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etvfutures.com October 20, 2017


GOP Health Bill: Senate Leader Faces Battle for Support

26 June 2017, 01:41 | Guillermo Sutton

Republicans have called Obamacare - officially known as the Affordable Care Act - "unsustainable", citing skyrocketing premiums and the unstable health insurance marketplaces created by the law.

"There are folks in the Republican conference who desperately want this to devolve to the states", said Whitlock, who is now vice president for health policy at ML Strategies, a lobbying and consulting firm.

Now, facing an enormous challenge in the Senate on health care, Trump and his team are opting for a hands-off approach on legislation to dismantle the "Obamacare" law, instead putting their faith in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to deliver a legacy-defining victory.

Echoing the other four, Heller said he opposes the measure "in this form" but does not rule out backing a version that is changed to his liking.

The Senate's healthcare legislation now does not have enough support to pass, according to The Hill's Whip List.

Nonetheless, Heller's announcement underscores the scant margin of error Republican leaders must deal with.

With unanimous opposition from Democrats, McConnell can afford to lose just two of the 52 GOP senators and still prevail on the bill. As five conservatives are now against the bill.

Last month, the House passed their version of the bill, which would strip health care from 24 million people, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

President Trump has urged lawmakers to pass the overhaul, which features billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, disabled and nursing home residents, and dramatic tax cuts for wealthy Americans. The Senate bill also proposes eliminating many ACA taxes, and the employer penalties associated with the employer and individual mandates would be repealed retroactively, dating to the start of 2016.

Some of the steepest cuts would be to the commonwealth's Medicaid expansion, which covers 716,000 lower-income people statewide. She says her issue with the bill is reduced Medicaid funding would mean states, hospitals, or patients have to fill the gap.

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Critics of the Republican proposal to repeal Obamacare could severely impact the mentally ill and drug addicted who have been the biggest beneficiaries of Medicaid expansion.

"I am disappointed that Congress did not include us in the consideration of this bill and we have not seen it until today", he said.

ROVNER: It's somewhat similar to the House bill, although the cuts would go even deeper.

"If they can not get 50 votes, if they get to impasse, I've been telling leadership for months now I'll vote for a repeal", the Kentucky Republican said on ABC's "This Week".

"The health care bill would be so great if the Democrats and Republicans could get together, wrap their arms around it so that everybody is happy with it", Trump said.

"The reason I left the life I loved in Wisconsin was to fix this problem and what I find so disappointing is these bills aren't going to fix the problem", he said. It would be politically hard for Heller to take a different stance on the measure from the popular Sandoval.

The draft text announced by the Senate this week was received with even less enthusiasm.

"I haven't said I'm opposed", Sen.

That's not sitting well with GOP Sen.



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