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

Posted June 26, 2017

Cramer spoke one day after health-care stocks posted sharp gains, with hospitals and insurers climbing, after the release of the Senate GOP health-care reform bill, which would replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. He said he wouldn't vote for a bill that that "takes insurance away from tens of millions of Americans", which is sort of the bread-and-butter of Republican health policy.

The concession on tax credits was aimed at winning over moderate Republican Senators from Medicaid expansion states like West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Schumer said Democrats have made clear they would be willing to work with Republicans to pass a Senate bill if they agree to drop a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and instead work to improve it.

Five Republican Senators so far oppose Mitch McConnell's health care bill, saying they can't support the legislation as written.

The debate underscores the partisan divide in overhauling ObamaCare - former President Barack Obama's signature, 2010 health care law that extends health coverage to millions more Americans but has also struggled with rising premium costs and fewer premium options.

McConnell has said he's willing to make changes to win support, and in the week ahead, plenty of back-room bargaining is expected as he tries pushing a final package through the Senate.

Some Democrats are holding events this weekend to stand up against the bill.

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst is suggesting Iowans would not be losing Medicaid coverage even as the Senate GOP health care bill would phase out financing to expand the low-income insurance program.

Lawmakers intend to vote on the Senate's Obamacare replacement plan before their July 4 recess.

The Senate plan significantly scales back Medicaid - a healthcare programme for the poor - and repeals Obamacare's taxes on the wealthy. Ted Cruz of Texas, oppose the current bill out outright. Several other Republicans, including moderate Susan Collins of ME, are still undecided about the legislation.

"What we can do is if they cannot get 50 votes, if they get to impasse, I've been telling leadership for months now I'll vote for a repeal", Paul said. The bill would replace its individual insurance coverage with new subsidies and requirements and cut federal funding for Medicaid.

"I think there's a misunderstanding about what the entire plan is", Price said.

Trump has spoken favorably about both the House-passed bill and the Senate version unveiled this week, though he declared several times as he ramped up his campaign for the presidency that he would not cut Medicaid.

The measure largely uses people's incomes as the yardstick for helping those without workplace coverage to buy private insurance.