President Trump: Congress not 'that far off' from passing health care overhaul

Olive Rios
June 26, 2017

McConnell has acknowledged that he's willing to change the measure before it's voted on.

But the 142-page draft would allow states to drop several benefits which are now mandated, such as maternity care and hospital services, and also would abolish the requirement for most Americans to have health insurance.

The legislation would phase out extra federal money that more than 30 states receive for expanding Medicaid to additional low-income earners.

The bill's rolling back of Medicaid expansion was key point of contention for Heller and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

At least five Republican senators have announced their opposition to the bill in its current form - enough to doom the legislation.

McConnell released the bill 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.

"But there are going to be lots of opportunities for Mitch McConnell next week, when this bill's on the floor, to make deals, to make amendments and to try to give senators things that they want to get their votes", says Zwillich.

The American Health Care Act, passed by the House of Representatives, would take health care away from 23 million Americans, including 777,000 Pennsylvanians. Almost 70 percent of America's elderly - most of whom worked hard to support families and pay taxes all their lives - can afford to live in nursing homes because of Medicaid. It's a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America.

Cantwell is hoping to organize opposition to the bill.

After the unveiling, four of the majority party's Senators made their dissent public. They were Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas.

Mr Obama said that though repealing and replacing Obamacare has become a core issue for Republicans, "we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course".

Heller left some wiggle room to eventually support the bill.

The Republican senator told reporters Friday, "I wouldn't say they are losing it".

"This bill that's now in front of the United States Senate is not the answer", Heller, a moderate who is up for re-election in 2018, said at a news conference in Las Vegas. Even Donald Trump called the House bill "mean", despite celebrating its passage last month. The budget office analysis of the Senate measure is expected early next week. "I want to see a bill with heart". But when most of the regulations from the 2010 law went "largely untouched", he withdrew his support. Those include continued payments of cost-sharing subsidies to insurers, a repeal of the tax on health insurers, and a $50 billion stability fund created by the law.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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