GOP senators call for more time to debate, change health care bill

Olive Rios
June 26, 2017

U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday that he sees a 50 percent probability that Republicans will be able to pass their healthcare bill.

The Senate bill rolls back major features of Obamacare and includes steep cuts to the Medicaid expansion program.

But that optimism runs counter to the public opposition of five Republican senators so far to the Senate GOP plan that would scuttle much of former President Barack Obama's health law. He is one of four GOP senators to say they are opposed it but are open to negotiations, which could put the measure in immediate jeopardy.

The AARP blasted the Senate Republicans' proposed healthcare bill and warned it will hold all 100 senators accountable.

McConnell, R-Ky., released the bill Thursday after weeks of closed-door meetings searching for middle ground between conservative senators seeking an aggressive repeal of Obama's statute and centrists warning about going too far. That likely would end the program in MI, one of eight states that expanded Medicaid with the caveat that the expansion would end if federal funding declined. He said Friday he would vote against the bill in its current form but did not rule out supporting a revamped, final version of it.

The South Boston Democrat, who was one of the few members of his party to vote against the Affordable Care Act in 2010, stressed that the legislation needs to be fixed and that not enough has been done to rein in the overall cost of health care.

"If they can not get 50 votes, if they get to impasse, I've been telling leadership for months now I'll vote for a repeal", the Kentucky Republican said on ABC's "This Week".

Under the plan, states could drop benefits that were required under Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, such as maternity care, emergency room services and mental health treatment.

Trump will lead the effort to try to convince reluctant Republicans to support the bill. Susan Collins of ME said on ABC's "This Week" when asked whether the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump could get her support by week's end.

Trump later criticized the House bill privately as "mean" and this week called for a health plan "with heart".

The bill, which was written behind closed doors, is facing its fair share of criticism from Democrats who say that it negatively mimics the House's plan. Sen.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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