US Senate Republicans lose vote on health law

WASHINGTON — A Republican drive to repeal President Barack Obama's year-old health care law ended in an expected defeat in the Senate, leaving the Supreme Court to render a final, unpredictable verdict on an issue steeped in political and constitutional controversy. Republicans conceded in advance their attempt at total repeal would fall short.

The Republican campaign to repeal Obama's signature legislative achievement was symbolic, because Democrats still control the Senate and Obama had vowed to veto any repeal. The vote Wednesday split along party lines, 47-51.

The Senate agreed to make one relatively minor change in the law, voting to strip out a paperwork requirement for businesses.