Twitter unloads on Toomey after his statement on health care vote

Staff report
Sen. Pat Toomey takes part in a TV town hall in the Harrisburg, Pa., studios of WHTM-TV, Wednesday, July 5, 2017. (James Robinson / via AP)

The U.S. Senate narrowly voted to move forward Tuesday with debating a plan to repeal and replace "Obamacare," and Sen. Pat Toomey quickly released a statement to let his constituents know why he voted in favor of the move.

The Pennsylvania Republican posted his statement on Twitter: "I voted to open debate on reforming our health care system because we cannot continue on the current path without disastrous consequences. Today, we are one step closer to replacing Obamacare and putting Medicaid on a sustainable trajectory to ensure it will be available for future generations."

Toomey's statemement received more than 700 replies on Twitter with only a handful in support of the senator's decision.

The majority of respondents criticized the statement. Common responses included calling on Toomey to hold an in-person town hall meeting, asking him to work to fix the current health care system instead of replacing it and assuring him he would be voted out next time he's up for reelection.

"Looking forward to repealing and replacing you sir," one Twitter user wrote.

Toomey was reelected last November to his second term and won't face another election until 2022.

The GOP legislation has polled abysmally, while Obamacare itself has grown steadily more popular. Yet most Republicans argue that failing to deliver on their promises to pass repeal-and-replace legislation would be worse than passing an unpopular bill, because it would expose the GOP as unable to govern despite controlling majorities in the House, Senate and White House.

More:Senate opens ‘Obamacare’ debate at last but outcome in doubt

Tuesday’s vote amounted to a procedural hurdle for legislation whose final form is impossible to predict under the Senate’s byzantine amendment process, which will unfold over the next several days.