After the vote, McCain took to the floor and urged his fellow Republicans to stand up to Trump, who has frequently chided the Republican-led Congress for failing to advance his agenda. The procedural vote starts a complicated period in which senators will float varying alternatives for reshaping Obamacare.
Senate Republican leaders have so far struggled to fulfill their promise of repealing the 2010 health care law.
But, according to The Hill, the Senate parliamentarian has said some provisions don't meet that standard, including a provision to allow insurers to charge older customers up to five times as much for premiums. "We are his equals", he said to a smattering of applause in the chamber.
The Senate will navigate a complicated path to reach any agreement.
Pipes was also critical of the Senate's idea for a skinny repeal bill, which would repeal the individual and employer mandate and the medical device tax.
He has been pressuring Senate Republicans to vote on a health care bill "after 7 years of talking". Ted Cruz on insurance market regulation, and an amendment by Sen.
Pipes also warned that Republicans may reach out to Democrats to work on a replacement. Conservative and moderate senators had hinted in recent weeks that they may not support the "motion to proceed" because they were opposed to various versions of the bill the Senate was expected to proceed to. The "clean repeal" bill was passed in 2015, but then-President Barack Obama unsurprisingly vetoed the measure.
However, he added that he "will not vote for the bill as it is today".
President Trump called the vote a "big step".
West Virginia's Republican U.S. Sen.
"I think you're going to have a great health care".
In a statement released today, Trump said he applauds senators for "taking a giant step to end the Obamacare nightmare".
Republican leaders have promised senators they'll each get a chance to vote on their preferred plan, with a final measure to be put together by leadership at the end of the debate.
Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of NY, minority leader, stressed that Democrats had been "locked out" of the recent health care debate and he warned that the Republican plan will "certainly mean drastic cuts" in Medicaid and would cause many to lose health care insurance.