The senators who saved Obamacare are supporting a bill that could cripple it

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (L) and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).

Three Republican senators who bucked their own party in recent months to effectively save Obamacare now say they are going to vote for a tax bill that would gut Obamacare.

The surprising about-face in the past two days by Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and, finally on Friday, Susan Collins of Maine guarantees that GOP leaders in the Senate will win passage of their major tax legislation.

And it very well could mean that Americans would no longer be required to have some form of health insurance that complies with Obamacare standards or face a tax penalty.

If that happens, the Congressional Budget Office has projected, 13 million more people will not have health insurance by 2027 than are currently expected. Most of those coverage losses would result from elimination of the penalty for not having insurance, the CBO has said.

The nonpartisan agency also has estimated that individual insurance plan premiums will be about 10 percent higher annually than if the mandate remained in place.

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