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Bill Cassidy, Lindsey Graham
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, speak before a Senate Finance Committee hearing to consider the Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal, on Capitol Hill, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Senate will not vote on the GOP health care bill aimed at repealing and replacing Obamacare


Updated September 26, 2017 02:48 PM EDT

Senate Republicans have decided not to vote this week on the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the announcement during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday.

"We haven't given up on changing the American health care system," McConnell told reporters. "We aren't going to be able to do it this week."

The latest bill was sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), but opposition from at least three Republican senators made the chances of passing the bill unlikely.

Still, Graham said Republicans are determined to fulfill the promise they've made to voters throughout the past seven years.

Three Senate Republicans have announced their intent to vote no on the GOP health care bill, effectively killing the proposal's chance of becoming law.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is the most recent to declare her opposition. The Maine lawmaker said in a statement Monday that "Sweeping reforms to our health care system and to Medicaid can't be done well in a compressed time frame, especially when the actual bill is a moving target."

She also cited the Congressional Budget Office's report, which "confirms that this bill will have a substantially negative impact on the number of people covered by insurance," the statement said.

Collins joins Arizona's Sen. John McCain and Kentucky's Sen. Rand Paul as firm "no" votes on the bill authored by fellow Republicans Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy.

Cassidy was asked earlier Monday on CNN whether Collins's opposition would mean it's over for the bill and said, "Yes, it is."

While Republicans have until Saturday to pass the bill and Cassidy has announced changes in hopes of garnering favor, it appears unlikely the lawmakers will change their minds.

Collins has long expressed skepticism of the Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, raising repeated concerns about how the GOP's plans would impact Medicaid.

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