Murkowski, the third GOP senator who voted to sink the proposal by a 49-51 margin, said in a statement later Friday that she’s still committed to reforming the Affordable Care Act, with a focus on reducing costs and boosting access to care.
“I stand ready to begin work with my colleagues – all of them – to reform healthcare in a more open process,” she said.
Those three votes can block Republicans’ hopes of passing any plan with a majority vote without Democratic support. They appear to have sworn off, at least for now, a GOP-only approach to replacing the landmark health-care law.
Collins and Murkowski voted earlier this week against even starting debate on options to repeal Obamacare. McCain supported that measure the day he returned to the Senate after getting diagnosed with brain cancer but early Friday helped to sink the plan that several Republican senators said they would only support under the condition that it would not become law.
The broader GOP willingness to cooperate on health-care with Democrats remains unclear.
After the vote Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it will be “interesting to see what [Democrats] suggest is the way forward.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer then said he hoped it marked a moment that would encourage the Senate to work through its regular process.