Senate Republicans scramble to save GOP health care bill
28 June, 2017, 15:50 | Author: Mae Harvey
Rob Portman, R-Ohio, cited the impact on coverage and the opioid addiction epidemic, among other issues in the Senate Republicans' Better Care and Reconciliation Act. That's largely because the penalty for not having health insurance - the Affordable Care Act's so-called individual mandate - would be eliminated.
Among Republicans, Trump wouldn't bear the brunt of the blame if Congress is unable to repeal and replace Obamacare.
"I'm extremely anxious about what the consequences for hundreds of thousands of people here in the Commonwealth of Mass. would be", said Governor Charlie Baker, (D) MA.
According to the CBO report, the Senate bill would result in 49 million people lacking health coverage by 2026 - 22 million more than would have been uninsured under Obamacare. Only two can vote against it for the bill to succeed. In order for a bill to become law, it needs to pass both the House and the Senate and be signed by the president.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told his Republican colleagues he would delay a planned vote this week until after the weeklong recess centered on the July Fourth national holiday commemorating the country's 18th-century independence from England. Currently, Americans are required to buy health insurance or pay a fine if they do not.
Democrats have blasted the bill as tax giveaway for the wealthy, at the expense of low income Americans. That's in part because coverage would be skimpier, and people would face higher deductibles and other cost-sharing.
SHAPIRO: So not enough votes - how did this break down? Republicans now have a majority in the Senate, as they hold 52 seats.
It would have been just as calamitous for Republicans to implement a health care plan without a single Democratic vote as it was when Democrats pushed through the Affordable Care Act eight years ago without a single Republican vote.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said in a statement after meeting with Trump that he was happy the vote was postponed and looks forward to working with fellow senators and the president "to finally stand up and deliver for the middle class".
McConnell's challenge is somehow uniting opposite wings of his party. A change to Obamacare could be possible now.
Moderate senators are anxious millions of people will lose their insurance.
They demanded states be allowed to waive a ban on insurance companies charging sick people more, and they wanted states to be given the chance to opt out more easily.
The two bills to change Obamacare propose to cut about $800 billion in federal funds for Medicaid over the next few years.
Trump, who campaigned on his deal-making accolades, tried to reassure supporters the Republican deadlock was only a bump in the road.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, "This bill is every bit as mean as the House bill". Mario Ritter was the editor. While various GOP Senators said they opposed the Republican health plan, they also included the caveat that they don't like the way it is right now. Write to us in the Comments Section.
Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana also said he is waiting to hear from leaders about revisions before deciding how he will vote. Currently, there are nine Republican senators who have publicly opposed this iteration of the Better Care Reconciliation Act .
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