Five GOP senators now oppose health bill _ enough to sink it

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 26, 2017

The other four Senators said the bill doesn't do enough to repeal Obamacare and lower health care costs.

The Senate's 142-page proposal, worked out in secret by a group led by McConnell, aims to deliver on a central Trump campaign promise to undo former President Barack Obama's signaturehealthcare law, which has provided coverage to 20 million Americans since it was passed in 2010.

Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican leader, said he's still confident that at least 50 of the chamber's 52 Republicans will wind up supporting it in a vote likely to come early next Friday morning.

Although Republican leadership hasn't explained the new name, it presumably comes from the fact that the GOP plans to use a parliamentary process known as budget reconciliation in order to pass the bill.

"After the House passed a very similar bill he called it mean and unfortunately the Senate bill is even meaner".

McConnell is working to get other GOP holdouts to back the health-care bill for a possible vote next week, as he begins to separate those who can be won over with modest changes and those who may have unbridgeable concerns. It would phase out Obamacare's expansion of the Medicaid programme for the poor more gradually, waiting until after the 2020 presidential election, but would enact deeper cuts starting in 2025. "But I think they're going to get there", Trump said of Republican Senate leaders.

McConnell wants a vote before his members head home to face their constituents over Congress' Fourth of July recess - maybe even before they have a chance to fully digest the bill, which would shake up an industry that comprises one-sixth of the USA economy and safeguards the health and well-being of more than 300 million Americans.

On Friday, Sanders tweeted that thousands would die if the Senate passed its version of the health care bill as it now exists.

Mr. Trump on Thursday said the bill will need "a little negotiation, but it's going to be very good".

Collins, who also opposes proposed cuts to Planned Parenthood, said she would await an analysis Monday from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office before taking a final position on the bill.

"If we get to impasse, if we go to a bill that is more repeal and less big government programs, yes, I'll consider partial repeal", he said.

Sandoval said the Senate bill "is something that needs to change". But unlike the House version of the legislation, it's not called the American Health Care Act. But she said it will be "extremely difficult" for the White House to be able to find a narrow path to attract both conservatives and moderates. Famous last words, right?

Conservative Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he is opposing the Senate bill because it "is not anywhere close to repeal" of the Affordable Care Act. "We don't have too much of a choice, because the alternative is the dead carcass of Obamacare".

Trump was interviewed by "Fox & Friends", while Collins, Schumer and Paul appeared on ABC's "This Week".

"There's no way we should be voting on this next week".

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