Mitch McConnell Seeks Votes to Help Push Health Care Bill Through Senate

Alvin Kelly
June 24, 2017

Four conservative Republican senators quickly announced initial opposition to the bill and others were evasive, raising the specter of a jarring rejection by the Republican-controlled body.

Release of the 142-page proposal ended the long wait for one of the most closely guarded bills in years.

President Donald Trump will help lead talks to get the reluctant Republicans on board. "In this form, I will not support it".

Appealing to Congress and the USA people, Mr Obama said the 142-page plan had a "fundamental meanness" at its core and was "not a healthcare bill".

Like the House bill, the bill eliminates the ACA's individual mandate to purchase healthcare insurance and the employer mandate that requires large employers to offer insurance.

Republicans held 52 seats in the 100-member chamber, which means it can not afford losing more than three of its votes.

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"But there are going to be lots of opportunities for Mitch McConnell next week, when this bill's on the floor, to make deals, to make amendments and to try to give senators things that they want to get their votes", says Zwillich. He said that the debate is "about the character of our country - who we are, and who we aspire to be". "Because Obamacare is a direct attack on the middle class, and American families deserve better than its failing status quo".

"The Medicaid cuts are even more draconian that the House bill was, though they take effect more gradually than the House bill did", Pearson says. Senate Republicans would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not buying insurance and erase a raft of tax increases as part of their long-awaited plan to scuttle Barack Obama's health care law.

The Senate Republicans' draft legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was released on Thursday, and despite all the secrecy of this abysmal process, this bill is pretty familiar. Fixing the bill to save Medicaid's expansion theoretically wouldn't convince any of them to change their vote, while further cuts could alienate other so-called "moderate" Republicans like Heller. And GOP Sen. Susan Collins of ME reiterated her opposition to language blocking federal money for Planned Parenthood, which many Republicans oppose because it provides abortions.

Trump urged the House of Representatives to pass a similar bill in May, only to criticise it in private as "mean" once it passed. The budget office analysis of the Senate bill is expected early next week.

The Texas Republican said that "common sense reforms ... that lower the cost of premiums" are needed to get his approval of any proposed legislation.

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