Four Republican senators not ready to vote for healthcare bill

Four Republican senators not ready to vote for healthcare bill”

So the president's dream of getting an Obamacare repeal-replacement bill passed anytime soon is nearly certainly on hold.

But more than five hours after the Senate Republican leadership unveiled a "discussion draft" of its rewrite, Frelinghuysen had no opinion about the new bill.

"We agreed on the need to free Americans from Obamacare's mandates - so Americans are no longer forced to buy insurance they don't need or can't afford", McConnell said on the floor. "Because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class, and American families deserve better than its failing status quo".

The emerging Senate bill was described by people on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Democrats immediately attacked the legislation as a callous giveaway to the rich that would leave millions without coverage. "We believe Medicaid needs to be reformed, but reform should not come at the cost of disruption in access to health care for our country's most vulnerable and sickest individuals".

"Two years ago, I chose to expand Medicaid coverage", Walker said in a statement released shortly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the bill to the public Thursday. But they said they were "open to negotiation and obtaining more information". Dean Heller and Susan Collins have also withheld support.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-Paramus, played off reports that President Donald Trump had called the House bill "mean" in a meeting with Senate Republicans a year ago.

At the White House on Thursday, Trump expressed hope for quick action.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, said he has "concerns about what the changes to Medicaid may mean to those with disabilities" and to rural hospitals in his home state.

Ending Obama's expansion has been a major problem for some GOP senators. "It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it", he continued, before pointing out, "That's not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses". The bill addresses the opioid epidemic by providing some modest additional funding, but at the same time limitations on Medicaid access would potentially deny substance abuse treatment for 1.3 million people who need it. He and others said the measure would make health insurance more affordable and eliminate Obama coverage requirements that some people find onerous. This marks a divergence from the House bill, which tied subsidies to age. That focuses financial assistance on people with lower incomes.

Cruz said later, "This current draft doesn't get the job done". Under the Republicans' benchmark, insurers would be responsible for only 58 percent - that's 2 percent less than the ACA's barest-bones plan.

A better plan is possible, Obama concluded.

There are some key differences between this new Senate version of Trumpcare and the bill that passed the House last month: Gone are the waivers that would allow states to opt out of covering individuals with pre-existing conditions, for example.

Senate GOP bill: Tax cuts very similar to House bill, though some would be delayed.

Sens. Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska expressed reservations about the bill for provisions that defund Planned Parenthood, a medical services provider that performs abortions, for one year and limit the use of tax credits to purchase health care plans that provide abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger. But in any dispute over congressional Republican priorities, it is generally a good idea to assume conservative ideology ranks first.

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