administrations of those states, largely Republican, have not embraced the Affordable Care Act and have not tried to make it work."
Several Democrats stressed that their party stood ready to work with Republicans on improving Obamacare, rejecting allegations that they themselves were to blame for the failure to repeal it.
"The Republicans hold the White House, Senate and the House, and yet they are finger pointing to us. And here's the reality of it… we stand here with open arms," Congresswoman Cheri Bustos said.