Senate Democrats weigh blockade to protest GOP health care plan

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 27, 2017

Senate Democrats are weighing whether to bring the chamber's business to a halt next week in an effort to voice their objections to the GOP health care push, according to sources familiar with the effort.

The group includes seven governors from both parties, including Charlie Baker of MA, a Republican.

The governors implored the leaders to focus on stabilizing the individual insurance markets, give states flexibility and ensure affordable cover.

"I think we felt very strongly that the majority of the members of that conference committee had signed that, and I think that truly reflects the majority of the Legislature as a whole", said Armstead, R-Kanawha.

"This is much, much better for higher education than some of the drastic cuts that were floated out in the past", House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles said.

Senate Republicans have been negotiating their version of the health care bill in secret - freezing out Democrats and even many House members from any details. Sen.

"It's not a yes or no answer", Price said in response to a question from Sen.

A group of 13 senators is working in secret to design their response to the House Republicans' bill, which was passed last month without a single Democratic vote.

The full bill later passed, 67-22.

"I don't know exactly because no one knows exactly", said Rep. Chris Collins, a Buffalo Republican, who also said he hadn't spoken with any Senators about the amendment. The House followed, voting 64-25 to pass it.

McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, has been under criticism, including from some fellow Republican senators, for writing the Senate bill behind closed doors.

ADVERTISEMENTAsked if he would vote "no", Paul said: "What I'm telling them is if they get to an impasse, come talk to me, because I'm more than willing to vote for a partial repeal if I can't get complete repeal, but I'm not willing to vote for new Republican entitlement programs".

At the White House ceremony celebrating House passage of the GOP health care bill, Trump and Ryan praised the legislation as the fulfillment of campaign promises that Trump and GOP congressional candidates had long made to repeal Obama's statute.

John Kasich (R), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R), Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed the letter. Congress saw testimony from patients and other ordinary people, and citizens were able to lobby lawmakers with their input. Several senators have spoken of having a "softer landing period" than the House bill, which rolls back the eligibility criteria starting in 2020.

AARP also has expressed worries that the House health care bill will cut Medicaid funding, which provides support for the disabled and elderly, as well as the poor. Republican leadership have said they will vote on the bill once they are sure they have the 50 votes they need.

Gov. Jim Justice, a Democrat, supported that approach.

As GOP Senators left yet another health care meeting on Thursday, there were no predictions of an imminent deal - "not there yet" was what Sen. It suggests no specific policy proposals.

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