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

Posted June 25, 2017

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insists he wants a vote before the Fourth of July recess, leaving GOP leaders one week to win over more votes.

Trump's role is expected to become more pronounced in coming days as the vote nears.

The House version of the health care bill tries to discourage healthy people from fleeing the market by allowing insurance companies to charge a premium for those who don't maintain continuous coverage. "I think that they'll probably get there, but we'll have to wait and see". McConnell will need to turn at least two Democrats to vote in favor of the bill, but this is highly unlikely with Democrats vowing not to support the bill at all.

Four Senate conservatives have voiced opposition to the new GOP Obamacare replacement bill in a joint statement.

If there's a surprise, it's that Heller, who is up for re-election in 2018, voiced his opposition even before the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the bill's impact early next week. But Heller's criticism Friday infuriated allies of Trump. In that sense, it looks like the House bill, which the CBO said would cut Medicaid by $834 billion over a decade (relative to current law), with a loss of 14 million beneficiaries.

Healthcare stocks closed down 0.1 percent on Friday, clawing back some losses after the sector dropped sharply late in the session on Heller's announcement. But their true ambition is not to reform Obamacare, which, whatever its shortcomings, has given 20 million Americans access to health insurance. They said the measure missed delivering a GOP promise to Americans "to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs".

Obama on Thursday blasted the Senate GOP leaders' plan to overhaul his signature healthcare law.

"The fact we think this bill will spend more next year than Obamacare spends now, that doesn't sound like repeal", said Paul, who added that he will be negotiating as a team with fellow conservative holdouts Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Mike Lee of Utah.

Just hours after McConnell released the 142-page legislation on Thursday, four conservatives said they opposed it.

"It's not that they're opposed".

"At a time that we are trying to get more people access to treatment, we're essentially taking away access", Evans said. Senate staffers say they're open to adding a similar provision to the Senate bill. It's that very, very narrow path.

"I'm obviously going to spend the weekend reviewing it carefully, reviewing all the implications of it and we'll see if it's something I can support or something that I can support if we get a few changes to it", he said. The Republican-majority House passed its similar version of healthcare legislation last month. Though Trump lauded its passage in a Rose Garden ceremony, he called the House measure "mean" last week.

There are a few other ways the Senate bill mirrors the House bill.

"The ACA, while not ideal, measurably improved the health and well-being of Vermonters by expanding coverage, reducing the state's uninsured rates, enabling Vermont to form health care provider networks that participate in shared savings programs, and fostering initiatives to reduce utilization and cost through its health care delivery reform provisions".