WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act.

Late Tuesday night, the Senate voted 51 to 50 to start debate on the health care bill. Vice president Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote.

But Senators voted 57-43 to block a wide-ranging proposal by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to replace the Affordable Care Act with a far more restrictive GOP substitute. Those voting no included nine Republicans. The amendment would have cut Medicaid and ended penalties on people who don't buy insurance.

Wednesday's vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act would give Congress two years to come up with a replacement.

Solid Democratic opposition and Republicans unwilling to erase the law without a replacement in hand are expected to defeat that plan.

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