Critics of Senate Health Bill Hope to Sway GOP Sen. Cassidy

Posted June 26, 2017

One of the Republican senators who's opposing his party's health-care bill as written says the Senate shouldn't vote on the plan this week.

Meanwhile, President Trump has sent mixed messages about the health care reform priorities that partly fueled his campaign.

Donald Trump has signalled that he is willing to work with four Republican senators who have said they're "not ready to vote" for the Senate's Obamacare repeal and replacement bill. That obviously means he isn't a firm no because he could easily change his mind as the bill is amended in the coming days - or as Johnson himself put it, he's "not a yes yet" - but for now he's a problem for those who really want this thing to go through. Dean Heller within hours of him on Friday opposing the GOP's ObamaCare overhaul bill previewed its attack Saturday on social media.

"She has been living in a group home for 21 years, all their funding comes from Medicaid", Stuart said.

The Senate bill would phase out extra money Obama's law provides to 31 states that agreed to expand coverage under the federal-state Medicaid program.

With a majority of 52 senators, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only afford to lose two "yea" votes on the bill.

Heller, who faces a hard re-election fight next year, said he would vote against the bill in its current form but did not rule out supporting a revamped version. More hard-line members of the party, including Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul, have said the legislation doesn't go far enough in its sweeping cuts to Medicaid, insurance subsidies, and taxes on the rich.

The Senate plan repeals the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, slashes federal support of Medicaid and eliminates taxes on the wealthy and insurers that now help pay for care for the poor.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has pushed for a vote before the July 4th Independence Day holiday recess that begins at the end of this week. The lobbying group is waiting to see the analysis of the bill's impact on spending and insurance coverage from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, expected next week.

Durbin called the way that Republican Senators crafted the legislation disgraceful, complaining about the lack of public hearings and debate.

In a Twitter comment Saturday, Trump voiced optimism about passage of the Republican plan, saying, "I can not imagine that these very fine Republican Senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken ObamaCare any longer!"

Sandoval said the Senate bill "is something that needs to change".

AP writer Regina Garcia Cano reported from Las Vegas.