March 22, 2017 / 11:03 PM / 5 months ago

Top Senate Democrat says repealing essential benefits would need 60 votes

WASHINGTON, March 22 (Reuters) - A spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer said on Wednesday a proposal to add a provision to a Republican healthcare bill repealing essential Obamacare benefits would violate reconciliation rules and thus require 60 votes to pass the chamber.

"Repealing the essential health benefits provisions under the Affordable Care Act is a policy change, not budgetary, and thus violates the Byrd Rule," Schumer's spokesman, Matt House, said in a statement.

"It will require 60 votes to repeal these protections, and the votes just aren’t there in the Senate,” the statement said.

Reporting by Eric Beech

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