Published: Fri, July 14, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

What's Dividing Republican Senators on the Health Care Bill

What's Dividing Republican Senators on the Health Care Bill

Grassley has said Republicans are likely to lose their majority if they don't deliver on their campaign promises to repeal and replace the ACA.

The reworked Better Care Reconciliation Act includes a version of an amendment that allows insurers to offer less comprehensive plans, while two other senators have unveiled an "alternative idea" aimed at putting health care in the states' hands.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona: "I would be surprised" if health care bill passes next week. "If I were them I wouldn't want to go home and face the voters either". McConnell could still muster the support needed to approve the bill with tweaks to appease members. The announcement comes as disagreements within the Republican Party have delayed an overhaul of the USA health-care system and threatened to set back other action, like raising the debt ceiling, passing an appropriations bill or approving a tax reform plan.

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) was one of the 10 Republican senators who signed the letter, urging that the cancellation of recess days was not a shot at the leadership, but to work out the kinks in the new health care bill.

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The revised bill, sans Cruz's amendment, retains the deep cuts to Medicaid that many moderate senators said was a deal-killer after the Senate bill was introduced two weeks ago.

McConnell in a statement said he hopes the delay will give lawmakers time to act on legislation and took a swipe at Democrats.

The Senate was forced to delay a vote on the bill until after the July 4 recess after the Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill would increase the number of people without health coverage by 22 million and cut the deficit by $321 billion by 2026. And if GOP senators want to kill this bill, they will want to kill it at this procedural still, which would spare them a painful and drawn-out vote-a-rama filled with Democratic amendments and a series of politically harmful votes.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., also plans to dig into the new proposal as soon as it's released, according to spokesman James Wegmann. Tammy Baldwin, and some industry observers say the changes would sharply undermine Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing health conditions. The party has a 52-48 majority in the Senate, and with no Democrats voicing support for the effort to revamp the health care system they passed under President Barack Obama, only a few Republicans can oppose the measure and still have it succeed. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, told reporters Tuesday.

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